Never underestimate the power of the tomato – what was once regarded as a good source of lycopene that help prevent cancer, scientists have now discovered that tomatoes may combat radiation damage in the body.
A joint study by researchers from Berlin, The University of Manchester and Keele University, recently came up with findings for their extensive research on lycopene and its effective properties that helps provide protection from harmful radiation.
Lycopene is one of the known carotenoids that provide pigmentation for plants that are found in fruits and vegetables and shows promise that as radiation therapy is being used to treat a wide range of tumours but has side effects in the body. This dietary carotenoid sparked scientific interest that could help counter the damaging effects of radiation in the body.
The research team, headed by Dr. Ruth Edge together with Professors George Truscott, Fritz Boehm and Christian Witt, spearheaded the study undertaken at the University of Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility for the Dalton Nuclear Institute.
Lycopene has been found to show protective properties from harmful gamma rays and one advantage of this carotenoid is its dietary properties that make it absorbable in the body.
This means that a good supply of tomatoes, cooked in oil will help the body absorb lycopene, thus making it easy to include it in the regular diet, however, the study also noted that its protective properties are reduced when oxygen concentration is elevated.
Dr. Edge said that their findings would still be helpful in determining the different variables for future studies that would serve to provide reference to what they have established and future research may now be able to focus more on improvements for radiation therapy.
Radiation may be helpful for therapeutic purposes, however, it must be administered using controlled levels as going beyond thresholds could be damaging to the body.
Common side effects that come with radiation-therapy treatments often result to skin problems, fatigue, baldness or shedding of hair and long-term effects.
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