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Study Shows a Tomato-Rich Diet May Help Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer

Tomatoes have many different health benefits.

Researchers are constantly looking for ways to help people reduce their risk of developing all forms of cancer. A study conducted by researchers from Rutgers University and Ohio State University revealed a diet rich in tomatoes may help protect postmenopausal women who are at risk for developing breast cancer.

"The advantages of eating plenty of tomatoes and tomato-based products, even for a short period, were clearly evident in our findings," Adana Llanos, PhD, the study's first author and assistant professor of epidemiology at Rutgers University, said in a statement.

Some fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients such as phytochemicals. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which can help reduce the chance of developing breast cancer in those who have a high risk factor.

The study examined 70 women for 20 weeks. During the first 10-week period the participants ate tomato products daily, which contained a total of 25 milligrams of lycopene. During the second installment of the project, each person consumed 20 grams of soy protein each day.

When the women consumed tomatoes, their levels of adiponectin, which helps regulate blood sugar and fat levels, increased 9 percent. The study also showed that women who maintain a healthy weight can benefit from eating tomatoes even more.

According to the American Cancer Society, lycopene is responsible for giving tomatoes their color, and it is already known to lower the risk of prostate, lung and stomach cancer.

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