Claim: A Facebook page posits that tomatoes and garlic can be used to clean the prostate.
Verdict: Insufficient evidence. While some studies show tomato and garlic have properties that can promote prostate health and prevent prostate diseases, no studies show that their combination can be used to “clean the prostate.”
The prostate is a small gland in men that is part of the male reproductive system. The prostate is about the size and shape of a walnut. It sits low in the pelvis, below the bladder, and just in front of the rectum. The prostate helps make semen, the milky fluid that carries sperm from the testicles through the penis when a man ejaculates.
Recent statistics show that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind lung cancer. This development has made different people come up with ideas or solutions for cleaning the prostate.
A Facebook user, Eerifeoluwasimi, posted a reel on her page on how frequently drinking blended tomatoes and garlic can be used to clean the prostate.
In the one-minute 46-second video, a man is heard saying how important it is for people over 40 years to have a clean prostate and how to blend tomatoes and garlic. He says blending two cloves of garlic and one tomato with 500 millilitres of water can help inflammation and prevent diseases.
The video, which has gone viral, garnered 990 likes, 21 comments, and 709 shares as of August 5, 2023.
The virality and the importance of health issues prompted DUBAWA to investigate the assertion.
According to research done by Better Nutrition, tomatoes are high in food options for prostate health. This is because they’re loaded with lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant that helps protect against prostate cancer. Increased tomato consumption is linked with a lower risk of prostate cancer, and other research suggests that lycopene can slow the progression of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BHP).
Another study by Pubmed shows that men with the highest intake of onions, garlic, and scallions had a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer.
Similarly, a study by the National Library of Medicine shows that Garlic (Allium sativum) has been known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant effects. Owing to these effects, garlic and its preparations have been used to treat prostate cancer and relieve BPH symptoms for decades. The mechanism through which garlic may show anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects should be investigated further.
We spoke to Abiola Ayanbukola, a medical doctor at the Obafemi Awolowo University Hospital, who explained that tomatoes and garlic are recommended for prostate cancer. Still, there is no biological basis for ‘cleaning the prostate’.
She added that she does not advise her patients with prostate enlargement to eat or drink tomatoes and garlic. She said she only advises good diets, and it is generally good to eat fruits and vegetables.
“I can also ascertain that tomatoes and garlic have a positive effect on health and the prostate, but I can not guarantee the cleaning of the prostate because I have not seen anyone that it worked for,” she noted.
Doctor Busola Adebesin, a medical doctor in The Gambia, also stated that tomatoes contain abundant lycopene, so it is expected that they might contain some prostatic cancer cells. She also explained that one way to prevent a prostatic disease early is to correct eating habits.
For those who enjoy drinking alcohol and eating meat, changing and consuming a wide range of fruits and vegetables is important. Tomatoes, garlic, and beans, which are all rich in nutrients that promote prostate health, are recommended.
While tomatoes contain lycopene, responsible for blocking prostate cancer cells, more studies are required to see if its combination with garlic can clean the prostate.