Lycopene lowers risk of pancreatic cancer

Lycopene, a carotinoid and antioxidant found in tomatoes has been shown in research to lower the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, having previously been shown to have similar benefits with prostate cancer.

High carotenoid intake lowers risk of pancreatic cancer

A team of researchers backed by the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention at Health Canada designed a study (1) to look at dietary carotenoid intake and its link with pancreatic cancer. Carotenoids are usually found in grapefruit, peppers, carrots, watermelon and tomatoes. All the subjects were non-smokers as this is believed to be one of the main causes.

Over four years 4,700 healthy people and 462 patients used food questionnaires. The overall results were positive - a higher intake of carotenoids does reduce risk, but the biggest difference was found for lycopene: a 31 per cent reduced risk in the heavy intake group over the light eaters. Lycopene is commonly available in tomatoes and especially in cooked tomatoes and processed tomato products as in pizza and ketchup.

Lycopene has also been shown to be highly preventative against prostate cancer in several studies from Harvard Medical School. It reduces risk of prostate cancer; it reduces risk of aggressive prostate cancer; and it reduces risk of fatal prostate cancer.

One explanation may be that it has been shown to be as good or even better at reducing blood fat levels that statins. a 25 mg supplement of lycopene can lower cholesterol levels by 10%. It is dose-dependent and needs to be consumed wih a little oil or fat to get the maximum possible level into the blood stream.

Go to: Pancreatic Cancer Overview - symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives



1. Dietary intake of lycopene is associated with reduced pancreatic cancer risk; André Nkondjock, Parviz Ghadirian, Kenneth C Johnson, Daniel Krewski,; J Nutr; 2005 Mar;135(3):592-7. 


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