Tomatoes May Be a Natural Inhibitor of Strokes

Most of us are familiar with lycopene, the naturally occurring pigment known as a carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red color. Lycopene is also a carotene, which helps in photosynthesis. Lycopene’s importance for humans is that it may prevent men from having a stroke.

In a study published in Neurology, a group of Finnish researchers describe how they evaluated a population of 1,031 men between the ages of 46 to 65 who were part of the participant group in the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor trial by testing the level of lycopene in their blood.

The researchers followed these men for a little over 12 years during which time there were 67 strokes among them, 50 of which were ischemic strokes, meaning the stroke occurred because one of the arteries in the brain was blocked. After adjusting their statistical findings for other factors that could cause a stroke like:

  • age
  • BMI
  • blood pressure
  • smoking
  • LDL cholesterol level
  • diabetes
  • history of stroke

The researchers found that the men with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood had 59 percent lower risk of an ischemic stroke and 55 percent lower risk of having any type of stroke as compared with the men who had the lowest levels of lycopene.

Study author Jouni Karppi, PhD was quoted in article in The Telegraph as saying,  “This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke. 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.”






~ by chasm63 on October 9, 2012.

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