Formulas for vascular health


How do tomatoes improve Vascular health?

Surprisingly, the concentrated tomato puree in pizza sauce may be even better than raw tomatoes for endothelial health, as noted previously. The magic ingredient appears to be lycopene, present in tomatoes but more easily used by the body when these are cooked for long periods with onions in olive oil.1-3

But when you eat a tomato, you consume not only lycopene, but also plentiful amounts of beta-carotene, folate, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, and vitamin E.3 All these healthful substances are also found in other plant foods and may act synergistically, compounding their individual benefit. Many, including lycopene, are potent antioxidants, combatting free radicals that attack the blood vessel lining known as endothelium, thereby promoting vascular health.3,4

Among the many benefits of lycopene and tomatoes include better blood flow4 and reduction in systolic blood pressure;5 LDL (bad) cholesterol;6 homocysteine,3 which is linked to atherosclerosis; platelet clumping,3 which can clog or even block arteries; and IL-6, a marker of inflammation.7All of these are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Among the many benefits of lycopene and tomatoes include:

Better blood flow
Reduction in systolic blood pressure
Reduction in LDL cholesterol
Reduction in homocysteine
Reduction in platelet clumping
Reduction IL-6

All of these are risk factors for heart disease and stroke.


+ References

1. Rinaldi de Alvarenga JF, Tran C, Hurtado-Barroso S, Martinez-Huélamo M, Illan M, Lamuela-Raventos RM. Home cooking and ingredient synergism improve lycopene isomer production in Sofrito. Food Res Int. 2017 Sep;99(Pt 2):851-861. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Jan 11.


2. Valderas-Martinez P, Chiva-Blanch G, Casas R, Arranz S, Martínez-Huélamo M, Urpi-Sarda M, Torrado X, Corella D, Lamuela-Raventós RM, Estruch R. Tomato sauce enriched with olive oil exerts greater effects on cardiovascular disease risk factors than raw tomato and tomato sauce: a randomized trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 16;8(3):170. doi: 10.3390/nu8030170.


3. Willcox JK, Catignani GL, Lazarus S. Tomatoes and cardiovascular health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2003;43(1):1-18.


4. Gajendragadkar PR, Hubsch A, Mäki-Petäjä KM, Serg M, Wilkinson IB, Cheriyan J. Effects of oral lycopene supplementation on vascular function in patients with cardiovascular disease and healthy volunteers: a randomised controlled trial. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 9;9(6):e99070. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099070. eCollection 2014.


5. Li X, Xu J. Lycopene supplement and blood pressure: an updated meta-analysis of intervention trials. Nutrients. 2013 Sep 18;5(9):3696-712. doi: 10.3390/nu5093696.


6. Ried K, Fakler P. Protective effect of lycopene on serum cholesterol and blood pressure: Meta-analyses of intervention trials. Maturitas. 2011 Apr;68(4):299-310. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2010.11.018. Epub 2010 Dec 15.


7. Cheng HM, Koutsidis G, Lodge JK, Ashor A, Siervo M, Lara J. Tomato and lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 2017 Feb;257:100-108. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2017.01.009. Epub 2017 Jan 13.


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