Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is
associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research recently published in
the print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the
American Academy of Neurology.
Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant
The study found that people with the highest amounts of
lycopene in their blood were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than people
with the lowest amounts of lycopene in their blood.
The study involved
1,031 men in Finland between the ages of 46 and 65. The level of lycopene in
their blood was tested at the start of the study and they were followed for an
average of 12 years. During that time, 67 men had a stroke.
Among the men
with the lowest levels of lycopene, 25 of 258 men had a stroke. Among those with
the highest levels of lycopene, 11 of 259 men had a stroke. When researchers
looked at just strokes due to blood clots, the results were even stronger. Those
with the highest levels of lycopene were 59 percent less likely to have a stroke
than those with the lowest levels.
“This study adds to the evidence that
a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke,”
said study author Jouni Karppi, PhD, of the University of Eastern Finland in
Kuopio. “The results support the recommendation that people get more than five
servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would likely lead to a major
reduction in the number of strokes worldwide, according to previous
The study also looked at blood levels of the antioxidants
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and retinol, but found no
association between the blood levels and risk of stroke.This article was first published at www.newswise.com