Subsequently, scientists have fed knockout mice lacking p53 gene, commonly known as the "genome guardian", with a powder obtained from purple tomatoes.
P53 is a key gene in the tumorigenesis process. Mice lacking p53 develop different types of tumours, es-pecially lymphomas and die at a very young age.
Mice used in the experiment have been divided into three groups, fed three different diets: the first one has received a standard diet, while the second group was fed diet supplemented with 10% powder from freeze-dried red tomatoes and the last one with 10% powder from purple tomatoes. "We have not re-corded significant differences between the first two groups- argues Marco Giorgio from the European In-stitute of Oncology who followed the experimental phase on mice- But mice fed with purple tomatoes showed a significant increase of lifespan". The last group has reported an average lifespan of 182 days in comparison to the 142 recorded for mice fed standard diet.
However promising results appear to be, researchers prefer to be pretty cautious. "Actually- Giorgio con-tinues- it is a pilot test, a preliminary study useful to validate the hypothesis of obtaining health benefits from diet supplementation with modified food. Although mice's lifespan has significantly increased once fed on purple tomatoes we still don't know how it works. It is not likely everything can be explained on antioxidants basis alone. Moreover, we have to consider that in this study we have not taken into account any possible toxicity so I shall say we're far from considering a human trial. Next step is to investigate the effect of purple tomatoes on different kinds of tumor models and define the mechanism of action".
Nevertheless, FLORA researchers do believe we may st
|Contact: Americo Bonanni|