Some very interesting points about tomatoes that will surprise you!

Rate this item
(0 votes)

Tomatoes are originally from South America and they were imported by C. Columbus after discovering America.

They are rich in vitamins C and E, carotenoids (beta carotenoids, lutein, betacriptoxantin and lycopene), flavonoids (quercetin and naringenin), cinnamic acids (chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and curamic acid), minerals and folic acid. Many of these components have beneficial actions against cancer cells.

Carotenoids are precursors of vitamin A, which is crucial in the regeneration of the mucus membrane, which is frequently affected by chemo/radiotherapy.

The most important carotenoid when it comes to fighting cancer is lycopene. It’s a red pigment also present in watermelon, papaya and guava, but in smaller quantities.

The lycopene has antioxidant properties and acts protecting our cells from the oxidative stress of free radicals. It also modulates responsible molecules in the cell cycle producing a regression in tumors. In addition, lycopene can prevent tumors from metastasising and can induce natural cell death (apoptosis) of cancer cells.

The vitamin C, E, beta carotenoids and flavonoids have a synergic effect on the lycopene, empowering its anti-cancer activity. Therefore it is best to eat tomatoes rather buying lycopene supplements.

Mature tomatoes are the richest in lycopene, and when it comes to species, Raf tomatoes and pear shaped tomatoes have shown to contain more of this substance than others.

The lycopene is liposoluble, which means it dissolves in fat (not in water). Hence, olive oil eases its absorption in the bowel. However, the best way getting the most out of it is eating homemade ketchup! This is because when the tomatoes are cooked, the lycopene, together with the other anti-cancer agents become easier to absorb for our bowel.

How to make healthy homemade ketchup: Stir-fry two garlic cloves and one chopped onion. Add one kilo of red, mature, crushed tomatoes. Season with basil, turmeric and pepper and let simmer about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

References:

  1. Fernández Martínez, Odile; 2013. Mis recetas anticáncer – Alimentación y vida anticancer. ISBAN 978-84-7953-437-0
  2. Karppi J et al, Serum lycopene and the risk of cancer: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) study. Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Jul;19(7):512-8. doi:10.1016/j.annepidem.2009.03.017. Epub 2009 May 13.
  3. Polívková Z et al, Antimutagenic effects of lycopene and tomato purée. J Med Food. 2010 Dec;13(6):1443-50. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0277. Epub 2010 Sep 27.
  4. Palozza P et al, Lycopene induces cell growth inhibition by altering mevalonate pathway and Ras signaling in cancer cell lines. Carcinogenesis. 2010 Oct;31(10):1813-21. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgq157. Epub 2010 Aug 10.
  5. Ford NA et al, Lycopene and apo-12′-lycopenal reduce cell proliferation and alter cell cycle progression in human prostate cancer cells. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):256-63. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523494.
  6. Lin MC et al, Cancer chemopreventive effects of lycopene: suppression of MMP-7 expression and cell invasion in human colon cancer cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Oct 26;59(20):11304-18. doi: 10.1021/jf202433f. Epub 2011 Oct 4.
  7. Yang CM et al, Lycopene inhibits the proliferation of androgen-dependent human prostate tumor cells through activation of PPARγ-LXRα-ABCA1 pathway. J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Jan;23(1):8-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.10.006. Epub 2011 Feb 21.
  8. Guil-Guerrero JL et al, Cytotoxicity screening of several tomato extracts. J Med Food. 2011 Jan-Feb;14(1-2):40-5. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2010.0051. Epub 2010 Dec 7.
  9. Giovannucci E, Serum lycopene and prostate cancer progression: a re-consideration of findings from the prostate cancer prevention trial. Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Jul;22(7):1055-9. doi: 10.1007/s10552-011-9776-x. Epub 2011 May 15.
  10. Bowen P et al, Tomato sauce supplementation and prostate cancer: lycopene accumulation and modulation of biomarkers of carcinogenesis. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2002 Nov;227(10):886-93.
  11. Lu R et al, Lycopene: features and potential significance in the oral cancer and precancerous lesions. J Oral Pathol Med. 2011 May;40(5):361-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00991.x. Epub 2010 Dec 30.
  12. Giovannucci E et al, A prospective study of tomato products, lycopene, and prostate cancer risk. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2002 Mar 6;94(5):391-8.
  13. Beilby J et al, Serum levels of folate, lycopene, β-carotene, retinol and vitamin E and prostate cancer risk. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Oct;64(10):1235-8. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.124. Epub 2010 Aug 4.
  14. Fielding JM et al, Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005;14(2):131-6.
  15. Shi J et al, Effect of heating and exposure to light on the stability of lycopene in tomato purée. Food control. May 2008;19:514-20.
Read 731 times
Last modified on 29 January 2019
Dr Saskia H. Kloppenburg Vieth

Consultant in General Internal Medicine and Specialist in Complementary Cancer Care
MBBS, MRCIM (Spain), MSc Homeopathy, MFHom, Master practitioner in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic Programming, MSc in Nutrition
(GMC reg. number: 7541548)

Integrative medicine Doctor and Holistic Medicine Practitioner

Find out more about me

Website: https://integratedmedicine.co/about/holistic-doctor-london-saskia-kloppenburg-vieth