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Tomatoes and tomato products are one of the most familiar vegetables in the American diet. Quantitatively, they are the most consumed nonstarchy vegetable and are the most significant source of dietary lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that has greater bioavailability after cooking and processing (eg, canning). A large body of research supports an inverse relationship between consuming tomatoes and tomato products and risk of certain cancers, while emerging research is exploring the protective relationship between tomato intake and a host of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, ultraviolet light—induced skin damage, and cognitive dysfunction. Initial studies of tomato consumption and disease risk reduction focused on lycopene and antioxidant activity. More recent hypotheses recognize the advantages of the whole tomato; and hence, research on the role of tomato products in health and disease risk reduction extends beyond antioxidant function to include other protective mechanisms such as antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory functions. Increasing daily vegetable intake in the American diet offers the potential to yield significant health benefits. In addition to the specific benefits of tomato consumption, encouraging greater tomato and tomato product consumption may help increase overall vegetable intake because of their wide availability, well-established acceptability, cost-effectiveness, and convenience of multiple forms. Leveraging emerging science about tomatoes and tomato products may be one simple and effective strategy to help individuals increase vegetable intake, leading to improved overall eating patterns, and ultimately, better health.
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
http://ajl.sagepub.com/content/early/2010/11/10/1559827610387488
The online version of this article can be found at:
DOI: 10.1177/1559827610387488
published online 19 November 2010AMERICAN JOURNAL OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE
Britt Burton Freeman and Kristin Reimers
Tomato Consumption and Health: Emerging Benefits
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
1
Tomato Consumption
and Health: Emerging Benets
Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, MS, and Kristin Reimers, PhD, RD
DOI: 10.1177/1559827610387488. Manuscript received April 20, 2010; revised June 1, 2010; accepted June 7, 2010. From the National Center for Food Safety &
Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Summit-Argo, IL (BB-F) and ConAgra Foods, Inc., 5 ConAgra Drive, Omaha, NE (KR). Address correspondence to Kristin Reimers,
PhD, RD, Manager, Nutrition and Food Labeling, ConAgra Foods, Inc., 5 ConAgra Drive, Omaha, NE 68102; e-mail: kristin.reimers@conagrafoods.com.
For reprints and permissions queries, please visit SAGE’s Web site at http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav.
Copyright © 2010 The Author(s)
vol. x • no. x
One way to increase vegetable
consumption may be to leverage the
familiarity with, and emerging health
benefits of, tomatoes.
Abstract: Tomatoes and tomato
products are one of the most famil-
iar vegetables in the American diet.
Quantitatively, they are the most con-
sumed nonstarchy vegetable and are
the most significant source of dietary
lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that
has greater bioavailability after cook-
ing and processing (eg, canning).
A large body of research supports an
inverse relationship between consum-
ing tomatoes and tomato products and
risk of certain cancers, while emerging
research is exploring the protective rela-
tionship between tomato intake and a
host of conditions, including cardio-
vascular disease, osteoporosis, ultravi-
olet light–induced skin damage, and
cognitive dysfunction. Initial stud-
ies of tomato consumption and dis-
ease risk reduction focused on lycopene
and antioxidant activity. More recent
hypotheses recognize the advantages of
the whole tomato; and hence, research
on the role of tomato products in health
and disease risk reduction extends
beyond antioxidant function to include
other protective mechanisms such as
antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory
functions. Increasing daily vegetable
intake in the American diet offers the
potential to yield significant health ben-
efits. In addition to the specific benefits
of tomato consumption, encouraging
greater tomato and tomato product
consumption may help increase overall
vegetable intake because of their wide
availability, well-established accept-
ability, cost-effectiveness, and conve-
nience of multiple forms. Leveraging
emerging science about tomatoes and
tomato products may be one simple
and effective strategy to help individu-
als increase vegetable intake, leading to
improved overall eating patterns, and
ultimately, better health.
Keywords: tomatoes; tomato prod-
ucts; cardiovascular disease; cancer; veg-
etable intake; inflammation; antioxidant;
lycopene
F
ood-based dietary recommenda-
tions are the cornerstone of life-
style approaches to reduce chronic
disease risk. The health benefits of
consuming more fruits and vegetables,
for example, are strongly supported by
scientific evidence; and hence, form
the basis of national policy to promote
health. However, despite the evidence
and widespread initiatives to promote
consumption, fruit and vegetable intake
patterns remain below recommendations.
Therefore, strategies to motivate consum-
ers to consume more fruits and vegeta-
bles require attention.
One way to increase vegetable con-
sumption may be to leverage the
familiarity with, and emerging health
benefits of, tomatoes. Tomatoes and
tomato products are well known by
adults and children alike and have the
unique advantage of meeting consumer
demands on cost, convenience, availabil-
ity, and taste, while delivering a healthful
food option with flexibility for inclu-
sion in a variety of culturally diverse
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine XXX • XXX XXXX
dishes. Igniting interest in tomatoes may
increase vegetable consumption directly
as well as improve vegetable consump-
tion in general by prompting individuals
to explore other vegetables for improved
health.
Tomato Overview
Compositionally, the tomato has a
unique nutritional and (phyto)chemical
profile. Vitamin C, vitamin A (as carot-
enoids), fiber, potassium, and the antioxi-
dant lycopene are natural components of
tomatoes.
1
Lycopene is the major dietary
carotenoid and tomatoes and tomato-
based foods are the richest sources of
lycopene in the American diet (Table 1).
1
Besides tomatoes, lycopene is also found
in watermelon and red grapefruit; how-
ever, tomatoes and tomato products rep-
resent more than 85% of all the dietary
sources of lycopene consumed in the
North American diet.
2
Average daily lyco-
pene intake of males and females is
5305 mg, higher than the average daily
intake of all other carotenoids combined
(3388 mg). Lycopene intake is about
3 times that of b-carotene (1742 mg).
3
There is a strong relationship between
tomato intake and plasma/serum lyco-
pene concentrations.
4-6
Several research
investigations have shown an inverse
relationship between plasma/serum
lycopene concentrations and risk of some
cancers.
