Scientific Labeling Process Will Track Lycopene, Other Substances

URBANA, Ill. (CBS) – University of Illinois scientists have developed a new tool to help learn more about potential cancer-fighting substances in tomatoes.

The same group of scientists is behind the research suggested that lycopene pigment that makes tomatoes red can help reduce risks for prostate cancer.

The scientists plan to use a scientific labeling process to track lycopene and similar substances in the body, and they have secured federal funding for the research.

The tool may help determine if the substances themselves are protective, or if there’s something about how the body breaks them down that is beneficial.

Human nutrition professor John Erdman says the work should help advance the fight against cancer.

Researcher Nancy Engelmann says lycopene has received all the attention, but it may be that two little-known colorless substances are also beneficial.

In 2007, U of I researchers also discovered that tomatoes and broccoli together are better at shrinking prostate tumors when they are both part of the daily diet than when they’re eaten alone.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE