Thursday, January 12, 2006

The tomato vs. hypertension, emphysema

A dietary supplement derived from tomatoes may help treat mildly elevated blood pressure, the results of a small study suggest.

Researchers in Israel found that a daily dose of tomato extract helped lower blood pressure among 31 men and women with mild hypertension. On average, their systolic pressure --the top number in a blood-pressure reading --dropped 10 points, while their diastolic pressure, or bottom number, dipped four points, both statistically significant differences.

People who are already being treated for high blood pressure should talk with their doctors before trying tomato extract.

Eating a diet rich in tomato products and other antioxidant-containing fruits and vegetables is certainly a smart move,the researcher said. But, she added, a person would need to down about four tomatoes to get the nutrients in the one tomato extract capsule used in this study.

In another study, drinking tomato juice completely prevented emphysema in mice exposed to tobacco smoke. The report suggests smokers and non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke could benefit from daily intake of tomato juice.

Significant destruction of the alveoli in the lungs of the mice not given tomato juice indicated the development of emphysema. The ingestion of tomato juice produced convincing results.
“Smoke-induced emphysema was completely prevented by concomitant ingestion of lycopene given as tomato juice."

Don't smoke.
Drink tomato juice.
Consider a supplement. (There are many manufacturers of tomato-based supplements. I've only included a link to the one utilized in this study.)

Remember, lycopene and other carotenoids, are fat soluble, so drink the tomato juice with some hummus on crackers, a salad with dressing, etc.

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