A diet rich in tomatoes can significantly lower the risk of men developing prostate cancer. But men have to eat more than 10 portions of tomatoes each week to see the benefit, the British researchers say.
With 35,000 new cases every year in the UK, and around 10,000 deaths, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide.Rates are higher in developed countries, which some experts believe is linked to a Westernised diet and lifestyle.To assess if following dietary and lifestyle recommendations reduces risk of prostate cancer, researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge and Oxford looked at the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged between 50 and 69 with prostate cancer and compared with 12,005 cancer-free men.
The NIHR-funded study, published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, is the first study of its kind to develop a prostate cancer dietary index which consists of dietary components selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene that have been linked to prostate cancer.
About the NIHR Bristol Nutrition Biomedical Research UnitThe National Institute for Health Research Bristol Nutrition Biomedical Research Unit in Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Bristol (NIHR Bristol Nutrition BRU) performs patient-focused early phase experimental clinical research (commonly referred to as experimental medicine) in the areas of human nutrition, diet and lifestyle (including obesity). Our aim is to pull basic scientific discoveries into clinical research and through to benefits for patients and the NHS.
About the National Institute for Health Research Technology Assessment
1. The National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment (NIHR HTA) Programme funds research about the effectiveness, costs, and broader impact of health technologies for those who use, manage and provide care in the NHS. It is the largest NIHR programme and publishes the results of its research in the Health Technology Assessment journal, with over 700 issues published to date. The journal’s 2013 Impact Factor (5.116) ranked it two out of 85 publications in the Health Care Sciences and Services category. All issues are available for download, free of charge, from the website. The HTA Programme is funded by the NIHR, with contributions from the CSO in Scotland, NISCHR in Wales, and the HSC R&D Division, Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland. www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/programmes/hta
2. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR plays a key role in the Government’s strategy for economic growth, attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the most integrated health research system in the world. For further information, visit the NIHR website (www.nihr.ac.uk).
Tomatoes and products made of them, including juice, sauces and baked beans, were the most beneficial, with an 18% reduction in risk found in men eating over 10 portions a week.
The researchers said further studies are needed, but men should try to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain their weight and stay active to lower their risk.
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