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Originally published August 11 2009

Tomato Pill Found to Reverse Heart Disease

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A pill made from tomatoes may do more to help treat heart disease and high cholesterol than many pharmaceutical products currently on the market, according to preliminary trials carried out by researchers from Cambridge University.

The pill, known as Ateronon, contains a version of the tomato phytonutrient lycopene, which gives the fruits their bright red color. Lycopene has been shown in a number of studies to help relieve the symptoms of heart disease and to help prevent cancer

The chemical is poorly absorbed by the human body, however, so researchers from a Cambridge spinoff company have refined it into a more accessible form. In preliminary trials, Ateronon reduced the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to zero after only eight weeks of treatment in 150 people, a more significant result than that observed in statin drugs.

The preliminary study results were announced at the pill's launch, at a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society.

"If you think that this can reduce the damage to the arteries, which is the damage that ends up causing heart attacks and strokes -- this can potentially extend life but also saves lives on a global basis," TV doctor Rob Hicks said. "The potential impact is enormous -- we might see a fall in the number of people suffering heart attacks, strokes and other problems relating to arterial damage and the clogging up of the arteries. That has to be welcomed."

Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation noted that it could be some time before Ateronon undergoes enough studies to be considered clinically proven. Until then, he advised patients to "aim to get the benefits of the Mediterranean diet by eating plenty of fresh fruits and [vegetables]."

The Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, is heavy on fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts, light on meat, and uses olive oil as its primary fat source.

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