In recent years, the health benefits of tomatoes grabbed some headlines. What got particular attention was lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables.
Lycopene has antioxidant properties. Research has shown that it helps combat cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even male infertility. If tomatoes aren’t your thing, you can get lycopene from carrots, watermelons, papaya… or in a tomato pill.
Scientists are now saying that a natural supplement made from tomatoes can keep heart disease and stroke at bay. Ateronon is made by a biotech company in England. Preliminary trials indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks. But experts say more studies need to be done.
“The new lycopene product Ateronon represents an entirely new approach to the treatment of high blood cholesterol,” says Anthony Leeds, trustee of the cholesterol charity Heart UK.
Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation adds: “Our advice to heart disease patients or those at high risk is to rely on proven medications prescribed by their doctor, and aim to get the benefits of a Mediterranean diet by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg.”
June 12th, 2009