If you like tomatoes in your salad, or tomato sauce or even ketchup you may be helping yourself fight off skin cancer according to a new study from the University of Ohio.
The research which took place with male mice in a lab where mice had a diet which included 10% tomato powder and he second half was a control group that didn’t have the tomato powder. The experiment lasted 35 weeks. Both groups were exposed to ultraviolet light which caused cancerous growths on their skin. The group that had the tomatoes powder in its diet had growths that were half the size of the group that had no tomato powder in its diet.
The researchers say that this is probably because of the lycopene found in the tomatoes which gives the tomatoes its red pigment but also protects against the destructive effects of ultraviolet light on skin. That’s why the mice that had the tomato powder in their diet had smaller cancerous skin growths.
Another interesting find from this study was that this diet only helped the male mice but had no effect on the female mice. Researchers believe that this might be because the male mice are much more prone to skin cancer from exposure to the ultraviolet light growing much larger cancerous growths than the females. So the effect the tomatoes have in preventing the skin cancer was dramatic for the males. It’s possible that in humans what works for a man may not work for a woman and vice versa.
Previous studies already showed that people who consume tomatoes or tomato products are less prone to sunburn and their skin doesn’t get as red and burned as people who don’t consume tomatoes.
All in all, along with conventional protection methods like sunscreen, hats and covering your body, tomatoes are another weapon in the arsenal fighting against skin cancer.