7 January 2013
Miracle pill, made from tomatoes?
According to new research an easy to swallow pill which harnesses the goodness of tomatoes could be the answer to preventing strokes and heart attacks. The pill contains lycopene, the
chemical which gives tomatoes their colour, and is known to break down fatty deposits in the arteries.
A study was conducted at Cambridge University on 36 heart disease patient and 36 healthy volunteers with an average age of 67. The results found that taking the capsule boosted blood flow and improved the lining of vessels in patients with pre-existing heart conditions. It also increased the flexibility of their arteries by 50%.
It is believed that the pill could limit the damage caused by heart disease and help prevent 49,000 deaths a year from strokes. It may also be used to benefit those with arthritis, diabetes and could even slow the progression of cancer.
Ian Wilkinson, of Cambridge University’s clinical trials unit, said, “These results are potentially very significant, but we need more trials to see if they translate into fewer heart attacks and strokes.”
Peter Kirkpatrick, a leading neurosurgeon and medical adviser said, “It is too early to come to firm conclusions, but the results from this trial are far better than anything we could have hoped for.”
Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said, ‘Although this showed lycopene improved blood flow in people with heart disease, that’s a long way from demonstrating that taking it could improve outcomes for people with heart disease.”
More research is clearly needed into this new idea, but at the moment, results are positive.