Does eating tomatoes reduce the risk of stroke?

By 18. January 2013Blog, Health, Nutrition

Not according to a new paper published ahead of print on the website of the British Journal of Nutrition.

The study was carried out due to the fact that evidence for cardioprotective effects of lycopene from other published papers has been inconsistent.  Jacques et al . thought the inconsistencies could be due to misclassification of lycopene (responsible for the red colour in tomato) intake. Therefore they looked at data obtained over 10 years to “characterise the relationship between the intake of lycopene and tomato-based products and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. ”

They found an inverse link between CVD and CHD incidence and lycopene intake, but not for stroke incidence. However, they also stated that further research should be carried out in this area to determine whether lycopene or other components of tomato are responsible for the observed association.

Interestingly, a rich source  of lycopene is tomato sauce and it provided over 46% of the lycopene intake in this study, followed by pizza at just over 23%.

Read the full paper on the British Journal of Nutrition website:

Relationship of lycopene intake and consumption of tomato products to incident CVD

Paul F. Jacques,Asya Lyass,Joseph M. Massaro,Ramachandran S. Vasan and Ralph B. D’Agostino Sr
British Journal of Nutrition,