It seems as though reprieve from prostate cancer is as close as your kitchen garden. This can mean the world to the estimated 32,000 men who are diagnosed with the disease annually. Further, statistics also show that nearly 10,000 men die due to the disease every year.
A novel study has demonstrated the immense health benefits of tomato and broccoli in the management of prostate cancer. Scientists have found that, certain compounds, present in both the vegetables, help in the reduction of tumors, when consumed together.
Researchers from the University of Illinois said that, the distinct compounds in the vegetables, act on separate biological pathways, to annihilate cancer cells. They have recommended that men should consume up to three quarters of a head of raw broccoli regularly and two to three tomatoes, which will give a tough fight to the disease.
John Erdman, Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the university, said, "Studies have shown that men who regularly eat servings of fresh tomatoes have up to a 40 per cent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, while the sulphur compounds in broccoli are known to be a mechanism that delays cancer growth. They are quite different agents, and do not have to be eaten together, but their effects seem to be very complementary."
During the study, scientists fed rats, implanted with prostate cancer cells, a diet comprising of 10 per cent tomato powder and 10 per cent broccoli powder. Another set of rats received either tomato or broccoli powders alone; the third set of rats were castrated. The finding revealed that after a period of 22 weeks, the rats which were fed a combination of tomato and broccoli witnessed a reduction in their tumors.
Professor Erdman said: "When eaten together, we see an additive effect. Cooked tomatoes may be better than raw tomatoes. The lesson is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables prepared in a variety of ways."
The study is published in the American journal, Cancer Research.