7-13
Similar associations have been
reported for markers of cardiovascular
disease, osteoporosis, cognitive function,
and body weight.
14-21
Moreover, relation-
ships between dietary intakes of tomato
products or tomato extract supplements
have been observed in epidemiologi-
cal studies and clinical trials examining
markers of some cancers, cardiovascular
disease, and ultraviolet light–induced skin
erythema.
12,22-37
Table 1.
Lycopene Content per Serving in Tomato Products, Tomato-Based Foods, and Fruits
a
Product Serving Size Lycopene (mg)
Tomato paste ¼ cup 18.84
Pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce
canned entree
1 cup 18.14
Tomato sauce ½ cup 17.12
Spaghetti sauce ½ cup 15.82
Minestrone soup 1 cup 15.33
Tomato puree ¼ cup 13.60
Tomato soup 1 cup 13.04
Vegetable juice cocktail ½ cup 11.69
Tomato juice ½ cup 10.98
Stewed tomatoes ½ cup 5.21
Watermelon ½ cup 3.44
Salsa 2 tbsp 3.36
Tomatoes packed in tomato juice ½ cup 3.32
Catsup 1 tbsp 2.51
Raw tomatoes ½ cup 2.32
Grapefruit ½ grapefruit 1.75
a
From the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,
Release 22.
1
Tomato: Fruit or
Vegetable?
Botanically, a fruit is defined
as the ovary that holds the seeds
of a flowering plant. In that con-
text, and with quick visual inspec-
tion, the tomato is undoubtedly
a fruit. Vegetables, on the other
hand, have no foothold on a
botanical definition; any edible
“vegetation” can be called a veg-
etable. The definition of vegeta-
ble in Western diets is driven more
by cultural and culinary tradition
than biology. Vegetables are gen-
erally savory and served as part of
a main course, whereas fruits are
customarily thought to be sweet
and served as a dessert.
Historically, tomatoes were clas-
sified as a fruit. However, when a
tax was levied on imported veg-
etables, but not fruits, the dual
identity of tomatoes became of
significant importance economi-
cally. The case of the tomato def-
inition rose to the Supreme Court,
who ruled in Nix v. Hedden that in
fact tomatoes fit the common def-
inition of vegetables and should
be classified as such. Although
the 1893 Supreme Court ruling
did not change the botanical def-
inition of tomatoes as a fruit, the
savory tomato plays the traditional
role of vegetable in meals, and is
classified as a vegetable by the US
Department of Agriculture.
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3
Lycopene
Lycopene is a carotenoid pigment prin-
cipally responsible for the characteristic
deep-red color of ripe tomato fruits and
tomato products. All carotenoids posses
a polyisoprenoid structure, a long con-
jugated chain of double bonds, and a
near bilateral symmetry around the cen-
tral double bond (Figure 1
38
).
39
Different
carotenoids are derived by modifications
in the base structure by cyclization of the
end groups and by introduction of oxy-
gen giving them their specific colors and
antioxidant properties.
40
Unlike some
carotenoids, lycopene lacks the termi-
nal b-ionic ring and thus does not have
provitamin A activity.
40
Because of the
high number of conjugated dienes within
lycopene, its potency as an effective sin-
glet oxygen quencher is about 2 times
greater than b-carotene and 10 times
greater than vitamin E.
41,42
As one of the
most potent antioxidants in food, lyco-
pene has attracted the interest of scien-
tists and health professionals alike for its
potential to reduce disease risk and pro-
mote health.
Lycopene exists in foods primarily
in the trans sterisomeric configuration;
however, cooking and processing help
convert trans-lycopene to cis-lycopene,
which is more readily absorbed.
43,44
Lycopene is found in appreciable levels
in human serum and tissues when toma-
toes and tomato products are consumed
frequently. In addition to lycopene, toma-
toes also contain other carotenoids,
including phytoene, phytofluene,
z-carotene, g-carotene, b-carotene, euro-
sporene, and lutein. These carotenoids
have also attracted attention for bene-
fiting health.
45
Thus, in addition to their
culinary role in the diet, tomatoes rep-
resent a low energy dense food with
unique constituents that may positively
affect health.
Lycopene Versus
Tomatoes
As data linking tomato intake with dis-
ease risk reduction have multiplied,
investment in determining the responsi-
ble tomato components has expanded.
Identifying lycopene as a principal bio-
active component of tomatoes has
spawned hundreds of research investi-
gations to determine its potential mecha-
nisms of action. In addition to lycopene’s
well-documented antioxidant potency,
evidence is accumulating to suggest
that it also can modulate intercellular
gap junction communication and hor-
monal, immune system, and metabolic
pathways.
46
The safety and efficacy of lycopene
supplementation has received consider-
able attention. Lycopene supplementa-
tion in prostate cancer patients has been
shown to be safe and well tolerated in
Note: Reprinted with permission from Caledonian Science Press Ltd.
Figure 1.
Chemical Structures of Dietary Carotenoids.
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine XXX • XXX XXXX
doses up to 120 mg/d for up to 1 year.
47
Clark et al
47
also showed that peak con-
centrations of lycopene were achieved in
3 months, reaching a plateau that did not
differ significantly among doses of 15 to
90 mg/d. Evidence for improving disease
status among lycopene supplementation
studies ranging in dose (15-120 mg/d)
and duration (3 weeks to 1 year) is
equivocal, as measured by changes in
insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1,
including IGF binding proteins,
27,48-50
prostate-specific antigen,
47,51-55
and benign
prostate hyperplasia.
51,55
In contrast, data
consistently support a protective relation-
ship between tomatoes and tomato prod-
uct intake and prostate cancer risk as
well as improvements in markers of dis-
ease status.
28-30,56-59
Similarly, research suggests that lyco-
pene supplementation for lowering car-
diovascular disease risk is safe and well
tolerated. Reduced blood pressure after
lycopene supplementation was reported
in 2 studies
32,60
out of 3 available stud-
ies.
