The beneficial effects of tomatoes

Eur J Intern Med. 2005 Oct;16(6):402-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2005.02.017.


Dietary intake of tomatoes and tomato products containing lycopene has been shown to be associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease in several recent studies. Serum and tissue lycopene levels have also been inversely related to the risk of chronic disease. While the antioxidant properties of lycopene are thought to be primarily responsible for its beneficial effects, evidence is accumulating to suggest that other mechanisms, such as modulation of intercellular gap junction communication, hormonal and immune systems, and metabolic pathways, may also be involved. Lycopene inhibited the activity of an essential enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis in an in vitro study and a small clinical study, suggesting a hypocholesterolemic effect.