Daily intake of an extract found in tomatoes can help improve blood vessel function in cardiovascular disease patients, a new British study has found.
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes and is enhanced when they are pureed, such as in ketchup.
In the study, the University of Cambridge researchers found giving study participants 7 mg of a lycopene supplement improved or normalized blood vessel function.
"It reinforces the need for a healthy diet in people at risk from heart disease and stroke. A daily 'tomato pill' is not a substitute for other treatments, but may provide added benefits when taken alongside other medication," researcher Joseph Cheriyan said in a release Tuesday.
Larger trials are needed to see if lycopene can reduce heart disease.
The study has been published in the journal PLOS One.
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