Plain language summary
Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a compound believed to have many health benefits. Researchers in Japan conducted a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effects of eating a type of tomato bred to be high in lycopene on 74 healthy volunteers with raised cholesterol levels. Participants were given 50g per day of either semi-dried high-lycopene tomato or lycopene-free tomato. Those eating the high-lycopene tomatoes significantly reduced their levels of LDL cholesterol over 12 weeks. The researchers concluded that their findings support the health benefits of eating tomatoes rich in lycopene.
undefined: Tomato ( ) is a rich source of lycopene, a carotenoid that confers various positive biological effects such as improved lipid metabolism. Here, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group comparative study to investigate the effects of regular and continuous intake of a new high-lycopene tomato, a variety named PR-7, for 12 weeks, based on 74 healthy Japanese subjects with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels ≥120 to <160 mg/dL. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the high-lycopene tomato or placebo (lycopene-free tomato) group. Each subject in the high-lycopene group ingested 50 g of semidried PR-7 (lycopene, 22.0-27.8 mg/day) each day for 12 weeks, while subjects in the placebo group ingested placebo semidried tomato. Medical interviews were conducted, vital signs were monitored, body composition was determined, and blood and saliva samples were taken at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, and 12. The primary outcome assessed was LDL-C. The intake of high-lycopene tomato increased lycopene levels in this group compared to levels in the placebo group ( < 0.001). In addition, high-lycopene tomato intake improved LDL-C ( = 0.027). The intake of high-lycopene tomato, PR-7, reduced LDL-C and was confirmed to be safe.