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Thursday, 12 June 2014

"Tomato pill" has benefits for cardiovascular

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Tomato pill
Tomato pill

A daily supplement taken from a substance found in tomatoes may improve blood vessel function in patients with cardiovascular disease. It reveals that a study conducted at the University of Cambridge, UK, and published in the journal PLOS One

Other studies have linked the lycopene present in tomato substance with reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, new research has evaluated their effect on the function of blood vessels located in the forearm, which give evidence that the patient will develop vascular problems or not.

Thirty-six patients with cardiovascular disease and 36 healthy volunteers participated in the study. The volunteers received a supplement seven milligrams of lycopene or placebo treatment.

Patients with cardiovascular disease took statin drugs to lower cholesterol function. However, they still showed impaired endothelium - the inner lining of blood vessels - as compared to healthy volunteers. Having a healthy endothelium is an important factor in preventing the development of heart disease.

The researchers found that oral supplementation with seven milligrams of lycopene improved endothelial function in patients with cardiovascular disease, but has no effect in healthy volunteers.

Lycopene improved by 53% enlargement of blood vessels compared to patients treated with placebo. The result was considered by scholars as positive, since the constriction of blood vessels is a major factor that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

The study found that supplementation had no effect on blood pressure, arterial stiffness and lipid levels.

"We clearly showed that lycopene improves blood vessel function in patients with cardiovascular disease," said Joseph Cheriyan, University professor and an author of the study.

"This reinforces the need for a healthy diet in people with risk of heart disease and stroke. A 'tomato pill' is not a substitute for other treatments, but can provide additional benefits. Nevertheless, more studies would be needed to verify that she is able to reduce heart disease, "adds Cheriyan.

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