32,60,61
To our knowledge, tomatoes’/
tomato products’ effect on blood pressure
have not been reported. Several supple-
mentation investigations examined the
antioxidant effects of lycopene and toma-
toes. Results consistently show improved
antioxidant status with tomato/tomato
products consumption and after lyco-
pene supplementation
33,50,62
; however, 2
large clinical trials of lycopene supple-
mentation reported neutral effects on oxi-
dative stress markers.
45,63
Similar large
randomized controlled trials on tomato
intake and oxidative stress markers have
not been reported. However, one study
(n = 60) in relatively healthy individu-
als
33
and 2 studies (n = 40 and n = 57) in
individuals with type 2 diabetes, who are
in a relatively pro-oxidant state, showed
decreased lipid peroxidation rates
64
and
decreased susceptibility of low-density
lipoproteins (LDL) to oxidation
35
after
daily consumption of tomatoes or tomato
juice. Others have reported less suscep-
tibility to oxidation of DNA
65,66
and LDL
67
after tomato product consumption deliv-
ering approximately half (or more) of
the lycopene dose typically used in lyco-
pene supplementation studies. These
data suggest that the health benefits of
tomato/tomato product consumption are
not solely because of lycopene content,
but rather the result of the combination of
nutrients and bioactive constituents deliv-
ered when the whole food is consumed.
These data underscore recommendations
for “food first” approaches to health and
improved quality of life.
Cancer
The majority of research conducted in
the area of tomato and lycopene intake
and cancer risk has been observational.
The difficulty posed in studying the effect
of an intervention to reduce risk of can-
cer is that acceptable and validated study
endpoints include incidence of the can-
cer itself; or in the case of colon cancer,
recurrent colon or rectal polyps in oth-
erwise healthy people.
68
Because cancer
often takes decades to present, conduct-
ing randomized, controlled clinical tri-
als with these endpoints is generally not
feasible. Instead, observational studies of
populations showing associations but not
cause and effect have been the primary
source of knowledge on tomatoes/tomato
products and cancer. In a recent review
of the literature, 178 original research
articles were compiled reporting findings
in humans on the relationship between
lycopene, tomatoes and tomato-based
products, and cancer risk.
69
Among these
publications, nearly 90% were observa-
tional, highlighting the paucity of cause
and effect investigations in this area.
Reports on 13 cancer types were identi-
fied, of which breast, colorectal, gastric/
upper gastrointestinal, and prostate can-
cers have the most original research pub-
lished in humans, ranging from 17 to
60 publications. For breast, colorectal,
and gastric cancers, the data support a
neutral, although potentially protective,
relationship between tomato/lycopene
intake and cancer risk. Although the data
are limited for gastric and lung cancers;
the protective association is strongest
with tomato intake verses dietary lyco-
pene intake.
Among the cancers investigated rela-
tive to lycopene and tomato intake, pros-
tate cancer is the most widely researched.
Although randomized controlled trial data
are less available than observation data,
a small number of dietary intervention
trials using processed tomato products
have been conducted. The results have
been relatively successful as measured by
improvements in prostate-specific antigen
concentrations
26,29,59,70
or increased apop-
totic cell death in carcinomas.
30
Of note,
these trials vary in quality, have small
sample sizes, use biomarkers instead of
cancer as the outcome, and use people
already presenting with disease. Validated
cancer markers and larger clinical trials in
at risk populations are warranted to better
understand the cause and effect relation-
ship between lycopene, tomatoes and
tomato products, and cancer.
Cardiovascular Disease
The research examining tomatoes and
cardiovascular disease (CVD) is emerg-
ing as the etiology of CVD expands from
a basic lipid storage disease to include
endothelial dysfunction, severe inflamma-
tion, and oxidative damage. Tomatoes,
with their distinctive nutritional attributes
may play an important role in reduc-
ing the risk of cardiovascular and asso-
ciated diseases through their bioactivity
in modulating disease process pathways.
In 2004, Sesso et al
18
reported an inverse
association for women consuming greater
intakes (>7 servings per week) of tomato-
based products and CVD; an associa-
tion not observed with lycopene intake
alone.
18
Several hypotheses are being tested
related to the antioxidant properties of
lycopene and a combination of carot-
enoids with coexisting water-soluble con-
stituents delivered by tomatoes, such as
vitamin C. The antioxidant capacity of
plasma decreases when tomatoes and
tomato products are removed from the
diet and increased when they are added
back.
33
Consuming tomato products daily
for 2 to 4 weeks increases antioxidant
enzyme defenses and has been shown
to reduce plasma lipid peroxides and the
susceptibility of LDL to oxidation.
31,35,71
Oxidative modification of LDL is a key
step in the development of atheroscle-
rotic lesions.
72
Consuming diets with
appreciable amounts of antioxidants from
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5
plant foods, such as tomatoes, to inhibit
the oxidative process of LDL may be one
way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular
atherosclerotic disease.
Tomatoes and tomato products are
also being investigated for possible anti-
inflammatory, antithrombotic, and lipid-
lowering effects. Supplementation of a
low tomato diet with tomato products
produces mixed results as measured by
changes in inflammatory markers such as
C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6,
and tumor necrosis factor-a. Jacob et al
34
reported decreased CRP after a 2-week
tomato juice supplementation containing
approximately 21 mg lycopene and
2 levels of vitamin C (45.5 mg and 435 mg,
respectively). Both juices reduced CRP
as well as total cholesterol concentration.
In contrast, others have reported neu-
tral effects on inflammatory markers after
juice supplementation
73,74
as well as on
lipid profile.
64,75
To date, research describ-
ing the potential benefits of tomatoes and
tomato products on inflammation and
immune function is limited. However, this
remains an important underinvestigated
area of research. Future work will signifi-
cantly contribute to our understanding of
the role of tomatoes in inflammation and
immune function related to CVD.
Natural antithrombotic agents that
influence platelet function or fibrino-
lytic activity are of interest as primary
and secondary cardiopreventive strat-
egies. Aqueous extracts from tomatoes
have been shown to display antiplate-
let activity in vitro.
