Tomatoes protect against breast cancer and obesity

Eating tomatoes protects women from breast cancer in the postmenopausal period – such a statement was made by scientists from Rutgers University (USA).

A group of doctors, led by Dr. Adana Lanos, found that vegetables and fruits that contain lycopene – primarily tomatoes, as well as guava and watermelon – can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, and in addition, help them control weight gain and even blood sugar levels.

“The benefits of eating fresh tomatoes and dishes prepared from them, even in small quantities, thanks to our study, have become quite obvious,” said Adana Lanos. “Therefore, eat more fruits and vegetables that are rich in beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals such as lycopene for measurable health benefits. According to the results of the study, we can say that even just eating the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables provides protection against breast cancer in risk groups.

The scientific team of Dr. Lanos conducted a series of nutritional experiments in which 70 women over the age of 45 participated. They were asked to consume a daily amount of food containing tomatoes for 10 weeks, which corresponds to the daily norm of lycopene of 25 mg. In another time period, the respondents were required to consume soy products containing 40 g of soy protein every day for, again, 10 weeks. Before taking tests, women refrained from taking the recommended food for 2 weeks.

It turned out that in the body of women who consumed tomatoes, the level of adiponectin – a hormone responsible for weight loss and blood sugar levels – increased by 9%. At the same time, in women who were not overweight at the time of the study, the level of adiponectin increased a little more.

“This last fact shows how important it is to avoid excess weight,” said Dr. Lanos. “Consumption of tomatoes gave a more noticeable hormonal response in women who maintained normal weight.”

At the same time, soy consumption has not been shown to have beneficial effects on the prognosis of breast cancer, obesity, and diabetes. It was previously thought that as a preventive measure against breast cancer, obesity and high blood sugar, women over 45 should take a significant amount of products containing soy.

Such assumptions were made on the basis of statistical data obtained in Asian countries: scientists have noticed that women in the East get breast cancer much less often than, for example, American women. However, Lanos said it is likely that the benefits of soy protein consumption are limited to certain (Asian) ethnic groups, and do not extend to European women. In contrast to soy, tomato consumption has proven to be highly effective for Western women, which is why Lanos recommends including at least a small amount of tomatoes in your daily diet, fresh or in any other product.


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