July 29, 2011 18:55 ET

Study: Lycopene and Sulforaphane: Healthy Diet Boosters for Men

Robotic Surgery Specialist, Dr. David Samadi, Considers Foods Such as Tomatoes and Broccoli Components of the Need for Overall Healthy Eating and Exercise in the Prevention of Prostate Cancer

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 29, 2011) - In the continued fight to prevent and treat all types of cancers, new findings are continuously published regarding the potential benefits of certain foods and healthy diets. Two foods that have recently been shown to have a specific impact on prostate cancer prevention and prostate cancer treatment are tomatoes and broccoli. Dr. David Samadi, Vice Chairman, Department of Urology, and Chief of Robotics and Minimally Invasive Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, continues to stay abreast of the impact that lycopene and sulforaphane, found in these two foods respectively, have on men and prostate cancer.

Lycopene, the red pigment found in foods such as tomatoes and watermelon, has been promoted as an antioxidant. Studies show that men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer by consuming a variety of red fruits and vegetables. Further, research indicates that men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer can slow the development of existing prostate cancer cells by increasing their lycopene intake. However, the reported benefits of lycopene as a prostate cancer-prevention agent vary greatly; statistics across multiple studies indicate reduction of prostate cancer risk from 40 percent to in excess of 80 percent as the result of increased lycopene intake.

Another cancer super food often discussed is broccoli. Sulforaphane is broccoli's active nutrient shown to have prostate cancer fighting properties. Last month, Oregon State University issued the findings of a study conducted among African American men, indicating that sulforaphane can destroy prostate cancer tumors while leaving normal cells healthy. There has even been research focused on the added benefits of combining tomatoes and broccoli to reduce the size of prostate cancer tumors.

Dr. Samadi embraces information regarding healthy diets and prostate cancer: "We may not know all there is to know about the prostate cancer-fighting benefits of foods like tomatoes and broccoli, but I am encouraged to hear that men are continually reminded of the role that fruits and vegetables play in their wellbeing. Exercise and a healthy diet are easy steps for men to take." The exercise component is important to note, as obesity can be a factor in prostate cancer risk and can pose issues during robotic prostate surgery.

The National Cancer Institute believes that roughly one-third of all cancer deaths may be diet related and are in the early stages of a five-year trial to evaluate the potential for decreased prostate cancer progression via dietary intervention consisting of high vegetable intake (primarily tomatoes, broccoli and carrots). "It will be interesting to follow this study," notes Dr. Samadi. "I'm intrigued to learn about the food-cancer connection, and there's no denying that diets rich in healthy foods enhance our overall wellness."

However, Dr. Samadi notes, "No one food or lifestyle change will do it all. The important thing is for men to realize that they do have control over their prostate health." In addition to diet and exercise, Dr. Samadi is a major proponent of early PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) screening. Men over age 50 should have annual prostate cancer screenings and high-risk men (shown to be African American men or those with genetic predispositions) should do so beginning at age 40. As a robotic prostatectomy expert, Dr. Samadi knows that prevention is critical to the elimination of prostate cancer overall.

For more information, please view the following links:

Prostate cancer screening

Prostate cancer prevention

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