January 2011 - They are the most widely produced fruit in the world and now scientists in Japan have discovered that tomatoes contain a nutrient which could tackle the onset of vascular diseases. The research, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, reveals that an extracted compound, 9-oxo-octadecadienoic, has anti-dyslipidemic affects.
The team led by Dr Teruo Kawada, from Kyoto University and supported by the Research and Development Program for New Bio-industry Initiatives, Japan, focused their research on extracts which tackle dyslipidemia, a condition which is caused by an abnormal amount of lipids, such as cholesterol or fat, in the blood stream.
"Dyslipidemia itself usually causes no symptoms," said Kawada, "however; it can lead to symptomatic vascular diseases, such as arteriosclerosis and cirrhosis. In order to prevent these diseases it is important to prevent an increased build up of lipids."
Tomato is already known to contain many compounds beneficial to health. In this study the team analyzed 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid, to test its potential anti-dyslipidemia properties.
The compound was found to enhance fatty acid oxidation and contributed to the regulation of hepatic lipid metabolism. These findings suggest that 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid has anti- dyslipidemia affects and can therefore help prevent vascular diseases.
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"Finding a compound which helps the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases in foodstuffs is a great advantage to tackling these diseases", concluded Kawada. "It means that the tomato allows people to easily manage the onset of dyslipidemia through their daily diet."