Unsalted tomato juice to lower blood pressure and cholesterol

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Elia Tabuenca García
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According to a study, consuming unsalted tomato juice would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

According to a study, the consumption of unsalted tomato juice would reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing the blood pressure and the levels of cholesterol in the blood.





Tomato juice for heart health

According to a recent study published in Food Science Nutrition, the consumption of unsalted tomato juice would have beneficial effects on heart health, as it would reduce blood pressure and levels of "bad" cholesterol (LDL cholesterol). 

Il tomato contains numerous bioactive compounds including lycopene, a carotenoid known for its strong antioxidant action and it is not surprising that it plays a role in protecting against cardiovascular diseases: the beneficial effects of the consumption of tomatoes have been known for some time.

Further confirmation comes from this study conducted on over four hundred people residing in Japan, women and men, who were asked to consume unsalted tomato juice for one year. Participants underwent tests before and after the study to measure markers of cardiovascular risk, such as blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels. In 94 participants with untreated hypertension, this showed a significant reduction. Even the LDL cholesterol showed a significant decrease in 125 participants.

The study has limitations as other factors such as diet, lifestyle and intake of other juices or supplements were not taken into account during the study.

However, the authors find the results encouraging and since the tomato juice is a cheap and available product, it could be introduced into the diet of the Japanese as a nutritional intervention for prevent cardiovascular disease in people at risk.

Hypertension and cardiovascular disease

Le cardiovascular diseases they represent the leading cause of death and disability in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease is responsible for over fifteen million deaths a year. When cardiovascular events are not fatal, they still cause permanent damage that significantly compromises the quality and life expectancy of the affected person.



Among the cardiovascular risk factors hypertension, ie the increase in blood pressure above values ​​of 120/80 mmHg, and high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, the "bad" cholesterol, are included.

High blood pressure and cholesterol they are in fact closely associated with atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, plaques form on the walls of the arteries, resulting in a decrease in their elasticity and progressive obstruction of the blood vessel.
LDL cholesterol is directly involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque since in case of excess it is deposited on the vessel walls.

High blood pressure and atherosclerosis are closely linked as a narrowing of the blood vessels causes an increase in pressure and, on the other hand, an increase in pressure damages the vessel walls predisposing to atherosclerosis. Among the risk factors associated with hypertension we find, in addition to a genetic predisposition, the consumption of salt, obesity, stress, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.



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