Tomato-based supplement may treat heart diseases, stroke

A natural supplement extracted from tomatoes can help protect against heart diseases and stroke, says a new study.

The active ingredient in the tomato pill, lycopene, helps in blocking bad LDL cholesterol, which clog the arteries.

Ateronon, made by a biotechnology spin-out company at Cambridge University, is being launched as a dietary supplement and will be made available in markets shortly.

About a dozen preliminary trials have been conducted on about 150 people suffering from heart disease. Ateronon has the ability to reduce oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to zero level within eight weeks time, it has been found.

Peter Kirkpatrict, Neuroscientist and the lead of the research project at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, on behalf of Cambridge Theramostics Limited, said that the supplement has been found to be more effective than statin drugs, currently used by doctors in treating high cholesterol.

Prof. Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation mentioned that British Heart Foundation has supported few of the basic science at Cambridge University, which emphasizes the development of the product.

According to Prof. Anthony Leeds, Trustee of the Cholesterol Charity Heart at UK, the new lycopene product represents the latest approach to treatment of high blood cholesterol levels, and the preliminary findings seem “very promising”.

The Lycopene antioxidant is found in the skin of tomatoes, and is responsible for the red color of tomatoes. But, when consumed in its natural form, it is not easily absorbed. Moreover, antioxidant-rich diets help in reducing plague build up, the researchers pointed out.