This component has largely been ignored by the manufacturers of products attempting to reach a growing health-conscious shopping crowd. The researchers say "As a functional food or dietary supplement, tomato extract may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to a reduction in thrombotic events." Both studies were led by Niamh O'Kennedy from Provexis.
The first study was a random, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study using 90 healthy, human subjects with normal platelet function. The subjects were given either an extract enriched supplement or a control supplement. The study subjects who took control supplements were measured three hours after taking the control supplement with no significant effects reported.
The researchers found that platelet build-up was reduced three hours after supplementation with tomato extract equivalent to two or six whole tomatoes. The use of tomato extract is significant, because the bioactive compounds of tomatoes -- like the carotenoid lycopene -- are more bioavailable when tomatoes are processed or cooked.
"This is exciting news about the natural medicine found in tomatoes, and it shows yet again that nature is the best source of medicine for preventing disease and boosting health,'' said Mike Adams, author of"The Seven Laws of Nutrition.''
''With many men suffering from both heart disease and prostate disorders, tomato extracts are emerging as the perfect 'male' medicine, because they help prevent both conditions."