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Synthetic Lycopene Slows Prostate Cancer

In another needless case of trying to improve on a healthy, natural means to treat disease, Dutch researchers are testing a synthetic version of lycopene after finding it slowed the growth of human prostate cancer tumors in mice.

In their research, scientists found a low dose of the synthetic lycopene slowed the growth of human prostate tumours implanted in the mice by more than 50 percent by day 42 of the study, compared to mice who had not had the treatment. And when the lycopene was combined with vitamin E, it reduced the growth of tumours by up to 73 percent.

One interesting finding: Low doses of both lycopene and vitamin E were the most effective, demonstrating "more does not necessarily equal better."

The good news is these findings tied in with other studies suggesting that lycopene and vitamin E could protect against the disease. And, to their credit, the Dutch scientists recommended all men regularly eat lycopene and vitamin E-rich foods, a similar verdict to a 2002 Harvard study.

Also, higher amounts of omega-3 fats will help protect against and treat prostate cancer. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in their diet while consuming very low levels of omega-3. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1.

BBC News September 30, 2004

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