76
Subsequent research
in humans shows significant reductions
in ex vivo platelet aggregation 3 hours
after supplementation with tomato extract
from the yellowish membrane surround-
ing seeds in amounts equivalent to 2 or
6 fresh tomatoes.
77
Emerging Areas: Skin,
Bone, and Brain Health
Research in cancer and cardiovascular
disease, particularly related to the anti-
oxidant effects of tomatoes, has lead to
research in other areas where oxidative
stress and damage play significant roles
in disease etiology. Skin protection, bone
and brain health are attracting attention
for a possible role of tomato products.
Although the human literature is far from
replete in these areas, promising results
have been reported. For skin protection,
tomato intake (40 g tomato paste corre-
sponding to a lycopene dose of approx-
imately 16 mg) for more than 8 weeks
reduced ultraviolet light–induced ery-
thema.
36,37,78
Epidemiological studies sug-
gest a beneficial relationship between
dietary sources of lycopene and bone
mass.
79-81
Likewise, lower serum lycopene
concentrations have been documented in
osteoporotic women compared with
controls.
19,20
Rao et al
17
have also reported
an inverse association between serum
lycopene and markers of oxidative
stress and bone turnover in 33 post-
menopausal women aged 50 to 60 years.
Research for a possible role of toma-
toes in brain health has largely been lim-
ited to case–control studies investigating
the relationship between plasma/serum
lycopene and oxidative stress markers
in people with documented Alzheimer’s
disease, Parkinson’s disease, vascular
dementia, and mild cognitive impairment
compared with control/noncognitively
impaired individuals. In general, plasma/
serum lycopene concentrations are lower
in cognitively impaired compared with
control individuals
14-16,82
and oxidative
stress markers are elevated and inversely
correlated with plasma carotenoids
concentrations.
14,15,83
Tomato Processing:
Does It Increase the
Nutritional Benefits?
Raw fruits and vegetables are typically
touted as superior to their processed
(ie, canned and frozen) counterparts.
However, in the case of tomatoes, pro-
cessing adds value by increasing the
availability of lycopene for absorption.
Several studies have shown that a higher
serum lycopene concentration is corre-
lated with lower cancer risk,
9,11-13
CVD risk,
2,18,33,40,69
and osteoporosis.
20
Processing assists with lycopene’s bio-
availability by softening cell walls, mak-
ing lycopene in tomato tissues more
accessible, and by converting some of the
trans-isomers of lycopene to cis-isomers.
84,85
Cis-lycopene stereoisomers are more bio-
available than the trans-isomer, which
is primarily found in raw, ripe toma-
toes.
43,44,86-90
Cis-isomers are more read-
ily absorbed through the intestinal wall
into the plasma because of the greater
solubility in micelles, preferential incor-
poration into chylomicrons, less ten-
dency to aggregate and crystallize, more
efficient volatilization in lipophilic solu-
tions, and easier transport within cells,
across plasma membranes, and the tis-
sue matrix.
43,91
The greatest increase in
cis-isomer formation occurs when tomato
products are heated at very high temper-
atures. Likewise, lycopene bioavailabil-
ity increases in the presence of oil.
89,90,92,93
Whether oil needs to be present in the
tomato product during thermal process-
ing to solubilize and free the lycopene
from its matrix to enhance isomerization
is still uncertain.
44
In summary, processed
tomato products have enhanced bioavail-
ability of lycopene due in part to heat
applied in cooking and processing meth-
ods and the addition of small amounts of
fat or oil.
Reaching Vegetable
Consumption Goals
The emerging research on tomatoes
exemplifies the health benefits of con-
suming adequate amounts of fruits and
vegetables as encouraged in federal pub-
lic health policy and Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) regulation.
94,95
In
all, 3 of the 12 original authorized FDA
Health Claims for food labels pertain to
fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of
cancer and CVD (21 CFR 101.76, 101.77
and 101.78).
95
The mechanism by which tomatoes
and other fruits and vegetables decrease
risk of disease is complex and largely
unknown. Various components of the
whole food are likely to contribute to
the overall health benefit. Components
with antioxidant properties, such vitamin
C and carotenoids may work directly by
quenching free radicals or indirectly by
participating in cell signaling pathways
sensitive to redox balance. Nutrients such
as potassium contribute to blood pres-
sure regulation. The fiber content and
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine XXX • XXX XXXX
type of different fruits and vegetables
may also contribute to the overall health
benefit, such as improving bowel tran-
sit, lowering cholesterol, and helping
manage blood glucose concentrations.
Finally, increasing fruits and vegetables
in the diet may reduce the intake of sat-
urated fats, trans fats, and foods with
higher caloric density; all of which may
be related to a healthier overall diet.
Over the past 50 years, the US Depart-
ment of Agriculture–recommended daily
amount of vegetables has gradually
increased from 2 servings in 1956 to
5 servings (2½ cups) currently. Despite
these recommendations and the scien-
tific evidence supporting the benefits of
eating more vegetables, Americans fall
short of incorporating adequate vegeta-
bles into their daily diets. The National
Cancer Institute’s Usual Dietary Intakes
report indicates that adult Americans’
median vegetable consumption is about
1½ cups daily, compared with the recom-
mended 2½ cups of vegetables daily for
a 2000-calorie diet. Approximately 90%
of adults fall short of the recommended
amount.
96
National efforts to promote higher veg-
etable intake have been implemented.
Increasing vegetable intake continues to
be a goal in the US Department of Health
and Human Services’ Healthy People
2020. The National Cancer Institute has
driven this initiative, initially with 5
a Day, and more recently with Fruits
and Vegetables More Matters campaign.
Data indicate that these efforts have not
had a measurable effect on vegetable
consumption.
97
Many barriers have been identified that
inhibit the intake of vegetables—lack of
availability of raw produce, cost, bitter or
unpleasant flavor, and unfamiliarity, to
name a few. Tomato products are one of
the few non-starchy vegetables that cir-
cumvent these barriers. In fact, toma-
toes are second only to potatoes in total
consumption by Americans.
98
Tomatoes
account for 22% of total vegetable con-
sumption; approximately 86 pounds
(mostly canned tomato products) are con-
sumed per capita per year (Figure 2).
