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Pizza could cut cancer risk

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MILAN, Italy, Jul 22, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Italian researchers claim eating pizza regularly reduced the risk of developing throat cancer by 59 percent, a report said Tuesday.

The risk of developing colon cancer also fell by 26 percent and mouth cancer by 34 percent, they claimed.

The researchers polled 3,300 people who had developed cancer of the mouth, esophagus, throat or colon and 5,000 people who had not developed cancer, the BBC reported.

Those who ate pizza at least once a week had less chance of developing cancer, they found.

Dr. Silvano Gallus of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmaceutical Research, who led the research, said, "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 secret could be lycopene, an antioxidant chemical in tomatoes, which is thought to offer some protection against cancer, and which gives the fruit its traditional red color.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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