Study Shows How Tomatoes Combat Prostate Cancer

In All Health Watch, Cancer, Featured Article by INH Research14 Comments

Further evidence that tomatoes can protect your prostate has just come to light. It comes from researchers at the University of Portsmouth in the UK.

They set out to prove once and for all that tomatoes can halt prostate cancer. And that’s just what they’ve done.

“The lab evidence we have found is clear,” says Dr. Mridula Chopra. She leads cancer research at the University and was behind this new study. “It’s possible to intercept the mechanism cancer cells use to grow, by eating sufficient tomatoes.”

Not only that, they’ve found out why the red fruit is so good at combatting prostate cancer.

Their findings have just been published in the British Journal of Nutrition. And experts are getting excited about them.

One of them is Eleanor Barrie, senior science officer with Cancer Research UK.

“Research like this can help us to understand how the chemical” in tomatoes protect against prostate cancer, she says.

The Secret Way That Tomatoes Fight Cancer

The new study is really important because it shows how tomatoes combat prostate cancer. As you already know, they contain a chemical called lycopene. And it’s lycopene that does the fighting for you.

You see, cancer cells hijack your healthy blood supply and use it to grow and spread.

But this study shows that lycopene blocks cancer cells from getting the blood source they need. Their lab tests clearly show that lycopene stop cancer cells from attaching to your blood supply. And that stops cancer growth in its tracks.

As their study shows, lycopene can be a good defense against cancer. But it’s even more effective for men dealing with prostate cancer. That’s because lycopene accumulates in prostate tissue.

“The important thing is for sufficient lycopene to reach where it can matter,” says Dr. Chopra. “We know that in case of prostate tissue it gets there.”

What This Means to You

The researchers know that lycopene accumulates in prostate tissue because they tested this out too!

They gave 400 g of tinned tomatoes to a group of men for about two weeks. At the end of their study they took urine and semen samples. And they found big increases in every man’s lycopene levels.

So how much is 400 g of tomatoes? That’s about what you get in a can of peeled, whole tomatoes. Or, you can also weigh organic tomatoes in the produce aisle of any grocery store to be sure you’re getting enough each day.


  1. My husband suffers from Uric Acid and has been told to cut tomatoes out of his diet .
    So what does one do in this case ?

    1. Author

      Hi Helen! While this study showed further evidence that tomatoes can play a big part in protecting your husband’s prostate health, it’s not the only way to do this. You may have read our story on Friday, which gave some encouraging news about a new botanical formula that’s been tested in three clinical studies and shown to slow prostate cancer growth and spread by 30 percent. That same article suggested some other health supplements that have also been shown to help boost prostate health, with plenty of medical research to back them up. According to the featured expert in that story, three things your husband should be working into his diet today are curcumin, pomegranate and saw palmetto.
      Hope this helps…and keep reading. We plan on bringing you a lot more information about this specific subject during this month.

  2. Excellent information on tomatoes and prostate cancer. But was it 400 grams over a 2 week period or 400 grams a day for 2 weeks? Can you also give the conversion of grams to ounces or pounds?

    1. Author

      Thanks for your interest Elliot.
      To answer your first question, the researchers gave the men in the study 400 grams of tomatoes every day, for the duration of two weeks.
      According to 400 grams is equal to 14.10 oz. And that’s just shy of 1 US / UK pound, where there are 16 ounces in a pound. It’s exactly 0.88lbs!

    1. Author

      Hi Ed!
      The researchers gave each man in the study 400 grams of tomatoes each day for two weeks. They got really good results using that amount. So if you want to protect your prostate health you should try to shoot for that each day. It’s not as difficult as it may sound. The researchers actually used one can of processed tomatoes. So all you need to do is use a can of chopped, diced or cubed tomatoes as a base for your sauces when you make dinner each night. If you prefer, you can also go with fresh tomatoes…just weigh one out that’s 400 grams, or a little under (.88lbs) of a pound!
      Hope to talk to you again soon!

  3. I thought the lycopene in tomatoes is more effective (I suppose because it is more bioavailable) if the tomatoes are cooked. Is this true, or doesn´t it matter?

    1. Author

      Hi Richard,
      This is interesting. The researchers noted that there is some being done specifically in that area.
      “Both processing and cooking with fat have been shown to make lycopene more effective,” says Dr. Mridula Chopra.
      Obviously, lycopene is effective in both fresh and cooked tomatoes, so don’t give up eating organic fresh produce. But cooking them seems to activate the properties in lycopene even more. We’ll do some follow up research to find out why cooking tomatoes would make lycopene even more effective.

  4. Sun dried tomatoes are treatment for a host of diseases, including cancer and dementia. In regards to the raw verses cooked discussion I do believe sun dried and reconstituted qualifies as cooked.

  5. Author

    Good suggestion Zak – I think you’re spot on about sun dried tomatoes. And you’re right again – there is loads of research that shows tomatoes are good for treating many diseases.
    Keep writing in Zak – it’s great having you around here!

  6. For what concerns tomato and prostatic problems: is it true that cooked tomatoes are more efficient than raw tomatoes?

  7. Author

    Hi Pietro – yeah -there is research that suggests this. The people behind this study actually released some further info exactly on this point. See my post from March 6th, 2012 at 3:23 pm. (It’s about three posts back!)

    Hope this helps and have a great day!

  8. In the book Healing Spices Dr. Aggarwal indentifies sun-dried tomatoes a spice as they’ve been reduced to their nutrient basis. This increases the amount of lycopene in any amount you eat. He also identifies several other important phytochemicals such as coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, and tomatine, all of which he says have disease fighting properties. Dr. Aggarwal believes that lycopene is the key but those elements make tomatoes more valuable than lycopene by itself.

    Heating is definitely key to absorption of lycopene along with pureeing. But with sun-dried tomatoes just reconstituting them in a hot dish is equivalent.

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