98,99
Thus, the variety and availability of toma-
toes and tomato products, as well as
their culinary and cultural adaptability,
increases the potential of focusing atten-
tion on tomato consumption as a feasi-
ble strategy to help Americans meet the
challenging goal of increased vegetable
consumption.
An “Other” Vegetable?
USDA classifies vegetables into 5 sub-
groups, each with unique nutrient con-
tributions Dark Green, Orange, Starchy,
Legumes and Other. The Other Vegetable
subgroup provides 55% of the total veg-
etable intake, of which tomatoes account
for 39%. As shown in Figure 3, intakes of
Dark Green, Orange, and Legume sub-
groups fall well below recommendations.
For example, the recommended intake
of Orange Vegetables is 2 cups a week,
and current consumption is 0.29 cups a
week, about 15% of the recommended
0%
10%
20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
Raw Canned sauces, paste
& whole tomatoes
Juice Ketchup
Figure 2.
Distribution of Tomato and Tomato Products Consumption.
Source: Economic Resource Service.
98,99
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
140%
Dark
Green
Orange Legumes Starchy Other
Female Adults
Male Adults
Figure 3.
Usual Intake as a Percentage of Recommended Intake for Vegetable
Subgroups.
Source: US Department of Agriculture.
94,96
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicinevol. X • no. X
7
amount for a 2000-calorie diet.
94,96
Given
the distinctive nutritional profile of toma-
toes, and the emerging yet robust body
of research showing health support-
ing attributes of tomatoes, placing toma-
toes in the generic other category misses
an opportunity to highlight tomatoes as a
positive selection for Americans who are
trying to improve their diets. Elevating
the profile of tomatoes by creating a new
vegetable subgroup called Red-Orange
to include tomatoes is recommended by
the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee.
100
The addition of “red” to
this subgroup will add nutritional value
to the category, and featuring the famil-
iar tomato in the Red-Orange Vegetable
subgroup may increase exposure to other
vegetables in this category as well as
make it more feasible for Americans to
meet the weekly intake recommendation
from this subgroup for health promotion.
Potassium
In addition to lycopene, tomatoes are
one of the top contributors of potas-
sium to the American diet. Based on
1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey food intake data,
tomatoes rank seventh after milk, pota-
toes, beef, coffee, poultry, and orange/
grapefruit juice as a potassium source.
101
Potassium is a nutrient of concern, as
most Americans consume amounts well
below the Dietary Reference Intake
(DRI). In 2004, the new adult DRI for
potassium (4700 mg) was substan-
tially higher than the amount previously
reported in the 1989 Recommended
Dietary Allowance (3500 mg).
102,103
The
increased recommendation was based on
evidence indicating that 4700 mg potas-
sium should help lower blood pressure,
reduce the adverse effect of excess
sodium intake on blood pressure, reduce
the risk of kidney stones, and possibly
reduce age-related bone loss. Meeting
potassium intake recommendations is
challenging when consuming a typi-
cal American diet. To increase potassium
intake without increasing calorie intake,
calories currently consumed as solid
fats, added sugars, and alcohol will need
to be replaced in part by foods rich in
potassium. Table 2 shows the potassium
content per 100 kcal of the top potassium
sources. Tomatoes provide at least twice
the potassium per 100 kcal compared
with other common sources, except
coffee, a nonsignificant calorie source of
potassium. Consuming potassium from
fruits and vegetables is ideal because it
occurs with a biologically advantageous
ratio of bicarbonate or citrate, important
for bone health. Increasing potassium
intake through increased tomato intake
is a healthful, calorically sensible strategy
for Americans.
Summary and
Conclusions
Tomatoes are quantitatively the most
important nonstarchy vegetable in the
American diet. They offer significant
nutritional advantages, including provid-
ing a significant source of dietary lyco-
pene and other carotenoids, vitamin C,
potassium, and fiber in a low energy
dense food. Emerging research under-
scores the relationship between consum-
ing tomatoes and tomato products with
reduced risk of certain cancers, heart dis-
ease, ultraviolet light–induced skin dam-
age, osteoporosis, and other conditions.
Although lycopene has been extensively
investigated apart from the tomato, the
preponderance of evidence suggests that
consumption of whole tomatoes and
tomato products should be preferen-
tially recommended because of greater
consistency of documented positive out-
comes with the whole tomato and the
concomitant supply of other important
essential nutrients and nonessential nutri-
ent-like bioactive substances. In addi-
tion to the specific nutritional benefits of
tomato consumption, encouraging greater
tomato and tomato product consumption
may be a simple and effective strategy
for increasing overall vegetable intake.
Tomatoes are widely available, have an
established record of acceptability among
people of all ages and across cultures,
are cost-effective, and offer the conve-
nience of multiple forms. These factors
increase the likelihood for compliance
and high potential for improving overall
dietary patterns in general.
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a
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a
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... The presence of anti-oxidants in tomatoes reduces the risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, cataracts, asthma and cancer such as lung, stomach, cervical, prostate, oral, breast, pancreatic, colorectal, ovarian and many other types of cancer (Blum et al., 2005). Tomato, when consumed as juice is a good sports drink that restores athletes from fatigue and sleepiness and is also a good energy drink that rejuvenates the health of patients on dialysis (Debjit et al., 2012) Tomato is an excellent vegetable for rapid skin cell replacements (Freeman and Reimers, 2010). The advantages of these fruits include their availability to people of all ages and cultures, cost-effectiveness and availability in many forms. ...
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The quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) was investigated at green (GR), yellowish–orange (YOR) and red ripening (RR) stages using viscometry, to identify the best ripening stage to maximally derive its nutritional values. Selected tomatoes were obtained from a local market in Osogbo, Nigeria at three ripening stages They were cleaned, grated, extracted with muslin cloth and centrifuged. The viscosity of the supernatant - fresh tomato juices (FTJ) was measured with an Ubbelohde viscometer and recorded on an hourly basis for 48 h. The data were analyzed with SPSS. The study established that the viscosity of FTJ ranged from 1.39 to 2.25 cP (GR > YOR > RR), but reduced at the first twelve hours of study and ranged from 1.12 cP (RR) to 1.65 cP (GR). At the last twelve hours of study, the viscosity of the three juices remained fairly constant and ranged from 1.12 to 1.24 cP (RR < YOR < GR). However, the levels of overall reduction observed in viscosities of the FTJ monitored for 48 h were 44.89% (GR), 19.46% (YOR) and 19.42% (RR), indicating poor quality retention in GR tomato. Thus, it is more nutritionally suitable to consume yellowish-orange and red ripen tomatoes.
... Tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide, it belongs to the Solanaceae family (Lopes-Sobrinho et al., 2022); it is important for human health because the contents of micronutrients, potassium, beta-carotene, calcium, lycopene, folate, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid (Freeman and Reimers, 2011). ...
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Chemical fertilizers are frequently used in agriculture with harmful effects on ecological components, so the use of microorganisms as growth regulators is an agricultural practice increasingly used today. The aim of this research was to evaluate Trichoderma sp. as growth regulator in tomato plants. Trichoderma sp. isolated from soils was grown on solid PDA medium for morphological characterization of the fungus. An experiment to analyse the interaction between Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh conditions was established, where: T1 = Trichoderma sp.; T2 = without Trichoderma sp. (fertilization recommended for the crop was applied); T3 = shade mesh and T4 = without shade mesh. Several variables were evaluated in the plants and in the fruits. The macroscopic characteristics showed mycelium with a cottony morphology and a dark green coloration, and the microscopic characteristics of the fungus were conidiophores with a branch, phialides and ovoid to ellipsoid conidia. Interaction of Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh had a significant effect on plant height, number of flowers and number of fruits, with the greater values with Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh. Regarding the evaluation of the fruits significant differences were found in the weight, diameter, length, and colour (L and a* value) but not in b* value.
... Tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide, it belongs to the Solanaceae family (Lopes-Sobrinho et al., 2022); it is important for human health because the contents of micronutrients, potassium, beta-carotene, calcium, lycopene, folate, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid (Freeman and Reimers, 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
Chemical fertilizers are frequently used in agriculture with harmful effects on ecological components, so the use of microorganisms as growth regulators is an agricultural practice increasingly used today. The aim of this research was to evaluate Trichoderma sp. as growth regulator in tomato plants. Trichoderma sp. isolated from soils was grown on solid PDA medium for morphological characterization of the fungus. An experiment to analyse the interaction between Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh conditions was established, where: T1 = Trichoderma sp.; T2 = without Trichoderma sp. (fertilization recommended for the crop was applied); T3 = shade mesh and T4 = without shade mesh. Several variables were evaluated in the plants and in the fruits. The macroscopic characteristics showed mycelium with a cottony morphology and a dark green coloration, and the microscopic characteristics of the fungus were conidiophores with a branch, phialides and ovoid to ellipsoid conidia. Interaction of Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh had a significant effect on plant height, number of flowers and number of fruits, with the greater values with Trichoderma sp. and shade mesh. Regarding the evaluation of the fruits significant differences were found in the weight, diameter, length, and colour (L and a* value) but not in b* value.
... The role tomatoes play in health promotion and disease risk reduction extends far beyond antioxidant content and antiinflammatory function but can also help increase overall vegetable intake. 35 Our findings related to the longterm, high consumption patterns of plant-based foods resulting in a more favorable BMI are consistent with those reported by Zhu et al. (2021). Consistently, the specific foods shown to be strongly associated with these benefits are predominantly fruits and vegetables as well as nuts. ...
Article
Plant-based dietary patterns are associated with chronic disease risk reduction, prevention, and reversal. As such, the Nutritarian diet is a dietary plan grounded in the daily consumption of micronutrient-dense, plant-rich foods that satisfy nutrient needs with a corresponding improvement in overall health. The Nutritarian Women’s Health Study was a fully-online intervention that included supportive, automated email messages, with participants self-reporting dietary adherence and anthropometric measurements quarterly. Changes in Body Mass Index (BMI) were not significant. The groups with the lowest baseline Waist-to-Height-Ratio (WHtR) showed an initial increase followed by a decrease. Responses related to dietary adherence showed that most participants easily consumed greens, beans, onions/garlic, berries, and seeds, avoided animal products, alcohol, and refined foods, but had difficulty with regularly consuming mushrooms and tomatoes. A midpoint questionnaire revealed participants consumed an overwhelming amount of their meals/snacks according to the dietary plan and about half found it easy/very easy to eat strictly Nutritarian. A large majority reported a positive change in health from participating in the study. The barriers to following the dietary plan include a busy lifestyle and the opposing views/pressures from friends, family, co-workers, and/or spouse/partner. It is important to evaluate this fully-online approach when considering future interventions.
... Tomato is an important source of vitamins (A and C), minerals (iron, phosphorus), lycopene, Beta-carotene, high amount of water and low calories [5,10]. Tomato also contains lycopene that helps prevent aging-related diseases such as dementia and osteoporosis [11]. It also increases fertility in men by improving sperm quality and swimming speed [12]. ...
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Despite government support to boost domestic production, tomato consumption in Ghana is heavily dependent on imports. Improved tomato seed varieties (ITSV) are considered inputs to increase productivity, but their contribution to household welfare is quite unknown. We examined the impact of ITSV adoption on household welfare in three agro-ecological zones of Ghana. Primary data was collected from a random sample of 508 tomato farmers using a semi-structured questionnaire. The study corrected for endogeneity bias in farmer adoption decisions using the multinomial endogenous switching regression model. The results show that the farmers' adoption of the improved varieties (Pectomech, Power Roma or both) was high and significantly influenced by sex, farm income, extension contact, credit access, perception of varietal characteristics (mainly yield), and farmers' residence in FSTZ, compared with the local variety (“Techiman”). Regarding household welfare, the adoption of Pectomech, Power Roma or both increased household expenditure and assets. Additionally, farmers gained more income by adopting Pectomech and both Pectomech and Power Roma. The findings suggest the need for research institutions like CSIR and the universities to step up the production of improved seed varieties with high-yielding capabilities and tolerance to pest, spoilage, and bad weather, while government and NGOs assist to increase farmers’ access to credit and extension services.
... Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruits have substantial nutraceutical qualities, being an important source of fibers, lycopene and other carotenoids, vitamin C, and potassium, their consumption reducing the risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, ultravioletlight-induced skin damage, and osteoporosis [1,2]. Additionally, tomato crop production is important from an economical point of view, as it is the second most important fruit or vegetable crop next to potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) being cultivated worldwide [3]. ...
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Genetic variability is extremely important, not only for the species’ adaptation to environmental challenges, but also for the creation of novel varieties through plant breeding. Tomato is an important vegetable crop, as well as a model species in numerous genomic studies. Its genome was fully sequenced in 2012 for the ‘Heinz 1706’ variety, and since then, resequencing efforts have revealed genetic variability data that can be used for multiple purposes, including triggering mechanisms of biotic and abiotic stress resistance. The present study focused on the analysis of the genome variation for eight Romanian local tomato varieties using next-generation sequencing technique, and as a case study, the sequence analysis of the Ve1 and Ve2 loci, to determine which genotypes might be good candidates for future breeding of tomato varieties resistant to Verticillium species. The analysis of the Ve locus identified several genotypes that could be donors of the Ve1 gene conferring resistance to Verticillium race 1. Sequencing for the first time Romanian genotypes enriched the existing data on various world tomato genetic resources, but also opened the way for the molecular breeding in Romania. Plant breeders can use these data to create novel tomato varieties adapted to the ever-changing environment.
Conference Paper
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Tomato is one of the most cultivated vegetables in the world, and it is loved and consumed by many nations. The nutritional composition of tomatoes includes carbohydrates (3%), protein (1.2%), total lipids (1%), minerals [calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sodium (Na), zinc) (Zn), manganese (Mn) et al.], vitamins (vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and pyridoxine). Vitamins are involved in various functions such as maintaining nervous system health, producing red blood cells, and enzymatic functions. Minerals are naturally occurring, inorganic, solid substances. They are necessary for a variety of bodily functions, including regulation of metabolic pathways, formation of vital organs, maintenance of physiological functions, regulation of pH balance, fluid balance, blood pressure, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, and energy production. This fruit contains significant levels of antioxidants and bioactive compounds such as β-carotene, ascorbic acid, lycopene, tocopherol, phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins. In general, antioxidant compounds play important roles in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, neurological diseases by minimizing the oxidative stress caused by reactive oxygen species. Phenolic compounds and carotenoids are the main biologically active compounds found in ripe tomatoes. Indeed, the red color of a ripe tomato fruit is due to the fact that it contains a significant amount of lycopene. On the other hand, alkaloids are toxic compounds found in tomatoes and their structure is similar to nicotine. Most alkaloids are crystalline compounds and can be found freely in plants. Tomatine, a mildly toxic glycoalkaloid or steroidal alkaloid, is found in the stem, leaves and immature (green) fruits (up to 500 mg/kg) of the tomato plant. Tomatine toxicity has also been reported in tomato leaves consumed as tea. As a result of experimental animal studies, the main symptoms that characterize the acute toxicity of tomatine include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, confusion, malaise, and depression, similar to the symptoms of solanine poisoning. In addition, consumption of raw tomatoes can cause quite severe anaphylaxis, especially in children and allergy-prone people. In this review, the effects of tomato consumption on human health were tried to be examined.
Article
Background: Papaya (Carica papaya) has a maximum loss of postharvest shelf life. Due to the higher respiration activity, these are prone to ripening within a short time frame; as a result, pathogens develop quickly and lead to enormous problems for papaya producers. Hence to minimize this postharvest loss and to preserve nutritional qualities, the present study was conducted to utilize papaya pulp to prepare a delicious papaya chutney with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) because of its unique flavour. Methods: For chutney preparation, different combinations of papaya and tomato were used and their quality was analyzed based on biochemical (Total Soluble Solids, Titratable acidity, acid/Brix ratio, vitamin-C, total sugars, reducing sugars) and sensory attributes (colour, appearance, flavour, texture and consistency). Result: The treatment T7 (50% papaya: 50% tomato) was found to be the best combination in terms of biochemical and sensory quality parameters. Chutney was yet in acceptable conditions even after 90 days of preparation.
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• Plant height, stem girth, leaf area index, yield and dry fruit biomass are affected by fertilizer rate, irrigation regime, genotype and micro-climate of the greenhouse and its interactions. • Plant height, stem girth, leaf area index, yield and dry fruit biomass increased with increased fertilizer rates and irrigation regime. • The combination of 100% fertilizer rate by 100% irrigation regime best supported stem girth and dry fruit biomass under micro-climate 1 and 2. • A strong negative correlation (-0.718) existed between yield and optimum temperature under micro-climate 1 whereas a weak positive correlation (0.231) existed between yield and optimum temperature under micro-climate 2. • A positive correlation (0.369 and 0.753 respectively) existed between optimum temperature and rootzone pH under micro-climate 1 and 2.
Article
Background: Some data, including our findings from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) from 1986 through January 31, 1992, suggest that frequent intake of tomato products or lycopene, a carotenoid from tomatoes, is associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer. Overall, however, the data are inconclusive. We evaluated additional data from the HPFS to determine if the association would persist. Methods: We ascertained prostate cancer cases from 1986 through January 31, 1998, among 47 365 HPFS participants who completed dietary questionnaires in 1986, 1990, and 1994. We used pooled logistic regression to compute multivariate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). All statistical tests were two-sided. Results: From 1986 through January 31, 1998, 2481 men in the study developed prostate cancer. Results for the period from 1992 through 1998 confirmed our previous findings—that frequent tomato or lycopene intake was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Similarly, for the entire period of 1986 through 1998, using the cumulative average of the three dietary questionnaires, lycopene intake was associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer (RR for high versus low quintiles = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.73 to 0.96; Ptrend = .003); intake of tomato sauce, the primary source of bioavailable lycopene, was associated with an even greater reduction in prostate cancer risk (RR for 2+ servings/week versus <1 serving/month = 0.77; 95% CI = 0.66 to 0.90; Ptrend<.001), especially for extraprostatic cancers (RR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.42 to 0.99). These associations persisted in analyses controlling for fruit and vegetable consumption and for olive oil use (a marker for Mediterranean diet) and were observed separately in men of Southern European or other Caucasian ancestry. Conclusion: Frequent consumption of tomato products is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer. The magnitude of the association was moderate enough that it could be missed in a small study or one with substantial errors in measurement or based on a single dietary assessment.
