Tomatoes or lycopene versus prostate cancer: is evolution anti-reductionist?


Gann PH, Khachik F.

Year Published: 



J Natl Cancer Inst.


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Occasionally, but not often, positive things happen in the field of cancer prevention science to popular, good-tasting foods. Cruciferous vegetables have been the subject of intense study, but these foods might be—to modify the expression—an easy pill but a hard food for the public to swallow. By contrast, tomatoes (scientifically classified as a fruit) have overcome their earlier reputation as an inedible and possibly toxic food to become one of the most heavily consumed fruits or vegetables in the Western diet—mostly in the form of pizza, salsa, chili, pasta sauce, and ketchup. Americans consume an average of 91 pounds of tomatoes per capita per year, second only to potatoes among all fruits and vegetables...