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.
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)-
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