Tomatoes are your best bet to prevent stomach cancer
08/09/2018 // Janine Acero // Views

Eating tomatoes may not only be good for your skin, but it may also help you prevent stomach cancer. According to a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology, tomato extracts can inhibit the growth of stomach cancer cells, which may be potentially useful in supporting conventional treatments.

Stomach cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide. It is more likely to occur in smokers, particularly men, and people over the age of 55. It also commonly affects people who are overweight or obese and those that have poor eating habits, such as consuming smoked and salted food, and a diet low in fiber.

The disease has also been linked to Helicobacter pylori infection, as well as genetic causes.

The researchers at the Sbarro Institute for Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia opined that the anti-tumor properties of tomatoes were not related to "specific components" such as lycopene, but that the tomatoes "should be considered in their entirety," said Daniela Barone, a researcher at the Oncology Research Center of Mercogliano (CROM), and one of the study authors.

After analyzing whole tomato lipophilic extracts, the scientists found that two Southern Italy cultivars, San Marzano and Corbarino, were able to inhibit the development, growth, and proliferation of cancer cells. The tomato extracts also induced apoptosis or cell death in malignant cells.

The findings also showed that treatment with the whole tomato extracts affected key processes within the cells which hindered their migration ability. This prevented the cells from moving around and spreading throughout the body.


"Our results prompt further assessment of the potential use of specific nutrients not only in the cancer prevention setting but also as a supportive strategy along with conventional therapies," said Professor Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Molecular Medicine, Temple University and Professor of Pathology and Oncology at the University of Siena in Italy.

The researchers believe that the study findings could give way to further research using different tomato varieties, analyzing them for different health benefits, and potentially applying the information in treatment and prevention methods for stomach cancer.

In the same vein, a study published in the Journal of Cellular Physiology revealed that regular consumption of tomatoes could reduce the development of skin cancer tumors.

Researchers found that mice that were fed a diet of tomato powder daily for 35 weeks had a 50 percent decrease in skin cancer tumors after exposure to UV (ultraviolet) light, compared to those which did not receive the tomato treatment.

Tomatoes are a staple in the Mediterranean diet

The future of stomach cancer treatments using tomatoes looks promising enough, but eating tomatoes, in general, promote better health and overall quality of life, thanks to their phytochemical content, which includes antioxidants, carotenoids, dietary fiber, and various vitamins and minerals. Tomatoes are also known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

Tomatoes have been used as an ingredient in numerous kinds of foods, including pasta dishes, ketchup, and pizzas.

One particular type of diet highlights tomatoes as one of its staple ingredients. The Mediterranean diet has become regarded as highly beneficial to overall health and weight management. It has also been associated with a reduced risk of cancer and many other chronic conditions.

Learn more about the many health benefits of the Mediterranean diet and its star ingredient at

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