Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UNC-CH Study Shows Tomato Sauce Might Protect Against Heart Attacks

Date:
October 20, 1997
Source:
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Summary:
Researchers found that an antioxidant compound called lycopene appeared to have a protective effect against heart attacks. The chief source of lycopene in the average diet is tomato sauce, and the food many Americans get most of their tomato sauce from is pizza.

CHAPEL HILL -- People looking for a good guilt-free reasonto eat pizza might relish results of a major study that took place in nineEuropean countries.

The study involved analyzing fat samples taken from 1,379 men whosuffered heart attacks and comparing them with fat samples from healthy controlsubjects. Researchers found that an antioxidant compound called lycopeneappeared to have a protective effect against heart attacks.

The chief source of lycopene in the average diet is tomato sauce, andthe food many Americans get most of their tomato sauce from is pizza.

"Based on our findings, and other research showing lycopene can be anexcellent antioxidant, we recommend that people eat tomato-based cooked foods,"said Dr. Lenore Kohlmeier, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of public health andmedicine. "Tomato sauce on grains or pasta would be better than pizza, however,because cheese can carry a lot of fat."

The apparent protective effect of lycopene -- or another unknownnutrient closely associated with it -- was greatest among non-smokers, the studyshowed.

A report on the research appears in the Oct. 15 issue of the AmericanJournal of Epidemiology. Kohlmeier, a member of the UNC Lineberger ComprehensiveCancer Center, is chief author.

Researchers found that men whose fat samples revealed high consumptionof lycopene had about half the risk of heart attack as men whose samples showedlow lycopene consumption. This effect exceeded any protective effect of eitheralpha- or beta-carotene -- dietary carotenoid compounds similar to lycopene.

Other foods containing lycopene are watermelon, red grapefruit and, to alesser extent, shellfish, Kohlmeier said. People get more lycopene from cookedtomatoes than raw ones; apparently cooking releases the nutrient from the matrixthat binds it in raw tomatoes. The process appears to be similar to the waycooking releases beta-carotene from raw carrots.

"Again we are seeing that consuming protective substances through foodis much better and safer than turning to a supplement," the scientist said. "Infact, supplements may actually compete with and inhibit uptake of otherimportant products in our diet."

The study took place in Finland, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands,Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain and Switzerland and was part of the EuropeanCommunity Multicenter Study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction and BreastCancer (EURAMIC). It was financed by participating countries in part as aConcerted Action by the Commission of European Communities.

Co-authors of the new report include Drs. Jeremy D. Kark, EnriqueGomez-Garcia, Blaise C. Martin, Susan E. Steck, Alwine F.M. Kardinaal, JetmundRingstad, Michael Thamm, Victor Masaev, Rudolf Riemersma, Jose M. Martin-Moreno,Jussi K. Huttunen and Frans J. Kok.

Antioxidants are compounds that are believed to help protect the bodyagainst damage caused by charged particles of oxygen known as free radicals,Kohlmeier said. Such oxidative processes occur naturally, but external stressessuch as cigarette smoking and sun exposure add to them and can increase damageto cell membranes and body proteins. Many scientists around the world are tryingto identify antioxidants and understand how they work.

Low density lipoproteins, a form of cholesterol that circulates inblood, are believed to be particularly dangerous in promoting heart diseasethrough oxidation, she said. Lycopene -- or an unknown, closely associatedcompound -- may prevent their formation in the blood. Another recent studysuggested lycopene-rich foods might protect against prostate cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "UNC-CH Study Shows Tomato Sauce Might Protect Against Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971015054544.htm>.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (1997, October 20). UNC-CH Study Shows Tomato Sauce Might Protect Against Heart Attacks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971015054544.htm
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "UNC-CH Study Shows Tomato Sauce Might Protect Against Heart Attacks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971015054544.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Mini Pacemaker Has No Wires

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Cardiac experts are testing a new experimental device designed to eliminate major surgery and still keep the heart on track. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

After Cancer: Rebuilding Breasts With Fat

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) More than 269 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Many of them will need surgery and radiation, but there’s a new simple way to reconstruct tissue using a patient’s own fat. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood Clots in Kids

Blood Clots in Kids

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Every year, up to 200,000 Americans die from a blood clot that travels to their lungs. You’ve heard about clots in adults, but new research shows kids can get them too. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Radio Waves Knock out Knee Pain

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Doctors have used radio frequency ablation or RFA to reduce neck and back pain for years. But now, that same technique is providing longer-term relief for patients with severe knee pain. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins