Some previous studies show that tomatoes may have a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health. Tomatoes contain fiber, vitamin C, choline, and potassium which may make them good for the heart. Now a new study digs deeper into this to investigate what effects tomatoes or their products can have on heart health. Below is a brief account of this new research work.
What Did This Study Reveal?
In a new study published in the Food Science & Nutrition journal, scientists looked at whether tomato juice could be beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Some previous researches show some potential as a 2015 report concluded that unsalted tomato juice consumption could reduce triglyceride levels which can cause plaque buildup aka atherosclerosis.
This latest study was conducted to analyze the effects of tomatoes on the risk of cardiovascular disease across a wide age bracket, over the period of a year. For the purpose of the study, scientists took in 184 males and 297 females as participants. Of these, 94 participants had hypertension or elevated blood pressure markers.
Before the start of this research, scientists took a measure of the blood pressure, triglyceride markers, cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, and other factors of the participants. For a year, these people were given access to as much unsalted tomato juice as they preferred with the average being around 215 ml per person which is a little less than a cup.
Following conclusions were made:
- A drop in blood pressure was noticed from 141.2 to 137.0 mm Hg
- This means that the average patient went from hypertension stage 2 to hypertension stage 1
- Both men and women regardless of their age experienced this effect
Glucose metabolism of 62 participants who had untreated impaired glucose tolerance was also analyzed but no improvements were noted among these people. Moreover, a subgroup of 127 participants that had abnormal lipid levels also didn’t experience any effects on triglyceride or good cholesterol (HDL) levels.
However, it must also be kept in mind that this study had some limitations. Firstly, there were only a limited number of participants in the blood pressure analysis subgroup. Moreover, the ethnicity of participants was Japanese which means the results may not be applicable to other ethnicities. Lastly, the participants may have made some lifestyle changes during the course of 12 months.
Some of the people may have started improving their diet in this time or they may have added exercise to their routine. So, can it be said that tomato juice can be consumed for taking down the risk of cardiovascular disease. While research does point in this direction, this particular study doesn’t have enough powerful evidence.
A new study delves into whether tomato juice can be of assistance in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Though the research does show hope that it can decrease blood pressure, no effects were recorded on triglyceride or cholesterol levels. This study is not concrete enough to be considered a final verdict; more research is needed in this area.