Combine Veggies for Cancer Protection

Eating certain vegetables together may offer more protection against cancer than eating them separately or getting the nutrients they contain from supplements. A recent animal study suggests that a combination of broccoli and tomatoes – both known for their cancer-preventive properties – seems to slow the progression of cancer and may be protective. Researchers at the University of Illinois fed separate groups of lab rats dried tomatoes, dried broccoli, a combination of the two, or the drug finasteride, which is being tested to prevent prostate cancer. Then they injected the rats with cells from human prostate tumors. Although all the rats developed cancer, those fed the vegetable powders developed smaller tumors that grew more slowly than the rats given the drug. The animals which got the tomato/broccoli combination had the smallest tumors. The researchers speculated that the combination of the two veggies maximizes the cancer-fighting potential of each. Results of the study were announced at a news conference sponsored by the American Institute for Cancer Research and will be published in the December 2004 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

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