The juicy tomato, a daily feature of the Israeli diet, may be helping keep Israelis healthy. The tomato, which was once considered poisonous, is in fact a source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that has been proven to have significant promise in fighting cancer and other diseases. The positive effect of tomato products rich in lycopene is due to their ability to suppress biomarkers of oxidative stress and to decrease the risk of chronic conditions, such as coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, and type II diabetes. Its association with decreased incidence of prostate and breast cancer has also been well established.
Now a recent study carried out at Rabin Medical Center by Dr. Herzel Salman and Dr. Michael Bergman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Hasharon Hospital (RMC) with Dr. Hannah Besler, senior researcher, under the direction of Prof. Meir Djaldetti, examined the effect of lycopene on malignant cell lines. Their findings were indeed promising, indicating that lycopene repressed the proliferation capacity of human colon carcinoma, myeloid leukemia, and lymphoma cell lines at high dosage levels of lycopene. Their findings were published in the international scientific journal Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy and will be further elaborated on in the future. Any and all hope in the fight against cancer is indeed positive and the Israeli diet may hold a clue.
The protein, called NID-13, has proven effective in lab mice; researchers have registered a patent.