Recently, I have read an article online claiming that:

A Canadian study has found an association between tomato intake and prostate cancer risk.Not only that, vegetable juices and ketchup were also associated with prostate cancer. According to the study, "Tomato intake had a significant positive association with prostate cancer risk for highest versus lowest quartiles (OR=1.6; 95 percent CI: 1.2-2.0)." The abbreviations OR and CI stand for odds ratio and confidence index, respectively. Ninety five percent confidence index is very high.

Is there any other studies to validate this or any truth to this claim?

  • 1
    Look for a horse race of different methods of statistical implications on the casual relationship between cancer and tomato intake? You need a statistician, who has the expertise to lie with statistics. Mar 26, 2013 at 14:18
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    I thought it was the exact OPPOSITE. The Lycopene in tomatoes prevented prostate cancer. Your source seems very (ahem) sketchy though.
    – JasonR
    Mar 26, 2013 at 14:24
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    give a statistician something to prove, and he can come up with numbers he can cook to prove it. I still clearly remember the scare story that washing your hair causes skincancer of the skull. Wasn't until you read between the lines and did some math that you would know that you'd need to use about 1000 bottles of shampoo a day to have a 0.01% increase in the chance to develop skin cancer.
    – jwenting
    Mar 27, 2013 at 7:00
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    @jwenting: the fact that most people cannot understand statistics does not mean that statisticians lie. Obviously, if you do not chose the correct tests your results are wrong (they are not lies, unless you maliciously chose the wrong test).
    – nico
    May 8, 2013 at 13:29
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    Original Canadian Study. Contains this phrase: "The specific results for consumption of tomato-based foods may be spurious due to the issue of multiple testing and this may explain the direction of the observed association"
    – Oddthinking
    May 8, 2013 at 13:49

1 Answer 1


Are tomatoes associated with increased risk of prostate cancer?

It's quite the opposite. Tomatoes are associated with decreased risk of prostate cancer.

You might want to look at this peer-reviewed study, it was carried out by researchers from the University of Bristol, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Bristol Nutrition Biomedical Research Unit, Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and the University of Oxford and funded by the NIHR and Cancer Research UK.

The large and huge study showed that there is a clear association between the consumption of more than 10 portions of tomatoes per week and an 18% reduction in risk of prostate cancer.

Vanessa Er, from the School of Social and Community Medicine at Bristol University, even said it with her own words:

Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention

If you don't want to read the study, you can view a summary about it here or here.

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