The protective effect of tomato products against prostate cancer has been suggested in many studies, but researchers remain uncertain about the exact mechanisms. Valeri V. Mossine, Ph.D., research assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Missouri and colleagues demonstrated that FruHis, an organic carbohydrate present in dehydrated tomato products, exerts a strong protective effect.
Researchers divided rats into groups of 20 and fed them a control diet or a diet that included tomato paste, tomato powder or tomato paste plus additional FruHis. All animals were then injected with prostate cancer-causing chemicals. Animals fed the tomato paste plus FruHis diet had the longest survival from cancer at 51 weeks compared with 50 weeks in the tomato powder group, 45 weeks in the tomato paste alone group and 40 weeks in the control group.
On post-mortem exam, prostate tumours were found in 10 percent of the rats that had been given a combination of tomato paste and FruHis, compared with 30 percent of animals in the tomato powder group, 25 percent in the tomato paste alone group and 60 percent in the control group. Mossine said the protective effect of tomato-based products was restricted to prostate tumours, which is consistent with other research on tomatoes and cancer. Incidence of other tumours was too small to examine.
In vitro, Mossine and colleagues evaluated the anti-cancer properties of FruHis and 14 other D-fructose amino acids and found that FruHis in a concentrated form protected against DNA damage known to lead to prostate cancer. When combined with lycopene, FruHis stopped cancerous cell growth more than 98 percent of the time. Human trials are certainly warranted.
MEDICA.de; Source: American Association for Cancer Research