Purpose: The Mediterranean diet has been reported to reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity considerably. Tomatoes and lycopene are considered potent antioxidants. Our purpose was to study the effects of a tomatoe-rich diet on the lipid profile following 300g daily of tomatoes for one month.
Methods: Plasma concentrations of triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol were determined in 98 apparently healthy volunteers (mean age 45.5+/-14.1 yr) before and after one month of follow-up. Fifty volunteers (34 women and 16 men) ate tomatoes 300g daily and 48 volunteers (32 women and 16 men) continued their regular diet without eating tomatoes for a month.
Results: In the regular diet group, there were no changes in the lipid profile: triglyceride level (169.6+/-156.8 vs. 147.6+/-93.4mg/dl; P=0.33), total cholesterol level (198.3+/-41.2mg/dl vs. 204.2+/-70.9mg/dl; P=0.23), HDL-cholesterol level (50.6+/-12.2mg/dl vs. 47.6+/-10.8mg/dl; P=0.79), and LDL-cholesterol level (122.7+/-39.4mg/dl vs. 120.2+/-32.2mg/dl; P=0.24) before and after the 1 month offollow-up. In the tomato-rich diet group: triglyceride level 170.8+/-85.4mg/dl to 167.4+/-99.4mg/ dl (P=0.98), total cholesterol level 207.5+/-44.3mg/ dl to 204.1+/-45.1mg/dl (P=0.68), HDL-cholesterol level 46.1+/-10.6mg/dl to 53.4+/-13.3mg/dl (P=0.03), and LDL-cholesterol level 127.7+/-41.8mg/dl to 119.1+/-41.7mg/dl (P=0.57).
Conclusion: We found that tomatoes'-rich diet (300g daily for one month) increased HDL-cholesterol level significantly by 15.2%.