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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
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
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:
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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;
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
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
Lycopene is the major dietary
carotenoid and tomatoes and tomato-
based foods are the richest sources of
lycopene in the American diet (Table 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.
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).
There is a strong relationship between
tomato intake and plasma/serum lyco-
pene concentrations.
Several research
investigations have shown an inverse
relationship between plasma/serum
lycopene concentrations and risk of some
Similar associations have been
reported for markers of cardiovascular
disease, osteoporosis, cognitive function,
and body weight.
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
Table 1.
Lycopene Content per Serving in Tomato Products, Tomato-Based Foods, and Fruits
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
From the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,
Release 22.
Tomato: Fruit or
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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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
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.
Unlike some
carotenoids, lycopene lacks the termi-
nal b-ionic ring and thus does not have
provitamin A activity.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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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doses up to 120 mg/d for up to 1 year.
Clark et al
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,
prostate-specific antigen,
and benign
prostate hyperplasia.
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.
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
out of 3 available stud-
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
; however, 2
large clinical trials of lycopene supple-
mentation reported neutral effects on oxi-
dative stress markers.
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-
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
decreased susceptibility of low-density
lipoproteins (LDL) to oxidation
daily consumption of tomatoes or tomato
juice. Others have reported less suscep-
tibility to oxidation of DNA
and LDL
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.
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.
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.
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
or increased apop-
totic cell death in carcinomas.
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
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
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
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.
Oxidative modification of LDL is a key
step in the development of atheroscle-
rotic lesions.
Consuming diets with
appreciable amounts of antioxidants from
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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
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
as well as on
lipid profile.
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.
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.
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-
Epidemiological studies sug-
gest a beneficial relationship between
dietary sources of lycopene and bone
Likewise, lower serum lycopene
concentrations have been documented in
osteoporotic women compared with
Rao et al
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
and oxidative
stress markers are elevated and inversely
correlated with plasma carotenoids
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,
CVD risk,
and osteoporosis.
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.
Cis-lycopene stereoisomers are more bio-
available than the trans-isomer, which
is primarily found in raw, ripe toma-
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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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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
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
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.
account for 22% of total vegetable con-
sumption; approximately 86 pounds
(mostly canned tomato products) are con-
sumed per capita per year (Figure 2).
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
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
Raw Canned sauces, paste
& whole tomatoes
Juice Ketchup
Figure 2.
Distribution of Tomato and Tomato Products Consumption.
Source: Economic Resource Service.
Orange Legumes Starchy Other
Female Adults
Male Adults
Figure 3.
Usual Intake as a Percentage of Recommended Intake for Vegetable
Source: US Department of Agriculture.
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American Journal of Lifestyle Medicinevol. X • no. X
amount for a 2000-calorie diet.
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
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.
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.
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).
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
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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Potassium, mg/100 kcal
Tomatoes, canned 915
Milk, nonfat 457
Potato, baked 422
Orange juice 422
Bananas 402
Ground beef, 95% lean 204
Coffee 116 (per 8-oz serving)
From the US Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,
Release 22.
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... According to these authors, the variation is attributed to factors, such as plant nutrition, environment and genotype, which together can markedly affect the biosynthesis of carotenoids. Abushita et al. [16] reported variation in lycopene content ranging from 26 to 63 mg kg −1 FM in Hungarian cultivars. Lycopene content increased in the puree samples of all the cultivars due to the effect of heating and homogenization, which resulted in the concentration of dry matter and, thus, of lycopene. ...
