Pizza Reduces Cancer Risk, Reveals Joyous New Research

Chris Greenhough

Pizza can reduce your chance of contracting certain cancers, new research has shown.

Italian researchers say the carb-heavy snack reduces the risk of cancer because it contains lycopene, an antitoxidant that forms part of the tomato sauce.

Lycopene, reveals a new study, decreases the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59 percent. It can also lower your chance of getting colon cancer by 26 percent and mouth cancer by 34 percent.

But researchers are quick to remind us that a healthy diet also contributes to reducing cancer risks. And of course, obesity (from eating, say, too much pizza) can actually increase the risk of cancers. It's a tightrope, folks.

Research on the cancer-reducing properties of pizza came from studying the pizza-eating habits of 3,000 people with certain cancers versus 5,000 of those without. The latter group, say scientists, ate pizza at least once a week. Research leader Dr. Silvano Gallus, of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Milan, told BBC News:

"We knew that tomato sauce could offer protection against certain tumors, but we did not expect pizza as a complete meal also to offer such protective powers."

The study has attracted some cautious responses. Cancer Research UK's Nicola O'Connor told the Beeb:

"This study is interesting. But before people start dialing the pizza takeaway, they should consider that pizza can be high in saturated fat, salt and calories."

What do you think of the discovery pizza can decrease the risk of cancer? Any plans to up your pizza intake in the near future?

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