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Saint Peters, MO 63376-6414
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The latest contender in the ring of functional foods isn't widely known for its health properties. Researchers at a Milan pharmacology center found that among 8,000 Italians, those who ate pizza regularly had the lowest incidence of certain cancers. They developed esophageal cancer 59 percent less often than those who didn't eat pizza regularly, reported Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and were 26 percent less likely to get colon cancer. Another study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the Journal of Nutrition, found that women with the highest intake of tomato-based foods, including pizza, reduced their risk of heart disease by as much as 65 percent. That study was part of the ongoing Women's Health Study. Researchers suggest that lycopene, a nutrient found in dense quantities in tomato products may be responsible for the beneficial effects.