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Lycopene, (a nutritient cartenoid) is what makes a tomato red. The deeper red a tomato is, the more lycopene it possesses - a valuable factor that may play an important role in protecting a man from prostate cancer. Lycopene is NOT produced in the body, so you have to get it by eating lycopene-rich foods or by taking lycopene tablets. Cooked, canned and processed tomatoes have a higher level of lycopene than raw tomatoes and lycopene is better absorbed if it is eaten with some fat, like olive oil, cheese or ground meat. According to a study done at Harvard Medical School, the greatest protection was offered by taking at least 6.5 mg of lycopene a day.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|