Posted on Jan 30, 2013, 6 a.m.
Increased consumption of lycopene, an antioxidant compound found abundantly in tomatoes, associates with a reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.
Lycopene is an antioxidant compound present in red-and pink-colored fruits and vegetables, most notably tomatoes. A number of previous studies suggest that circulating lycopene is inversely associated with cardiovascular disease risk. Paul F. Jacques, from Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues analyzed data collected on subjects enrolled in the Framingham Offspring Study, 314 of whom had cardiovascular disease, 171 people with coronary heart disease, and 99 people affected by stroke. The average lycopene intake among the study subjects was 7.9 mg per day. The team calculated the lycopene intake was inversely associated with a 17% reduction in cardiovascular disease incidence and a 26% decrease in coronary heart disease incidence; no association was observed for stroke incidence. The study authors submit that: "The present study of lycopene intake and [cardiovascular disease] provides supporting evidence for an inverse association between lycopene and [cardiovascular disease] risk.”
Paul F. Jacques, Asya Lyass, Joseph M. Massaro, Ramachandran S. Vasan and Ralph B. D'Agostino Sr. “Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD.” British Journal of Nutrition, Jan. 13, 2013