Tomato and broccoli diet helps fight tumoursCombining both could help beat prostate cancer

16 January 2007

 

Scientists claim a diet rich in both tomatoes and broccoli can help fight cancer.

Although both are already known for their health qualities, a new study published in the magazine Cancer Research has found that eating them together is even more effective.

Researchers at the University of Illinois tested a number of diets on laboratory rats implanted with prostate cancer cells.

Tumours were weighed after 22 weeks and the tomato and broccoli combination outperformed all other diets in shrinking them.

Changed diets

Kirstie Canene-Adams, who carried out the study, said: ‘Older men with slow-growing prostate cancer who have chosen watchful waiting over chemotherapy and radiation should seriously consider altering their diets to include more tomatoes and broccoli.’

She added: ‘To get these effects, men should consume daily 1.4 cups of raw broccoli and 2.5 cups of fresh tomato, or 1 cup of tomato sauce, or half a cup of tomato paste.

Every year nearly 32,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in the UK and 10,000 men die from it.

Health eating

Chris Hiley, Head of Policy and Research for The Prostate Cancer Charity, said the results were interesting but may not translate to humans.

She added: ‘This is not therefore a breakthrough, but it does allow us to help promote the healthy eating message that men should eat a varied and healthy diet, and tomato and tomato-based products as well as broccoli have a place in that.

‘We also hope it will encourage scientists to look into the importance of combining tomato and broccoli in the human diet.’