When it comes to a favorite fruit,
There isn’t a very good substitute,
For the tomato…
At least, not that I know.
It’s hard to be fed red,
And, I want to get,
All the colors in me,
Or, I’ll regret,
I try to find,
The indeterminate kind,
So, I won’t know,
If it’ll ever stop to grow.
On C, K and A,
With some ketchup,
If hit by a skunk,
I can take a dunk,
Makes a sandwich,
With a scoop of soup,
Or a nice slice,
And, if you could,
Before it’s too late,
Pass the plate,
Until I get a vine,
To call mine.
And, I didn’t know,
Sundrop, Mirbelle, Brown Cherry,
Sweetie, Green grape, Bi-color Cherry,
And, Sugar Snow White,
Make for a rainbow…
What a sight!
And, very, very, yummy,
In the tummy,
I’ll eat them like candy,
As I pick them fresh,
Feeling fine and dandy,
From the goodness.
You say toe-mat-o,
I say toe-may-toe,
As long as we both know,
Where to go,
For a favorite fruit,
Because… there is no good substitute.
So, please protect me,
From those free radicals,
They’re such rascals,
Showing no mercy.
More of the antioxidant,
Could help prevent,
A fatal accident.
I think it’s best,
If I ingest,
Yes! More retinol,
Do you know what I mean?
Let’s catch up,
From The California Tomato Organization
Tomatoes May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
In December 1995, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of a study conducted by Harvard University researchers which showed an association between consuming a diet rich in tomato-based foods and a decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Lycopenes are part of the family of pigments called carotenoids, which are natural compounds that create the colors of fruits and vegetables. For example, beta carotene is the orange pigment in carrots. Like essential amino acids, they are not made in the human body. Research shows that lycopenes are the most powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family. Antioxidants, which includes vitamin C and E, are important in protecting the body from free radicals which degrade many parts of the body.
The researchers surveyed the eating habits of over 47,000 men between the ages of 40-75 for six years and found that the consumption of tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice and pizza was associated with a reduced risk for developing prostate cancer. Researchers theorize that lycopene, an antioxidant nutrient found in large amounts in tomatoes, may be responsible for this possible protective effect.
Nutritionists and other health professionals have long advocated the cancer preventative benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables. The findings of the Harvard research study support this recommendation and suggest that tomato-based foods may be especially beneficial regarding prostate cancer risk. Of course, cancer risk is due to many factors and diet is only one of them. At this point it is too early to conclude that any one food can prevent cancer.
To salute your good health, the California tomato industry is pleased to offer these simple, creative recipes that will help you reap the benefits of this groundbreaking new research. Including fresh California tomatoes in your daily diet is a delicious and effective way to please your palate - and may help fight some types of cancer. So indulge in the mighty tomato!
Tomatoes and Cancer Prevention
Tomatoes and lycopenes have been in the news due to more and more studies linking tomato and tomato-product consumption to reduced risks of many types of cancer. The study that began it all was called “Carotenoids and Retinol in Relation to Risk of Prostate Cancer” and was headed by Dr. Edward Giovannucci. Here is a brief summary of the findings:
The purpose was to conduct a study to examine the relationship between the intake of various carotenoids (including beta-carotene and lycopene), retinol, fruits, and vegetables and the risk of prostate cancer. They assessed the dietary intake for a 1-year period of 47,894 eligible subjects initially free of diagnosed cancer beginning in 1986 and sent follow-up questionnaires to the entire group in 1988, 1990, and 1992 to determine their cancer rates. The relative risk for the incidence of prostate cancer among these men was calculated comparing low-intake versus high-intake diets of the various items being studied.
The Result: Only lycopene intake was related to lower risk of prostate cancer. Of 46 vegetables and fruits or related products, four were significantly associated with lower prostate cancer risk; of the four — tomato sauce, tomatoes, and pizza — were primary sources of lycopene. Combined intake of tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato juice, and pizza (which accounted for 82% of lycopene intake) was associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that intake of lycopene or other compounds in tomatoes may reduce prostate cancer risk, but other measured carotenoids are unrelated to risk.
Implications: Our findings support recommendations to increase vegetable and fruit consumption to reduce cancer incidence but suggest that tomato-based foods may be especially beneficial regarding prostate cancer risk.
Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 87, No. 23, December 6, 1995.
New Study Shows Tomatoes May Protect Against Cancer
PHILADELPHIA - March 12, 1999 - New medical research suggests that the consumption of lycopene - the stuff that makes tomatoes red - may prevent cancer.
Omer Kucuk, M.D., oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, has produced the first scientific evidence to indicate that a lycopene supplement containing tomato extract may protect against prostate cancer. The study is being presented today at the 90th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Philadelphia.
For more information about the study or to interview an expert, call Karmanos Cancer Institute at (313) 745-4226 or the Institute’s web site at www.karmanos.org.
In the study, Dr. Kucuk and colleagues followed 30 men with localized prostate cancer who were scheduled to undergo surgical removal of the prostate. For three weeks prior to surgery, study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a 15-milligram capsule of lycopene as a pure tomato extract, twice daily, or no intervention. Following removal of the prostates, the glands were analyzed to determine whether there were any differences between the two groups studied.
The investigators found that the group treated with lycopene supplements had smaller tumors, the cancer was more frequently confined to the prostate, meaning the cancer did not spread to surrounding tissue and organs. Levels of serum PSA (prostate specific antigen, a common marker used to detect prostate cancer) actually declined during the 3-week span that participants took the lycopene supplement. In addition, the tumors in participants who consumed lycopene showed signs of regression and decreased malignancy.
“This study represents the first clinical evidence that lycopene supplements may prevent cancer,” said Dr. Kucuk. “Furthermore, the findings suggest that lycopene may not only help prevent cancer, but may also be useful in treating men who are already diagnosed with prostate cancer.”
“However, due to the small size of the study, it is not yet possible to draw a firm conclusion. More studies on the effects of prostate cancer are warranted,” he added.
Studies previously conducted on the preventive health benefits of lycopene were epidemiological studies that indicated an association between consumption of tomato products and decreased risk of prostate cancer. Dr. Kucuk’s clinical trial suggests a more direct relationship between the consumption of lycopene and prostate cancer than the previous studies.
The AACR, founded in 1907, is a professional society of more than 14,000 laboratory and clinical scientists engaged in cancer research in the United States, Canada, and more than 60 other countries.
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of the nation’s leading cancer research, treatment, education and outreach centers. It is affiliated with Wayne State University and The Detroit Medical Center and supported by United Way.