Tomatoes are the most consumed vegetables worldwide and a valuable source of several antioxidants. The consumption of tomato products from appropriate cultivars after suitable processing methods may significantly improve human diet. The purpose of this study was investigating the variations in the contents of the main antioxidants present in tomato fruits, in the new Cuban breeds and yellow varieties, as well as their changes during the processing to tomato puree and ketchup. The quality evaluation comprised the detection of lycopene, ascorbic acid and total phenolics and the analysis of their contribution to antioxidant capacity in selected tomato genotypes. Heating (90–100 °C/15 min) enhanced the content of lycopene and total phenolics in puree, resulting in an increment in antioxidant capacity, despite the reduction in ascorbic acid as a result of concentration processes. The conducted experiments revealed that cultivars ‘Vyta’ and ‘Cima’ are very suitable for industrial purposes due to their high dry-matter content of more than 9% fresh mass and high biological value. With respect to serving size, the best sources of antioxidants are fresh tomatoes, followed closely by tomato puree, irrespective of cultivar. However, the differences are mainly due to the edible portion size (200 g for fresh tomatoes and 60 mL for puree, respectively).
... nutritionally enriched with blood purification and anti-cancerous properties of antioxidants like lycopene, β-carotene, ascorbic acid, folic acid, phenolic acids, and flavonoids (Arab and Steck 2000;Freeman and Reimers 2011). It is a perishable vegetable with a relatively short shelf life, pre-mature ripening and softening resulted in significant post-harvest losses. ...
Full-text available
Improving tomatoes keeping quality is crucial for reducing post-harvest losses. Knowledge of heterosis, and combining ability is a prerequisite for breeding high yielding and good shelf life heterotic hybrids. An investigation was undertaken with each of 3 lines, testers, and 9 hybrids to identify desirable parents and crosses for 20 fruit biochemical, morpho-physiological, and yield traits and to elucidate the nature of gene action for shelf life and its contributing traits through line × tester analysis. The lines contributed to most of hybrids variability than testers and fruit quality traits had a higher degree of SCA variance as compared to GCA variance. pH, ascorbic acid, fruit firmness, and plant height governed by additive gene action. Lycopene, titratable acidity, TSS, calcium, magnesium, pericarp thickness, pulp content, locule number, fruit length, diameter, weight, shelf life, number of branches, number of clusters, number of fruit/cluster, and yield/plant were under the control of non-additive gene action. All the lines and Arka Saurabh were the best general combiners and IIHR 2349 × Arka Vikas, IIHR 2349 × Arka Saurabh, IIHR 2358 × Arka Ahuti and IIHR 2357 × Arka Ahuti were the best specific combiner in producing heterotic hybrids. IIHR 2349 × Arka Vikas and IIHR 2349 × Arka Saurabh were promising hybrids for high yield and shelf life. The crosses involved both parents with high, one parent with high and other with low and both parents with low good overall general combining ability status respectively indicated the additive, non-additive and epistatic gene action in fruit quality and yield traits inheritance.
... A wide range of scientific studies highlighted that consumption of regular tomatoes and tomato products may display protective actions against the incidence of a host of conditions, such as cognitive dysfunction, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and light-induced skin damage (51,52). The bioaccessibility of tomato carotenoids by in vitro GI digestion has been studied for different typologies of canned tomatoes by the HPLC-DAD method. ...
Full-text available
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) is one of the most consumed vegetables in the world; it contains high amounts of antioxidant phytochemicals and essential nutrients. Although it is commonly consumed fresh, more than 80% of its consumption derives from processed products. Since limited information on changes in the bioaccessibility of bioactive compounds during gastrointestinal digestion was reported, this current study aimed to monitor the antioxidant activity, total polyphenolic and carotenoid content, and bioaccessibility during in vitro gastrointestinal digestion of different typologies (n = 7) of canned tomatoes. A comprehensive evaluation of the polyphenolic profile of digested and not digested samples was ascertained by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography combined with high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry. The results highlighted a considerable content of rutin (1.191-9.516 mg/100 g), naringenin (0.359-1.452 mg/100 g), chlorogenic acid (1.857-11.236 mg/100 g), and lycopene (50.894-222.061 mg/kg) in the analyzed matrices. After in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, large variability, losses and low recovery were recorded. An appreciable percentage of rutin (30.7%), naringenin (29.6%), chlorogenic acid (25.8%), and lycopene (varied between 9.3 and 20%) remained bioaccessible after the in vitro gastrointestinal digestion. Our study could be a valid support to evaluate which content of bioactive compounds could be really bioaccessible to exercise beneficial effects on human health.
