Green Tomato may Help Cure Cancer - Research
#1
I have always read that unripe tomato is poisonous because it contains a glycoalkaloid called tomatine. But I’m quite surprise when I came across a research that claims that tomatine may help cure cancer. Some people also eat tomato leaves as vegetables! I guess I’ll follow suit. Below is the research:

Quote:Title: Tomatine-Containing Green Tomato Extracts Inhibit Growth of Human Breast, Colon, Liver, and Stomach Cancer Cells


Interpretive Summary: In a collaborative study with colleagues at Korean universities, we found that tomatine-rich green tomato extracts and pure tomatine inhibited the growth of cancer cells. These findings extend related observations on the anticarcinogenic potential and other beneficial effects of the tomato glycoalkaloid tomatine and suggest that consumers may benefit by not only eating high-lycopene red tomatoes, but also high-tomatine green tomatoes. Our results also suggest the need to create high-tomatine red tomatoes as well as tomatine-containing potatoes. Such tomatine containing potatoes are currently being developed by John Bamberg associated with the USDA/ARS Vegetable Crops Research Unit, Madison, Wisconsin.

Technical Abstract: Tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) synthesize the glycoalkaloids dehydrotomatine and a–tomatine, possibly as a defense against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and insects. We investigated six green and three red tomato extracts for their ability to induce cell death in human cancer and normal cells using a microculture tetrazolium (MTT) assay. Compared to untreated controls, the high-tomatine green tomato extracts strongly inhibited the following human cancer cell lines: breast (MCF-7), colon (HT-29), gastric (AGS), hepatoma (liver) (HepG2), as well as normal human liver cells (Chang). There was little inhibition of the cells by the three low-tomatine red tomato extracts. We also evaluated cell death induced by the pure glycoalkaloids dehydrotomatine and a-tomatine isolated from green tomatoes and characterized by HPLC, GC, and GC/MS, as well as their respective aglycones tomatidenol and tomatidine. a-Tomatine was highly effective in inhibiting all the cell lines. Dehydrotomatine, tomatidenol, and tomatidine had little, if any effect on cell inhibition. The results show that the susceptibility to destruction varies with the nature of the alkaloid and plant extract and the type of cancer cell. These findings extend related observations on the anticarcinogenic potential of glycoalkaloids and suggest that consumers may benefit by not only eating high-lycopene red tomatoes, but also green tomatoes containing glycoalkaloids. Possible mechanisms of the anticarcinogenic and other beneficial effects and the significance of the cited observations for breeding improved tomatoes and for the human diet are discussed.

Citation: Friedman, M., Levin, C.E., Lee, S., Hyung-Jeong, K., Lee, I., Byun, J., Kosukue, N. 2009. Tomatine-Containing Green Tomato Extracts Inhibit Growth of Human Breast, Colon, Liver, and Stomach Cancer Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57:5727-5733.


Wikipedia also said that tomatine has insecticidal, fungicidal and antimicrobial properties. It has been shown to have multiple health benefits. High-tomatine tomato is consumped in Peru without any toxic effect. Dried tomato leaves which contain higher level of tomatine are used as flavoring without problem. This Newyork Times article will convince you to start eating green tomatoes and tomato leaves.
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#2
I'm glad to know this. I'll start eating tomato leaves then.
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