Lycopene, the carotene that is responsible for the redness of tomatoes and the colour of water melon could help reduce your risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC), a type of kidney cancer.
Published in the journal Cancer, researchers studied the dietary intake and incidence of RCC in over 95,000 postmenopausal women who enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative between 1993 and 1998. The study collected data until 2013.
Two hundred and forty women had developed RCC by the end of the trial. Comparing the incidence of RCC to vitamins and carotenes with known antioxidant properties (b-carotene, a-carotene, b-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin E) only lycopene showed a relationship.
The group that had the most lycopene in their diet had a 39% less chance of developing RCC compared to the group that had the least.
Did we mention that lycopene is present in tomato based products such as pasta sauce, tomato soup and ketchup? We have measured it ourselves with our own in house test. Also as it is soluble in oil some studies have suggested it gets into your body more easily when accompanied by some fat or oil so cooking or salads with an oil based dressing seem to be the way to go.