Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans

Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Sep;84(3):561-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/84.3.561.


Background: Aqueous extracts from tomatoes display a range of antiplatelet activities in vitro. We previously showed that the active components also alter ex vivo platelet function in persons with a high response to ADP agonist.

Objective: The objective was to evaluate the suitability of a tomato extract for use as a dietary supplement to prevent platelet activation.

Design: A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled crossover study was conducted in 90 healthy human subjects selected for normal platelet function. Changes from baseline hemostatic function were measured 3 h after consumption of extract-enriched or control supplements.

Results: Significant reductions in ex vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen were observed 3 h after supplementation with doses of tomato extract equivalent to 6 (6TE) and 2 (2TE) tomatoes [3 micromol ADP/L: 6TE (high dose), -21.3%; 2TE (low dose), -12.7%; P < 0.001; 7.5 micromol ADP/L: 6TE, -7.8%, 2TE, -7.6%; P < 0.001; 3 mg collagen/L: 6TE, -17.5%; 2TE, -14.6%; P = 0.007]. No significant effects were observed for control supplements. A dose response to tomato extract was found at low levels of platelet stimulation. Inhibition of platelet function was greatest in a subgroup with the highest plasma homocysteine (P < 0.05) and C-reactive protein concentrations (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: As a functional food or dietary supplement, tomato extract may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to a reduction in thrombotic events.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Platelet Activation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Activation / physiology
  • Platelet Aggregation / drug effects*
  • Platelet Aggregation / physiology
  • Platelet Function Tests
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Time Factors


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Plant Extracts