Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Take a Tomato Pill to Tackle Heart Disease

More and more we're hearing about how great tomatoes are for us, especially for men, thanks to their lycopene, a naturally occurring potent antioxidant which gives tomatoes and other fruits and veggies their characteristic red colour. There has been a great deal of research suggesting that lycopene can help stave off certain types of cancer, most famously prostate cancer, but now there's even more reason to get your fix!

Thanks to some clever scientists out of Cambridge University in the UK, the caroteniod lycopene found in tomatoes has been concentrated and and made easier for your body to absorb in a convenient little pill form! The pill, called Ateronon, is meant to be taken once a day and it has been shown, in clinical trials, to protect LDL ("bad" cholesterol) from being oxidized. If LDL becomes oxidized, it builds up into a plaque inside of arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and upping your risk of heart disease and stroke.

According to the creators of the pill, "Ateronon is the first and only lycopene-based supplement with proven levels of bioavailability for lycopene and proven effectiveness at helping to inhibit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.".

If you're looking for a more "natural" way to get your daily dose of lycopene, try cooking your tomatoes (or use cooked tomato products such as sauces) and add a splash of olive oil or salad dressing to help your body absorb it.