Tomatoes, Lycopene and Prostate Cancer Risk: Mixed but Promising

In the past several decades, there has been considerable interest in lycopene-rich foods, particularly tomatoes and tomato products, in lowering a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. In the previous AICR report, the strength of evidence for a benefit was viewed as “probable” for lycopene-rich foods, but in the latest round, the recommendation was lowered to “limited, no conclusion.”elg-color-2

To understand this change, it is important to examine the nature of the evidence used to reach the new conclusion. Most of the evidence is based on studies that record what men are eating, or measure blood lycopene levels, and then follow the men for any diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Then dietary or blood factors are linked to risk of cancer diagnosis. Statistical methods are used to account for other factors. Because these studies are examining associations, which may not necessarily be causal, other considerations such as biologic plausibility are taken into account in formulating the conclusions.

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Preventing Prostate Cancer: The More We Learn, The Less We Know

The latest report from our Continuous Update Project (CUP), the process by which we rigorously review the global science linking diet, weight and physical activity to various cancers, focuses on the prevention of prostate cancer. We released it last night; this press release reviews the highlights, and takes you to the full report.obesity-cancer-infographic-prostate-x900

One new finding is that obesity is now recognized as a risk factor for advanced prostate cancer – the most deadly type.

Like all previous CUP Reports, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Prostate Cancer gives our expert panel the chance to review the research collected since the publication of our 2007 AICR/WCRF expert report, and to update their judgments about the strength of the evidence on specific links.

Which, this time at least, is just what they did. revealing how quickly the field of prostate cancer research has changed in just seven years.

Prostate Cancer Is Not One Disease – The panel’s judgments on specific links have changed because prostate cancer is now being studied differently than the way it was in 2007. Today, researchers know that not all prostate cancers are alike. Continue reading


Recipe: Layers of Cancer Protection

Roasted Veg Lasagna copyOur Health-e-Recipe for Roasted Vegetable Lasagna is meatless and full of hearty, delicious cancer-fighting ingredients. It’s also runner-up to our March Madness winner, Brussels Sprout Slaw.

To prepare the eggplant and zucchini slices for roasting, you can either use canola oil cooking spray or brush them lightly with some olive oil, if you prefer. Then roast them for 20 minutes on each side. Roasting veggies makes them sweet and tender.

Then layer them onto the low-fat cheese mixture and top with tomato sauce. All processed tomato products (think juice, paste, sauce) contain plenty of lycopene. This compound is a carotenoid that may help guard against prostate and other cancers, according to research studies.

Because of their higher fiber content, whole-wheat pastas and other whole grains take longer to digest than refined grains. That’s one reason why eating them can help keep your blood sugar levels healthy.

Together with the vegetables in this dish, the higher fiber in the noodles provides a substantial 11 grams of fiber per serving. That’s almost one-third of the amount recommended daily by health experts. Eating plenty of high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans while keeping meat consumption low can help prevent colorectal cancer.

Find more healthy, tasty recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.