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Type of Tomato Product Determines Power Against Prostate Cancer
Date:5/29/2008

Compound produced during drying works with lycopene to protect against malignancies, study suggests

THURSDAY, May 29 (HealthDay News) -- Dried tomatoes, anyone?

A study in the June 1 issue of Cancer Research finds that the type of tomato product you eat may play a role in whether it can fight prostate cancer.

Specifically, an organic carbohydrate known as FruHis, which is produced when tomatoes are dehydrated, could be the secret ingredient.

But the study only looked at animals and, the authors warned, FruHis is not ready for the doctor's office or medicine cabinet just yet.

"This study was conducted in a rat model, and you cannot possibly draw any conclusions for people," said study author Valeri Mossine, a research assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri. "That's something we need to do next. But before you enter a study with humans, you have to prove that something works with animals. If it works, then you go on."

Several studies have pointed to a prostate cancer-fighting quality in tomatoes, but the exact mechanisms have been elusive.

In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration laid out evidence or rather, a lack of it, behind a previous statement the agency had issued that tomato consumption is not linked to any reduction in risk of prostate tumors (or ovarian, stomach or pancreatic malignancies).

The November 2005 statement issued by the FDA contended that, "there is no credible evidence to support qualified health claims for lycopene, as a food ingredient, component or food, or as a dietary supplement, and reduced risk of any of the cancers in the petition."

But other experts, including the authors of the current study, are speculating that some other compound in tomatoes might interact with lycopene to produce the protective effect.

As the study points out, processing of edible plants (heating, grinding,
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