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Furmano's Tomato products are an excellent source of Lycopene. Tomatoes are chock full of lycopene. Fresh tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, but cooked tomato products such as tomato and pizza sauce, tomato juice, and even ketchup, are more concentrated. For example, one fresh tomato contains 3.7 mgs of lycopene, while one cup of tomato sauce has 24.8 mgs of lycopene. Because of the form of lycopene in this cooked type of tomato product, the body can more easily absorb the chemical.

The United States Food and Drug Administration has refused to allow health claims that tomatoes or lycopene reduce the risk of getting cancer. For such claims to appear on the labels of food products, the FDA must approve them before they are marketed.

FDA has found:

. No credible evidence that there was an association between lycopene intake and a reduced risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian, endometrial, or pancreatic cancer.
. No credible evidence for an association between tomato consumption and a reduced risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical, or endometrial cancer . Very limited evidence to support an association between tomato consumption and reduced risks of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreatic cancers.

Q. What is Lycopene?
A. Technically, Lycopene is a carotinoid that is found in red fruits, such as tomatoes and watermelons. Carotinoids are natural pigments that act as antioxidants for the body. Antioxidants serve to lessen the effects of free radicals, blamed by some in the scientific community for damage to cells. Lycopene gets its name from the species classification of the tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum.

Q. Why should I be concerned?
A. Numerous studies have shown that eating foods high in lycopene is beneficial in warding off heart disease and several types of cancer such as lung, prostate, cervical, digestive tract and breast. Continuing studies are looking at the affect of lycopene on such conditions as macular degenerative disease and serum lipid oxidation.

Those who support those findings urge people to include lycopene in their diet for general good health.

Not everyone has accepted the benefits of lycopene. But because of the promising results of early research, the health community is taking a serious look at the affect of lycopene in the diet. Of course, most health professionals agree that a diet rich with fruits and vegetables is part of a healthy lifestyle.
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