London: UK scientists have created a natural supplement made from tomatoes, which they claim when taken daily, prevents heart disease and strokes.
The tomato pill, branded Ateronon, contains lycopene – an antioxidant that blocks “bad” (LDL) cholesterol that chokes the cardiovascular system.
The new lycopene pill is made by a biotechnology spin-out company within Cambridge University, and will eventually go on sale to consumers.
Although research is on-going early trials involving on150 people with heart disease indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks, a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society will be told at Ateronon’s launch next week.
Neuroscientist Peter Kirkpatrick, who will lead a further research project at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge on behalf of Cambridge Theranostics Ltd, said the supplement could be much more effective than statin drugs that are currently used by doctors to treat high cholesterol.
Lycopene is already well-known as a powerful antioxidant which is found in the skin of tomatoes which gives them their red colour. But lycopene ingested in its natural form is poorly absorbed.
Ateronon contains a refined, more readily absorbed version of lycopene that was originally developed by Nestle.
New York: Scientists have discovered that multiple rounds of heating left-over spaghetti bolognese with extra oil has extra health benefits.
The technique alters the structure of the main antioxidant in tomotoes – lycopene so that it is more easily absorbed into the body.Previous studies have already shown that making raw tomatoes into purees or sauces increased the benefits.
Study leader Dr Steven Schwartz, from Ohio State University in Columbus, told fellow scientists at the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia.’What we have found is we can take the red tomato molecular form of lycopene and by processing it and heating it in combination with added oil, we can change the shape of the molecule so it is configured in this bent form.’
Heat is vital to the process, but so is the addition of some fat, which helps carry the lycopene through the gut walls.
The scientists processed red tomatoes into two kinds of sauce. One was rich in cislycopene – the ‘bent’ variety – while the other mostly contained all-trans-lycopene, the linear form.
A small study was then conducted on 12 volunteers who were given both types of sauce to eat. After each meal, blood samples-were taken and analysed over nine and a half hours. Lycopene blood levels were 55 per cent higher after consumption of the new sauce, the scientists found.