Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tomatoes Prevents Vascular Diseases

Previous studies have shown dietary intake of tomatoes to be associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type-2 diabetes. In many instances the potential benefits of the fruit have been linked to the lycopene content.

Now a team of Japanese researchers has identified a nutrient in tomatoes which could help tackle the onset of vascular diseases by reducing blood lipid levels(1).

The team led by Dr Teruo Kawada, from Kyoto University and supported by the Research and Development Program for New Bio-industry Initiatives, Japan, focused their research on extracts which tackle dyslipidemia, a condition which is caused by an abnormal amount of lipids, such as cholesterol or fat, in the blood stream.

"Dyslipidemia itself usually causes no symptoms," said Kawada, "however; it can lead to symptomatic vascular diseases, such as arteriosclerosis and cirrhosis. In order to prevent these diseases it is important to prevent an increased build up of lipids."

The research, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, reveals that an extracted compound, 9-oxo-octadecadienoic, enhances fatty acid oxidation and contributed to the regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism.

Fractioned extracts of tomatoes containing the 9-oxo-ODA compound were shown increase the expression of specific genes involved in fatty acid oxidation and suppress the accumulation of triglycerides in mouse liver tissue.

These findings suggest that 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid has anti-dyslipidemia affects and can therefore help prevent vascular diseases.

"Finding a compound which helps the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases in foodstuffs is a great advantage to tackling these diseases," concluded Kawada. "It means that the tomato allows people to easily manage the onset of dyslipidemia through their daily diet."

Lifestyle changes that will decrease the risk of dyslipidemia are:

Smoking, Diet, and Exercise

Many experts also recommend attention to the following additional lifestyle modifications:

• Limitation of alcohol intake to one or two drinks per day

• Reduced calorie diet to promote weight loss, if overweight

• Stress management

Lycopene and 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid

Numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration. However, estimates of lycopene consumption have been based on reported tomato intake, not on the use of lycopene supplements.

Tomatoes are sources of other nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium. Processing of tomatoes increases the concentration of bioavailable lycopene. Tomato paste contains four times more bioavailable lycopene than fresh tomatoes.

CLICK HERE for a simple lycopene and 9-oxo-ODA -rich drink made with tomato paste.

Looking for tomato paste?

Hunt’s tomato paste is available at all our pharmacies

Journal Reference:

Kim YI, Hirai S, Takahashi H, Goto T, Ohyane C, Tsugane T, Konishi C, Fujii T, Inai S, Iijima Y, Aoki K, Shibata D, Takahashi N, Kawada T. 9-oxo-10(E),12(E)-octadecadienoic acid derived from tomato is a potent PPAR α agonist to decrease triglyceride accumulation in mouse primary hepatocytes. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 2010 Nov 18. [Epub ahead of print]

Mayo Clinic Health Document last updated Dec. 1, 2010

Fielding JM, Rowley KG, Cooper P, O’Dea K. Increases in plasma lycopene concentration after consumption of tomatoes cooked with olive oil. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2005;14 (2):131-136 131

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