New research indicates dietary lycopene and other carotenoids may protect against prostate cancer. The findings confirm those of other studies that have identified lycopene as a protective agent against some types of cancers.
Researchers conducted a study in southeast China involving 130 patients with prostate cancer, and a comparison group of 274 cancer-free "controls." The participants were interviewed about food consumption and a variety of other matters. After factoring in age, total fat and caloric intake, as well as family history, diet appeared to have an influence on the odds of developing prostate cancer.
The risk of prostate cancer declined with increasing consumption of lycopene, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and other carotenoids the investigators report. Consumption of foods including tomatoes, spinach and citrus fruits was also associated with a reduced cancer risk.
Food sources of lycopene include tomato juice, tomato sauce, pink grapefruit and guava.
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