Tomato, broccoli, soy and reduced prostate cancer risk: Whole foods or their bioactive components?

Krystle Zuniga, John W. Erdman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in U.S. men. PCa is a slow-growing cancer; therefore, identifying dietary interventions to reduce the risk or progression of PCa could greatly impact public health. A growing body of evidence has identified several foods that may reduce the risk of PCa. Mechanistic studies have investigated individual bioactives from foods to identify their anticarcinogenic properties; however, it is also important to study the whole food. In rodent models of PCa, we have shown that consumption of whole tomato powder was more effective than lycopene alone in reducing PCa progression. In a transgenic mouse model of PCa, broccoli consumption significantly altered expression of genes involved in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, which may be a mechanism by which broccoli intake has been associated with a reduced risk of aggressive PCa. Combinations of foods may be more protective than individual foods, but this should not be assumed, as antagonistic activity between bioactives has been suggested. We have investigated the combinations of tomato and broccoli and tomato and soy germ. Future diet and cancer research should continue to focus on whole foods and combinations of foods for better translation into recommendations for the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-282
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Food and Drug Analysis
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Apr 2012


  • Broccoli
  • Lycopene
  • Prostate cancer
  • Soy
  • Tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology


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