Taking Tomato Pill Improves Heart Health

Taking Tomato Pill Improves Heart Health

A study has discovered that taking a “tomato” pill could benefit those who are battling heart disease. Researchers have found that the antioxidant lycopene that is found in tomatoes helped promote heart health in some study participants.

The study published June 9 in the journal PLOS One included giving 72 participants Ateronon, a supplement tomato pill that contained seven milligrams of lycopene over the course of two months. 36 participants had cardiovascular diseases, while the other 36 were heart healthy.

Although the supplement did not have any effects of those who did not suffer from cardiovascular diseases, the research revealed that the pill widened the blood vessels of the 36 participants who did suffer from cardiovascular disease.

As a result, the tomato pill prevents heart disease and stroke. Narrowing of the blood vessels is one of the main factors that contribute to strokes and heart disease.

“We’ve shown quite clearly that lycopene improves the function of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients. It reinforces the need for a healthy diet in people at risk from heart disease and stroke,” said Dr. Joseph Cheriyan, a clinical pharmacologist at Addenbrook’e Hospital, and associate lecturer at the University of Cambridge, who led the study.

He added, “A daily ‘tomato pill’ is not a substitute for other treatments, but may provide added benefits when taken alongside other medication. However, we cannot answer if this may reduce heart disease – it would need much larger trials to investigate outcomes carefully.”

Other research has found that lycopene is more potent when it’s in a pureed form, such as in ketchup.

What is lycopene?

Lyopene is a naturally occurring carotenoid that gives tomatoes its red color.  One cup of tomato juice contains approximately 23 mg of lycopene. Although it is found in high amounts in tomatoes, it is also found in watermelons, pink guavas, pink grapefruits, and apricots.

Turning tomatoes into tomato juice, paste, or ketchup allows the body to easily use lycopene. Because lycopene is an antioxidant, it prevents cells from damage, which prevents cancer and prevents and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

Lyopene is safe when consumed in foods, but pregnant women should consult a doctor before using supplements.

Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Now that you have a healthy reason to dip your sweet potato fries into ketchup, tomatoes does more than just protect your heart. Not only have tomatoes have also been linked reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and improve circulation—all good for the heart—but they also improve eye sight, prevents aging, and detoxifies the body. Because of the high amounts of antioxidants, tomatoes ward of certain cancers. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that fight off carcinogens found in cigarettes. Tomatoes promote stomach health because they are full of fiber, which keeps you fuller longer and aid in healthy digestion.

A study from the University of California, found that organic tomatoes have higher levels of antioxidants because their fertilizers do not contains chemicals and pesticides.