Tomatoes – and Sex – Lower Prostate Cancer Risk
If you are worried about developing prostate cancer, science is pointing the way to lower your risk of malignancy. And it may be no more complicated than eating lots of tomatoes and having a very active sex life.
Two recently published studies indicate prostate cancer risk is lowered by 18 per cent in men who eat over 10 portions of tomatoes each week, and by 20 per cent in men who have sex every day.
The tomato study looked at the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged between 50 and 69 with prostate cancer and compared with 12,005 cancer-free men and found that men with a good uptake of selenium, calcium, and foods rich in lycopene had less prostate cancer.
The Harvard Medical School sex study, the largest to date on the frequency of ejaculation and prostate cancer, looked at 32,000 men and found that men aged 40-49 who ejaculate 21 or more times a month reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 22 per cent compared to men who ejaculate four to seven times a month.
It has been theorised that regular orgasms may flush out cancer-causing chemicals in the prostate or that if sperm is regularly cleaned out to allow new cells to develop, it helps stop the build-up of old cells that might be more likely to turn cancerous.
Tomatoes for Prostate Cancer Prevention
Tomatoes are beneficial for preventive prostate health researchers believe because they contain lycopene, an antioxidant which fights toxins that cause damage to DNA and cells.
Lead researcher Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol and Bristol Nutrition said the findings suggest that tomatoes and related products like tomato juice and baked beans – may be important in prostate cancer prevention.
The study also examined recommendations on physical activity, diet and body weight for cancer prevention published by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and found that only recommendations that reduced prostate cancer risk were the dietary ones to eat a lot of fruit, vegetables and dietary fibre.
Cancer Risk Lower With Daily Sex
The Harvard orgasm study analysed the average monthly frequency of ejaculation at different ages.
It found that the more frequently a man ejaculated throughout his life, the lower his risk of prostate cancer even when results were adjusted to take into account diet and lifestyle factors.
The risk for prostate cancer was 20% lower in men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month than in men who ejaculated 4 to 7 times a month. At ages 40 to 49, men most (38.0%) reported 8 to 12 ejaculations per month; only 8.8% reported at least 21 ejaculations per month.
Dr Jennifer Rider, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, summarized: “Safe sexual activity could be good for prostate health.”
She said the results are ‘particularly encouraging’ but should be interpreted with caution.
More research should be carried out into the specific changes in the prostate caused by ejaculation, to understand how it reduces the risk of prostate cancer.
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