Tomatoes stop mouth cancer

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The antioxidant lycopene, abundant in tomatoes, has cut risk of prostate, colorectal, lung, breast, and cervical cancers, recent studies show. Now it seems to short-circuit a smoking-related precancerous mouth lesion called oral leukoplakia (OL)--white patches that turn into oral cancer up to 18% of the time. Researchers in India gave 58 people with OL 8 mg of lycopene, 4 mg, or no lycopene daily. After 3 months, biopsies showed that OL had disappeared in 55% of people taking 8 mg and 25% of those taking 4 mg; there was no reduction in those not taking lycopene.

GOOD LYCOPENE SOURCES A 6-ounce can of vegetable juice cocktail (17 mg), 1 cup of tomato soup (13 mg), or 1/4 cup of marinara sauce (10 mg).

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