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.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Books on Heart Disease
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