Skin cancer cure linked to Mediterranean diet: Eating tomatoes every day could protect you
SKIN cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK – but now experts have revealed there could be a link between a cure for the tumours and the Mediterranean diet.
Skin cancer: Tomato had reduce skin cancer tumours in mice
Research has revealed eating tomatoes regularly could cut the development of tumours.
Experts tested the hypothesis on mice – and found male mice fed a diet of tomato powder daily for 35 weeks experienced a 50 per cent decrease in skin cancer tumours after exposure to UV light, in comparison to those which did not eat the dehydrated tomato.
Skin cancer kills more than 2,000 people in Britain each year – and can be caused by exposure to the sun.
It is one of the most common cancers in the UK.
Skin cancer: Lycopene is the primary carotenoid in tomatoes
The study stated: “We hypothesised that tomato consumption would decrease tumour number in animals consuming tomatoes, and that this biological effect would be the result of altered skin and plasma metabolomes [small particles in the blood].”
Previous studies have linked tomato as a good remedy for sunburn – which experts said could be due to the carotenoids from the plants.
Jessica Cooperstone was co-author of the study and a research scientist in the Department of Food Science and Technology in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State.
She said dietary carotenoids, which give tomatoes their colour and are also found in brightly coloured vegetables such as peppers, could protect against UV light damage.
“Lycopene, the primary carotenoid in tomatoes, has been shown to be the most effective antioxidant of these pigments,” she said.
“However, when comparing lycopene administered from a whole food (tomato) or a synthesized supplement, tomatoes appear more effective in preventing redness after UV exposure, suggesting other compounds in tomatoes may also be at play.”
However, the experts did find there was no significant differences in tumours for the female mice in the study.
“This study showed us that we do need to consider sex when exploring different preventive strategies,” said Tatiana Oberyszyn, senior author of the study, from Ohio State University.
“What works in men may not always work equally well in women and vice versa.”
The scientists said this finding meant sex should be considered when exploring different preventative strategies.
However, the experts concluded that over a lifetime of consumption, food stop certain disease developing.
Jessica Coopersone said: ”Alternative methods for systemic protection, possibly through nutritional interventions to modulate risk for skin-related diseases, could provide a significant benefit.
“Foods are not drugs, but they can possibly, over the lifetime of consumption, alter the development of certain diseases,” she said.
The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.