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Tomatoes and cancer



Type of Spiritual Experience


This is a very well written summary.

In essence it says that there appear to be health benefits from eating tomatoes, from looking at very simple evidence from multiple studies.

As we do not know the cause of any of the illnesses in the studies, nor do we know what products [multiple] in tomatoes are achieving the effects or why, we can draw no conclusions, because we do not have the cause effect chain.

All we can say is that tomatoes seem to do you good and there is no evidence they do you harm.

Unless of course like american tomatoes they are genetically engineered to contain fish genes.  And I quote   "Bet you didn't know that cheese on your pizza pie had human hormones in it; that the genes of fish were inserted into the tomato that made your sauce; and that with all their "messing" around, your crust probably has a gene related to human cancer and organisms from viruses in it - see LINK].

All we can say is that people who eat non USA grown tomatoes are at lower risk of cancer and it may be the minerals in the tomato, the vitamins, the essential fatty acids, the amino acids, the anti-bacterial properties, the chelating properties, the anti-viral properties, the anti-fungal properties, the presence of GABA [a relaxing neurotransmitter], or any number of other useful properties of the tomato as a food.

And there is just the hint of scorn poured here on those researchers desperate to find the magic ingredient in tomatoes [lycopene is the current favourite] that they will be able to extract and make money from as a drug.  Research paid for by the big pharmaceutical companies.

A description of the experience

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1999 Feb 17;91(4):317-31.

Tomatoes, tomato-based products, lycopene, and cancer: review of the epidemiologic literature.

Giovannucci E.  Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. edward.giovannucci@channing.harvard.edu

The epidemiologic literature in the English language regarding intake of tomatoes and tomato-based products and blood lycopene (a compound derived predominantly from tomatoes) level in relation to the risk of various cancers was reviewed.

Among 72 studies identified, 57 reported inverse associations between tomato intake or blood lycopene level and the risk of cancer at a defined anatomic site; 35 of these inverse associations were statistically significant.

No study indicated that higher tomato consumption or blood lycopene level statistically significantly increased the risk of cancer at any of the investigated sites. About half of the relative risks for comparisons of high with low intakes or levels for tomatoes or lycopene were approximately 0.6 or lower.

The evidence for a benefit was strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach.

Data were also suggestive of a benefit for cancers of the pancreas, colon and rectum, esophagus, oral cavity, breast, and cervix.

Because the data are from observational studies, a cause-effect relationship cannot be established definitively.

However, the consistency of the results across numerous studies in diverse populations, for case-control and prospective studies, and for dietary-based and blood-based investigations argues against bias or confounding as the explanation for these findings.

Lycopene may account for or contribute to these benefits, but this possibility is not yet proven and requires further study. Numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes, and, conceivably, complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes.

The consistently lower risk of cancer for a variety of anatomic sites that is associated with higher consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based products adds further support for current dietary recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.


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