In the United States alone there are more than 200,000 new cases of prostate cancer
each year, of which 30,000 men die each year, according to the American Cancer
Society. The survival rate at this time is five years after diagnosis. However, this survival
rate is increasing since there are some new treatments and because the disease has a
slow progression rate.
Eating a healthy diet and adding a daily dietary supplement may help prevent the
disease or, at least, slow the progression. There is a natural compound in tomatoes
called lycopene. Some studies suggest that it may be effective in prevention, care, and
keeping men with this cancer healthier.
Interest in the correlation between lycopene and the prevention and treatment of
prostate cancer has caused a surge in research in the last few years. It is the red
pigment in most red fruits and vegetables. It is also found in papaya, tomato and
watermelon and is mostly known for its antioxidant properties. It has been under the
research microscope for years now because of its cancer prevention possibilities.
Lycopene in particular has been the focus of thorough research in the hopes of coming
up with a dietary supplement to counter the risk of cancer. Unfortunately, lycopene and
prostate cancer research has, at best, only managed to give mixed results regarding the
true potential of its cancer prevention.
Early studies have suggested that it could partially inhibit certain cancer cells from
growing, but it turned out that the nature and impact of that research are just preliminary
and did not provide a great deal of information at that time. The publication of ongoing
studies has now created a great deal of hype. This hype has resulted in unexpected
swings of support that regard lycopene as one of the most effective natural weapons
against some cancer types, including prostate cancer.
In the recent years, the attention and interest in this particular antioxidant has grown,
especially in how it could turn things around in the fight against prostate cancer. Many
are considering this dietary supplement as a good cancer-fighting alternative. It gave
ketchup manufacturers a great idea to ride on this opportunity, and was them
advertising everywhere that their products are rich in lycopene.
In the year 2005, the FDA took it upon themselves to conduct in-depth analysis of every
available lycopene and prostate cancer research data available and concluded that
there was no defining link between lycopene and prostate cancer treatment. But they did
declare; however, that a strong association is present with the consumption of whole red
tomatoes to counter and reduce prostate cancer risks. Other agents aside from
lycopene that are present in tomatoes are thought to have a part in the cancer risk
reduction as well.
The American Cancer Society advises that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may lower
the risk for this cancer and recommends five or more servings of these foods daily. It
further recommends that men, especially, should include lots of tomatoes in their diets.
They may be cooked, raw, or in tomato- based products. It seems that lycopene is not
damaged by heat and, therefore, it remains potent in processed tomato products.
Several more recent studies in 2010 have indicated that lycopene may even prevent this
cancer. Even though the mechanism by which this happens is still to be determined.
While the lycopene component will not affect everyone’s efforts, it should not be simply
disregarded. The fact remains that with other vital components found in various food
sources, lycopene contributes to the overall effort in the fight against certain forms of
cancer, particularly with prostate cancer.
Currently, many doctors are not actively advising men about lycopene for risk reduction.
Instead, they stick to the advocacy of having a well-balanced healthy diet, and that
includes juicy, red tomatoes. This is great news since most tomato-rich products
anywhere in the market are relatively cheap. They are also easily found in most people’s
Putting all these together, anyone would surely agree that there is indeed hope for the
lycopene and prostate cancer matter. It would also be ideal if all these developments
were taken into account when selecting the right prostate supplements available in the
market today. Take time and effort to research and consider individual ingredients and
their proper functions in your body so you can come up with an informed decision.
Natural dietary supplements are those most often recommended.
As always, one should always consult with his health care provider before adding any
supplement to the diet