Cooked tomatoes can be key to cancer cure

A nutrient in cooked tomatoes can slow the growth and even kill prostate cancer cells, a study done by an Indian-origin researcher-led team has claimed.

Mridula Chopra and colleagues at the University of Portsmouth, through laboratory studies tested the effect of the nutrient lycopene on the simple mechanism through which cancer cells hijack a body's healthy blood supply to grow and spread. The research found that lycopene , which is what gives tomatoes their red colour, intercepts cancer's ability to make the connections it needs to attach to a healthy blood supply.

The researchers, from the university's School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, are now calling for tests to check if the same reaction occurs in the human body, the Daily Telegraph reported.

"This simple chemical reaction was shown to occur at lycopene concentrations that can easily be achieved by eating processed tomatoes ," Chopra said.

Lycopene is present in all red fruits and vegetables, but its concentrations are highest in tomatoes and becomes more biologically active when it comes from processed tomatoes with a small amount of cooking oil added.

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