5 April 2017
20 June 2014
A new UK study suggests that a supplementation with lycopene may significantly improve the widening of the blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease.
In the randomized controlled trial, the function of blood vessels (forearm blood flow) was measured in
36 cardiovascular disease patients and 36 healthy participants who received either 7 mg of lycopene or a placebo daily for 2 months (1). The study results showed that lycopene improved and normalized the en- dothelial function in the patients: the carotenoid improved the widening of the blood vessels by over a half (53%) compared to baseline after correction for those who took the placebo. Lycopene showed no such effect in the healthy participants.
The researchers noted that all the patients were on statin medication (cholesterol-lowering drugs). However, they still had a relatively impaired function of the endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels). Endothelial function predicts future cardiovascular events, so having a healthy endothelium is an important factor in pre- venting the evolution of heart disease. A permanent constriction of the blood vessels is one of the key fac- tors that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Epidemiological studies have indicated that lycopene, a power- ful antioxidant that can be found in tomatoes and tomato products, may reduce the cardiovascular risk. The mechanism by which it does so is unclear (2). The scientists concluded that the new study results reinforce the need for a healthy diet, such as a Mediterranean diet, in people at risk from heart disease and stroke. A daily lycopene pill would not be a substitute for other treatments, but may provide added benefits when taken alongside other medication.
5 April 2017
9 June 2014
A new US study suggests that the form of vitamin E called gamma-tocopherol, found in soybean, corn and canola oils, is associated with decreased lung function, while alpha-tocopherol, contained in olive and sunflower oils, does support lung function.
27 December 2013
A review of data from national dietary surveys shows that in many countries more than 50% of the population have higher intakes of saturated fatty acids and lower intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids than recommended for preventing coronary heart disease.