Lycopene in the fight against heart disease

Lycopene in the fight against heart disease

"A major component of cardiovascular disease is the almost ubiquitous condition in modern society, ie. atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is basically the gradual build-up of fatty components and residual other nutrients along with a chronic inflammatory process in the wall of arteries. When these fatty plaques reach a certain level it is possible for them to rupture into the channel where the blood flows, a subsequent clot forms, blocks the artery and can cause a heart attack or a stroke."

says Dr Ross Walker, leading Sydney cardiologist

The basic reason for the progressive build-up of fat and other muck in thewalls of the arteries is modern living. The humble tomato and its powerful active component, lycopene, have now had a number of very well conducted scientific studies showing that lycopene protects against the build-up of fat in the walls of the arteries. It does this via a number of mechanisms such as the reduction in oxidation of the bad components of cholesterol and reduced thickness in the artery wall, which is an indication of the progression of atherosclerosis. Well performed studies in America and Europe have shown a clear link between high blood levels of lycopene and reduced risk for heart disease.

A recent product has been developed that has a very concentrated and bioavailable form of lycopene known as lacto-lycopene. This has been studied at Cambridge University in the UK and at Harvard University in Boston in the USA. These studies showed a significant stabilisation of arterial stiffness and blood flow, along with a reduction of LDL cholesterol.

This particular lacto-lycopene product has the same lycopene levels as eating 1 kg average sized tomatoes on a daily basis!

Dr Ross Walker is an eminent Sydney Cardiologist

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