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Cancer beating tomato launched

11th April 2006

Supermarket giant Tesco has launched a new brand of tomato that it claims can help prevent some cancers.

The Healthy Living Tomato contains more than double the amount of the antioxidant lycopene of other vine tomatoes.

Lycopene is believed to stop cell damage and is thought to be particularly beneficial in preventing prostate, breast and colorectal cancers.

A recent study of thousands of men indicated that those who ate ten or more portions of tomatoes or tomato sauce a week were 45 per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Dr Chris Hiley, the Prostate Cancer Charity's head of policy and research, was less emphatic.

"We still can't come to a firm conclusion that the risk of prostate cancer is reduced by increasing lycopene intake," he said.

"But it is very clear that men should eat a varied and healthy diet, and tomato and tomato-based products have a place in that."

The new tomatoes will be on sale in packs of four at £1.89.