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New Harvard Study Shows Men Who Regularly Eat Tomato-Rich Foods May Lower Their Risk of Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, March 5 /PRNewswire/ — A new comprehensive analysis conducted
by a team of Harvard researchers confirms earlier study findings linking diets
rich in tomato products to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. The Harvard
scientists used the most comprehensive dietary assessment to date of
tomato-based products and lycopene intake among a group of more than 47,000
U.S. male health professionals over 12 years. They found that men who
consumed two or more servings a week of tomato sauce significantly reduced
their risk of developing prostate cancer. One in six American men develop
prostate cancer, the leading cancer diagnosed among men in the U.S., resulting
in an estimated 30,000 deaths each year.

“Our data suggests it may be prudent to recommend increased consumption of
tomato-rich foods. In fact, our study shows that in men, one serving of
tomato sauce per week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer,” says Edward
Giovannucci, M.D., Sc.D., of Harvard School of Public Health, the study’s lead
researcher. “This recommendation is in keeping with current health guidelines
to increase fruit and vegetable consumption.”

The Harvard findings, reported in the March 6 issue of the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute (JNCI), showed that diets that consistently included
tomato sauce and foods high in the antioxidant lycopene, might lower the risk
of prostate cancer by as much as 35%. Lycopene is the natural pigment that
gives tomatoes their red color. Nearly 85% of the dietary lycopene in the
American diet is obtained from tomatoes and processed tomato products.
According to Dr. Giovannucci, “We observed a stronger association with
lycopene and prostate cancer reduction when we took into consideration the
body’s ability to absorb lycopene. Laboratory studies have shown the body is
better able to absorb lycopene from cooked tomatoes and processed tomato
products than from raw tomatoes. A small amount of oil has also been shown to
enhance absorption.” Serving-for-serving, tomato-based products such as
tomato soup and tomato sauce are also more concentrated sources of lycopene,
with three-to-five times the amount found in a medium raw tomato.

In their conclusions, the researchers noted that beyond lycopene, tomato
products might have other beneficial tomato-based components. While they
recommend increased consumption of tomatoes and tomato-based foods, they point
out that the benefits and safety of lycopene supplements needs to be
specifically evaluated.

The potential benefit of lycopene first came to the attention of the
public in December 1995, when Dr. Giovannucci and his colleagues at Harvard
reported an inverse association between the intake of tomato products and
dietary lycopene and prostate cancer. The 1995 study showed that the greatest
reduction in risk for prostate cancer (35% lower) was observed in men who
consumed more than two servings a week of tomato sauce compared to those who
did not or only rarely consumed tomato sauce.”

Commenting on the study, Steven Clinton, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Cancer
Prevention at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center stated,
“These new research findings provide additional valuable insight on the
potential role of tomato products in cancer prevention. This study supports
similar beneficial effects for several other types of cancer as well as
cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Clinton noted that as part of a healthy diet rich in fruits and
vegetables we should consider eating approximately five servings of a variety
of tomato products per week. “As little as six ounces of tomato-based
vegetable juice, an eight-ounce serving of tomato soup or a half-cup of pasta
sauce have been shown to help maintain blood lycopene levels at concentrations
associated with good health,” he said.

The National Institutes of Health-funded study known as the Health
Professionals Follow-Up Study consists of 51,529 U.S. male dentists,
optometrists, osteopaths, podiatrists, pharmacists and veterinarians, aged 40
to 76 years in 1986. The current analysis includes the period from 1986 –
1998.

Brought to you by Campbell Soup Company, one of the world’s leading
manufacturers of processed tomato products

Contact:
Barbara King
Aronow & Pollock Communications, Inc.
212-941-1414

SOURCE Campbell Soup Company

CONTACT: Barbara King of Aronow & Pollock Communications, Inc.,
+1-212-941-1414, for Campbell Soup Company/