Health

Thursday 24 July 2014

Daily dose of Ketchup 'can help your heart'

Keith Perry

Published 10/06/2014|02:30

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A daily dose of tomato ketchup could significantly improve the functioning of blood vessels in patients with heart disease, research suggests.

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A study has found that a powerful antioxidant in tomatoes may contribute to the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet.

Participants in the study were given a pill containing a supplement called Ateronon that contains seven milligrams of the tomato ingredient lycopene.

Lycopene is 10 times more potent than vitamin E and previous research showed its potency appears to be enhanced when it is consumed pureed, in ketchup or in the presence of olive oil.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge and the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust set out to explore one mechanism by which they believe lycopene reduces the risk.

Of 36 patients with heart disease, those taking the pill every day for two months saw their blood vessels widen by 53pc.

The tomato pill had no effect on healthy volunteers whose blood vessels were already "normal".

Irish Independent

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