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Tomatoes can Lower High Blood Pressure - Study in Israel Recommends Tomato Sauce

January 26th 2006

Tomatoes can Lower High Blood Pressure - Study in Israel Recommends Tomato Sauce


It appears tomatoes can benefit people with high blood pressure. Israeli scientists asked 54 people with moderately high blood pressure, even when treated with medication, to add a daily dose of concentrated tomato extract in capsule form to their diet. Rather than add another medication the patients opted to try the tomato extract, equivalent to 4 tomatoes per day.     

The researchers conducted a double blind study where the patients were either given a placebo or a capsule of tomato complex.  The complex of ingredients included potent antioxidants, such as lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene, beta-carotene, tocopherols (vitamin E), phospolipids and phytosterols.  In a published article by Jamie Talan in Newsday, Dr. Esther Parn head of the hypertension division at Soroka medical center and professor of medicine at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, said the drop in blood pressure was equal to drop they would have looked for by prescribing another medication.  “But there are no side effects”, she said.


Those taking the placebo did not see a drop in blood pressure.  The patients taking the extract capsules saw a 10-point reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 4-point drop in diastolic pressure.  The systolic pressure is the top number. 

The researchers believe that the tomato’s high concentrations of antioxidants may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.  When the bad cholesterol (the LDL) oxidizes it turns sticky and “clumps in the arterial walls”, according to the Newsday article.  The tomato’s nutrients make the bad cholesterol 90% more resistant to oxidation.


Can you get the same effect by eating pasta?  It may be better to cut down on the noodles and increase the amount of tomato sauce you eat.  It is hard to eat 4 tomatoes per day, but the sauces can contain up to 10-times the nutrients of a tomato.   

Previous studies have found that tomato ingredients help protect against prostate cancer and recently against cardiovascular disease.  This is the first study that shows a reduction in blood pressure.

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer

Books on Heart Disease

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