Vegetable ingredients in tomatoes reduce the risk of stroke
High tomato consumption lowers the risk of stroke. This is the result of the study by Finnish researchers published by Dr. Jouni Karppi from the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.
Earlier studies had linked “fruit and vegetable intake and carotenoid serum levels to a reduced risk of stroke, but the results have remained conflicting,” reports the Finnish scientists. Her goal was therefore "to investigate whether serum concentrations of important carotenoids, α-tocopherol and retinol" are related to strokes in men.
Stroke risk examined in more than 1,000 men As part of their study, the Finnish researchers examined the data of 1,031 Finnish men between the ages of 46 and 65 over a period of twelve years. In addition to possible strokes, the serum concentrations of various carotenoids were also recorded. A total of "67 strokes occurred, 50 of which were ischemic strokes," the Finnish researchers write in the US journal "Neurology". Taking into account other risk factors such as age, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, diabetes and tobacco consumption, the study found that the carotenoid lycopene had an extremely positive effect on the risk of stroke. High concentrations of lycopene are found in tomatoes or rose hips, for example.
Tomato ingredient reduces risk of stroke by more than 50 percent The active ingredient from tomatoes has contributed to a significant reduction in the risk of stroke, the Finnish scientists write. The men with the highest concentration of lycopene in the blood were 59 percent less likely to develop an ischemic stroke than the study participants with the lowest concentration of lycopene, Dr. Karppi and colleagues. The overall risk of stroke among the subjects with the highest lycopene concentration was reduced by 55 percent. While the tomato ingredient has a significant impact on stroke risk, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, tocopherol, and retinol were not associated with the risk of stroke, according to the Finnish researchers. The investigation of other antioxidants has shown no correlation with the occurrence of the strokes.
According to the Finnish researchers, their study "has once again confirmed the positive effects of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables". The "prospective study shows that high serum concentrations of lycopene, as a marker for the intake of tomato and tomato-based products, reduce the risk of stroke and ischemic stroke in men," the scientists concluded. A tomato-rich diet could therefore significantly counteract the risk of a stroke. Anyone who eats tomato salad, tomato soup or tomato casserole every day can significantly reduce their risk of developing circulatory diseases. (fp)
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