Three cheers for the tomato
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
JP Lennard
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Three cheers for the tomato

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The tomato looks like being hailed as the health food of 2001; for the third time it has been cited as a fruit to counter health problems. First, a study at Harvard Medical School found that eating tomatoes, tomato sauce or even pizza more than twice a week substantially reduced the risk of prostate cancer. Then researchers discovered that tomatoes may also protect us from other cancers. Now, a study at the University of Toronto aims to show that tomatoes may counter osteoporosis. The secret of the tomato's success appears to lie in lycopene, the compound that gives the fruit its red colouring. Professor Venket Rau from the University of Toronto, is quoted in the Daily Telegraph as an expert on lycopene: Our studies have shown that daily consumption of about 40mg of lycopene is enough to substantially reduce free radicals in the body. As lycopene levels in the blood increase so the levels of oxidised compounds decrease. We hope now to show that the same effect may happen in bone cells. The human body cannot produce lycopene, which is why it must obtain it from food. However it is not raw tomatoes which combat disease, but products such as tomato sauce, tomato paste and even tomato soup. The key is in the cooking according to Professor Rau: It's only when tomatoes are cooked that the lycopene becomes active and the body can absorb it more easily.

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The tomato looks like being hailed as the health food of 2001; for the third time it has been cited as a fruit to counter health problems.
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JP Lennard
JP Lennard