Tomatoes lower stroke risk in men, new research

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th October 2012

Important research from the University of Eastern Finland has found that high doses of the antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, significantly lowers the risk of having a stroke. The university studied 1,035 men aged between 46 and 65 and found that after 12 years, those with high levels of lycopene in their blood were 59 per cent less likely to have a stroke.

The findings just published in the Neurology Journal measured levels of lycopene, alpha– and betta- carotene, vitamin E and vitamin A in the men over a 12 year period. Lycopene, which is a ‘potent antixodiant’ providing the red colour to vegetables, was the only antioxidant found to lower risk levels of stroke.

One of the researchers at the University of Eastern Finland, Jouni Karppi, said that the study is evidence that high intakes of fruit and vegetables can significantly reduce stroke risk.

“The results support the recommendation that people get more than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous research,” said Mr Karppi.

Previous studies of lycopene have found that it can also lower risk of prostate, lung, skin, cervix, stomach and bladder cancer. This is true for that of a diet high in fruit and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, and not specifically regarding tomatoes. Other research in animals has found that lycopene can reduce the risk of age-related disease, macular degeneration, although reported results have been variable for humans.

For other Australian Food News articles about tomatoes, read:

US scientists examine the secrets of a tasty tomato

Major tomato industry player goes broke, but who is responsible?

Australia’s Tomato industry: Reinventing a new Industry

Fruit and vegetable pesticide faces Australian ban

Super Foods For Super You

The fountain of youth – for tomatoes