Book
Upon exposure to UV light photooxidative reactions are initiated which are damaging to biomolecules and affect the integrity of cells and tissues. Photooxidative damage plays a role in pathological processes and is involved in the development of disorders affecting the skin. When skin is exposed to UV light, erythema is observed as an initial reaction. Carotenoids like β-carotene or lycopene are efficient antioxidants scavenging singlet molecular oxygen and peroxyl radicals generated in during photooxidation. When β-carotene was applied as such or in combination with α-tocopherol for 12 weeks, erythema formation induced with a solar light simulator was diminished from week 8 on. Similar effects were also achieved with a diet rich in lycopene. Ingestion of tomato paste corresponding to a dose of 16 mg lycopene/ day over 10 weeks led to increases in serum levels of lycopene and total carotenoids in skin. At week 10, erythema formation was significantly lower in the group that ingested the tomato paste as compared to the control group. No significant difference was found at week 4 of treatment. Thus, protection against UV light-induced erythema can be achieved by ingestion of a commonly consumed dietary source of lycopene. Such protective effects of carotenoids were also demonstrated in cell culture. The in-vitro data indicate that there is an optimal level of protection for each carotenoid.
Article
The susceptibility of predominant tomato carotenoids to thermal isomerisation during typical food preparation is reported for five varieties with distinctively different carotenoid distribution. The tomato varieties used contain distinct amounts of the following predominant carotenoids: all-trans lycopene, all-trans β-carotene, all-trans δ-carotene, all-trans lutein and the poly-cis geometrical isomer of lycopene, prolycopene. The tomatoes were subjected to thermal treatments and unit operations similar to those during food preparation: boiling, addition of vegetable cooking oil, chopping and agitation. The results indicated that, during typical cooking of tomatoes, common factors such as genotypic differences in overall carotenoid composition, the presence of oil and physical changes to tomato tissues did not result in the thermal isomerisation of all-trans lycopene, all-trans δ-carotene, all-trans γ-carotene or prolycopene. Significant amounts of all-trans β-carotene and all-trans lutein, however, were converted to the cis configurations. The presence of vegetable cooking oil did not alter the thermal stability of any carotenoids being evaluated. Examination of samples by electron microscopy indicated that heat treatment imparted changes to the physical ultrastructure of the tomato tissue, such as cell wall and organelle deformation. The observed differences in these carotenoids' relative susceptibility to thermally induced isomerisation reactions might be attributable to their differences in physical state and cellular localisation. Thus, while thermal processing reportedly alters the bioavailability of carotenoids, its effect on the geometrical isomer distribution is selective and limited. These findings are important considerations in our overall effort to gain a better understanding of carotenoid metabolism in vivo and of the physical chemistry of lycopene in vitro.© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry
Article
A large body of evidence supports a role of oxidative stress in Alzheimer disease (AD) and in cerebrovascular disease. A vascular component might be critical in the pathophysiology of AD, but there is a substantial lack of data regarding the simultaneous behavior of peripheral antioxidants and biomarkers of oxidative stress in AD and vascular dementia (VaD). Sixty-three AD patients, 23 VaD patients and 55 controls were included in the study. We measured plasma levels of water-soluble (vitamin C and uric acid) and lipophilic (vitamin E, vitamin A, carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha- and beta-carotene) antioxidant micronutrients as well as levels of biomarkers of lipid peroxidation [malondialdehyde (MDA)] and of protein oxidation [immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels of protein carbonyls and dityrosine] in patients and controls. With the exception of beta-carotene, all antioxidants were lower in demented patients as compared to controls. Furthermore, AD patients showed a significantly higher IgG dityrosine content as compared to controls. AD and VaD patients showed similar plasma levels of plasma antioxidants and MDA as well as a similar IgG content of protein carbonyls and dityrosine. We conclude that, independent of its nature-vascular or degenerative-dementia is associated with the depletion of a large spectrum of antioxidant micronutrients and with increased protein oxidative modification. This might be relevant to the pathophysiology of dementing disorders, particularly in light of the recently suggested importance of the vascular component in AD development.
Article
Lycopene content up to 520 μgg−1 was measured in a number of tomato-based foodstuffs and meals. (all-E)-Lycopene was the predominant geometrical isomer but varied from 96% to 35% of total lycopene. (5Z)-Lycopene ranged from 4% to 27%. The proportion of (9Z)-lycopene fluctuated between < 1% and 14%. (13Z)-Lycopene and (15Z)-lycopene ranged (together) from < 1% to 7% and the sum of the other (Z)-isomers varied between < 1 % and 22% of total lycopene. It was shown that, during preparation of meals, lycopene undergoes ()-isomerisation, increasing the portion of (Z)-isomers.Compared to food, in human blood plasma the isomeric ratio of lycopene was found to be shifted in favour of the (Z)-isomer fraction, with (5Z)-lycopene as the predominant non-(all-E) component.
Article
Lycopene is a naturally present carotenoid in tomatoes. Among the carotenoids, lycopene is a major component found in the serum. High levels of lycopene have also been found in the testes, adrenal glands, prostate. Several recent studies including cell culture, animal and epidemiological investigations have indicated the effect of dietary lycopene in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease. Although, the antioxidant properties of lycopene are thought to be primarily responsible for its beneficial properties, evidence is accumulating to suggest other mechanisms such as intercellular gap junction communication, hormonal and immune system modulation and metabolic pathways may also be involved. This review summarizes the background information about lycopene and presents the most current knowledge with respect to its role in human health.