Lycopene and Prostate Cancer - What the Research is Telling
by Mo Devine
lycopene. Judging from a growing amount of research, diets rich in carotenoids may
reduce the risk of a variety of seemingly age-related diseases.

In 1991, researchers reported that low levels of lycopene in the bloodstream were
associated with an increased risk of pancreatic, bladder and rectal cancers. In 1995,
another group of researchers reported that there was a strong inverse connection
between intake lycopene and prostate cancer risk.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the researchers
recommended increased intake of fruits and vegetables of all kinds. They also
suggested that tomato-based foods were especially beneficial for reducing the risk.

The US Food and Drug Administration agrees that there may be some benefit. They
believe that the evidence is compelling but not conclusive. The FDA recommends the
consumption of ½ to 1 cup of tomatoes and/or tomato sauce per week.

What's interesting is that the nutrient content of those two foods are not similar. A
half cup of tomato sauce provides 19.4mg of lycopene, while a medium sized fresh
tomato provides only 3.7mg. So, the FDA is not making a specific recommendation
for nutrient intake.

In truth, it is difficult for researchers to determine the preventive benefit of any
nutrient or even of any drug. It would be necessary to look at a wide range of
factors that could contribute to an increased or decreased risk of a disease.

In addition to looking at the relationship between lycopene and prostate cancer, a
number of other risk factors have been identified, including genetics. Low blood levels
of vitamin D were recently linked to an increased risk of the disease as well as many
other types of cancer.

USDA surveys indicate that many people are not meeting their minimum daily
requirements for vitamin D. Doctors' observational studies have confirmed those

It is important to choose your dietary supplements carefully. Unless the label
specifies that all of the ingredients are from natural sources, you could be increasing
your exposure to petrochemicals. Vitamins derived from crude oil, particularly vitamin
A, E and other common ones, are what you'll find in the cheap supplements on the

Proving a certain link between low intake of lycopene and prostate cancer risk may
never be possible. We hope that increasing our nutrient intake will reduce our risk of
various diseases. For that reason, we choose a good multi-nutritional supplement
that contains a mixture of the natural carotenoids.

One thing that research has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt is that diets rich in
fruits and vegetables are healthier; however, the nutrient content of those foods
varies greatly. The only way to really be sure  that you are meeting the body's
nutrient needs is to take a supplement. The connection between lycopene and
prostate cancer may be vague. But, there's no doubt that good nutrition is important.

About The Author

Mo Devine is a consumer advocate and a dedicated researcher who has been on a
quest to find
available. After extensive research, she
has found an exceptional nutritional supplement that is now the foundation of her
own health program. Visit her website at
/ to
discover what she personally recommends and why.
Hundreds of reviews concerning
lycopene and prostate cancer have
been published since 1990.
Interestingly, one of the earliest
showed that high levels of retinol
(vitamin A) in the bloodstream were
associated with a reduced risk of the

Vitamin A can be obtained through
diet or created in the body, if a
person eats beta-carotene.
Beta-carotene is the best known of a
family of pigments known as
carotenoids. The lesser-known ones
include zeaxanthin, lutein and
Copyright ©
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
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