Don't Bash the Tomato!

As an Italian—I admit—I overreact when people bash the tomato, figuratively and especially literally! But this kind of “research” really peeves me. Apparently studies have determined that lypocene does not prevent cancer. Here’s the scoop from the AFP:
The FDA's review, which appears in the July 10 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, refutes numerous studies which have pointed to a link between ingesting lycopene and cutting cancer risk.


The "analysis found no credible evidence that lycopene, either in food or in a dietary supplement, was associated with reduced risk of any of the cancers evaluated," according to chief researcher Claudine Kavanaugh.

The review "found no evidence that tomatoes reduced the risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical or endometrial cancer."
And in case you’re like me—and learn better with pictures—check out this ABC News video report:


Oh what the heck, what’s one more report? Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times presents Lycopene Does Not Fight Off Prostate Cancer, Study Shows:
The study included 28,243 men, 55 to 74 years old, who were recruited as part of a larger cancer screening. The researchers measured blood concentrations of lycopene, beta carotene, lutein and other carotenoids in 692 randomly selected men in the sample who later developed prostate cancer, and 844 men who did not.


After controlling for other variables, the scientists found no link between prostate cancer and blood concentrations of lycopene or other carotenoids, except that men with the highest blood levels of beta carotene were somewhat more likely to suffer from aggressive disease than those with the lowest concentrations.
Articles like this are rampant; claiming that one particular vitamin or mineral doesn’t do what we thought it does, in this case protect against cancer, but as Dr. Fuhrman will tell you. This is a dumb way of looking at it; one vitamin won’t save the day. You must consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes—bio-diversity! After all, Monkeys Don’t Sit Under Banana Trees Eating Bananas All Day:
All primates, including humans, are driven to consume food from a variety of categories. Contrary to popular belief, a monkey does not sit under a banana tree eating bananas all day. He eats bananas and then may travel half a mile away to find a different type of food. He has an innate drive to consume variety; just satisfying the caloric drive is not enough. Likewise, children [or humans] will not be satisfied with eating only one or two foods; they will want to eat a portion of one food and want another type of food. As a higher-order animal with a bigger brain, we search for a variety of nutrient sources, and this variety assures that we get the broad assortment of nutrients that increases our immune function and longevity potential.
In the interest of preserving the good name of the tomato, here are a few posts singing its praises:
And just to spite all the tomato bashers out there—I’M PUTTING EXTRA TOMATO ON MY SALAD TONIGHT!
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