Tomatoes have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and appear to lower blood pressure and LDL(bad)-cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

In March 2019 researchers from Czech Republic and Serbia published the results of their study to assess the effects of polyphenol-enriched and standard tomato juice on lipid levels, oxidative stress and blood pressure levels. The researchers stated there is growing evidence that the tomato has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and appears to be able to reduce blood pressure levels and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease. A total of 26 individuals with early hypertension were divided into two groups, with 13 individuals consuming 200 g of tomato fruit juice with additional polyphenols in the form of 1 g extract of whole tomato fruit and 13 individuals 200 g standard tomato fruit juice. Blood samples were taken and blood pressure measured before and after consumption of the tomato juice. Results showed that there was a significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL(bad)-cholesterol in those consuming the standard tomato juice. No significant differences between the two groups were observed including antioxidant status, C-reactive protein, and blood pressure levels. The researchers therefore concluded that tomato juice may improve blood pressure and lipid metabolism, and that additional polyphenols do not bring about additional beneficial cardiovascular effects.

Michaličková D et al. Comparison of Polyphenol-Enriched Tomato Juice and Standard Tomato Juice for Cardiovascular Benefits in Subjects with Stage 1 Hypertension: a Randomized Controlled Study. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019 Mar;74(1):122-127.

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