The next time someone asks you to go easy on junk food and forego that slice of pepperoni pizza, tell them it reduces cancer risk. That's right, a team of Italian researchers has concluded that eating pizza can be beneficial to one's health, as it reduces the risk of developing various types of cancer.
Pizza contains the chemical compound lycopene, an antioxidant that is part of the tomato sauce used in pizzas.
"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," reports The Inquisitr.
The anti-oxidant lycopene helps keep various types of cancer at bay. According to the study, it decreases the risk of an individual developing oesophageal cancer and colon cancer by 59 percent and 26 percent, respectively. The risk of developing mouth cancer is reduced by 34 percent.
"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," noted the Italian researchers.
The Italian researchers reached the conclusion by looking at the pizza-eating habits and medical records of nearly 3,000 individuals who were suffering from cancer and 5,000 who were not affected by the disease.
While the reduction of cancer risk is a positive, one cannot be myopic and neglect the fact that eating too much pizza can eventually lead to obesity, as well as other health problems.
"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," says specialist Nicola O'Connor of Cancer Research UK.
Therefore, the researchers urge that people should eat pizza occasionally and try to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle.