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Tomatoes and soy may be a recipe to help beat prostate cancer

Category: Prostate

People need to order regular blood tests to make sure that they do not miss any of the signs of conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. This is particularly important for people who have a history of disease in their family, who should not only be getting regular lab tests, but should also be trying to live a lifestyle that will help reduce their risk of developing a health problem. For example, men with a history of prostate cancer in their family should be sure to eat a healthy diet, since this has been shown to lower the chance of this disease.

Recently, researchers from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences found that one thing that men who are concerned about prostate cancer may want to do is consume a meal that consists of tomato and soy products. According to the scientists, eating these two foods together may more effectively help prevent prostate cancer than eating them separately.

Better when eaten together
To come to their conclusions, the researchers examined mice that were genetically engineered to develop an aggressive form of prostate cancer. The mice were fed one of four diets - either one that was comprised of 10 percent whole tomato powder, a diet of 2 percent soy germ, one that had both tomato powder and soy germ, and a control group that had neither.

"Eating tomato, soy and the combination all significantly reduced prostate cancer incidence. But, the combination gave us the best results. Only 45 percent of mice fed both foods developed the disease compared to 61 percent in the tomato group, and 66 percent in the soy group," John Erdman, a professor of food science and nutrition at the university.

The researchers added that it's important for men to get tested for this disease, since prostate cancer has nearly a 100 percent survival rate when it is caught early.

How much do you need?
This study highlights the importance of consuming tomatoes and soy to help prevent prostate cancer, but how much do men need? According to the researchers, their findings suggest that consuming three to four servings of tomato products per week and one to two of soy foods daily may be ideal. This shouldn't be that difficult, considering that both tomatoes and soy can come in many different forms.

The scientists added that it's best to skip the supplements and go for whole foods.

"It's better to eat a whole tomato than to take a lycopene supplement. It's better to drink soy milk than to take soy isoflavones. When you eat whole foods, you expose yourself to the entire array of cancer-fighting, bioactive components in these foods," Erdman said.

What else should you eat?
This isn't the first time that diet has been associated with a decreased prostate cancer risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is evidence that a diet low in fat and high in fruits and vegetables may reduce a man's chances of developing this disease. The clinic explained that, in previous studies, men who consumed a high amount of fat on a daily basis were more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who did not. The organization recommended that men reduce the amount of fat they add to foods while cooking, choose leaner cuts of meat and only consume low-fat dairy products.

Men should also eat more plant-based fats, such as olive oil, rather than animal-based ones, like butter and lard.

Finally, men who have a history of prostate cancer in their family should talk to their doctor about what more they can do to reduce their risk.

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