... The present study was conducted on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.), which is one of the most consumed fruits in the world (Bashir et al., 2018). Moreover, tomato is one of the fruit products with the highest nutritional value as it contains antioxidants, organic acids, sugars, lycopene and minerals, etc. (Burton & Reimers, 2011). ...
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This study was conducted to compare organic fertilization (OF) with conventional fertilization (CF) in tomato crop with respect to the following specific objectives: (i) to evaluate the contents of applied and available nutrients in the soil; (ii) to evaluate the production, commercial, and nutraceutical quality of tomato fruit; and (iii) to study the relationship of the contents of available nutrients in the soil with the variables affecting the production and quality of tomato fruits. Four treatments were established: OF (1) 6 t ha⁻¹ poultry manure + poultry manure tea and (2) 9 t ha⁻¹ poultry manure + poultry manure tea; CF (3) 180–90-00 and (4) 270–135-00 (N, P2O5, and K2O, respectively). The results show that OF contributed more available nutrients to the soil than CF. OF promoted more fruit yield than CF, as well as more total phenol and antioxidant content in fruits. The higher the doses applied, within each form of fertilization, the higher the agronomic yield, but fruit quality and antioxidant capacity were not affected. The soil variables that were most strongly related to total phenols and antioxidants in tomato fruit were soil available Mn, pH, and electrical conductivity. Both forms of fertilization, organic and conventional fertilization, are different in terms of applied and available nutrients in the soil that nourish the plants and have a consequent effect on the antioxidant capacity of the fruit.
... All over the world, tomato fruit is considered as the most important vegetable (Jangid and Dwivedi 2016) given its widespread consumption either raw or after processing. Tomato fruit is highly beneficial to human health in multiple ways as it is a rich source of energy, carotenoids (lycopene, b-carotene, xanthophylls, etc.), flavonoids, phenolics, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin E, dietary fibers, and other nutraceuticals and phytochemicals (Rao and Rao 2007;Olaniyi et al. 2010;Burton-Freeman and Reimers 2011). Being one of the basic commodities, tomato fruit is a part of the daily diet of the common masses and it is an integral part of culinary. ...
The preference and quality of tomato fruit are primarily determined by its apparent colour and appearance. Non-destructive and rapid methods for assessment of tomato colour and ripeness are therefore of immense significance. This study was conducted to identify reflectance-based indices and to develop models for the non-destructive determination of colour and ripeness (maturity) of tomato fruits. Tomato fruits of two varieties and two hybrids, representing different ripening stages were investigated. Fruits were either harvested directly from the plants or they were picked up from the lots stored at 25 °C. Reflectance from individual fruit was recorded in a spectrum ranging from 350 to 2500 nm. These fruits at different ripening stages were ranked on a relative ripening score (0.0-8.5). Obtained data (reflectance and ripening score) were subjected to chemometric analysis. In total, six models were developed. The first-best model was based on the index R521 (reflectance at wavelength 521 nm) i.e., y (colour/ripeness) = - 2.456 ln (x) - 1.093 where x is R521. This model had a root mean standard error of prediction (RMSEP) ≥ 0.86 and biasness = - 0.09. The second-best model y = 2.582 ln (x) - 0.805 was based on the index R546 (x) and had RMSEP ≥ 0.89 and biasness = 0.10. Models could bifurcate tomatoes into basic ripening stages and also red and beyond red tomato fruits from other stages across the varieties/hybrids and ripening conditions [for plant harvested (fresh) and stored (aged) fruits]. Findings will prove useful in developing simple and thereby cost-effective tools for rapid screening/sorting of tomato fruits based on their colour or ripeness not only for basic research (phenotyping) but also for the purpose of processing, value-addition, and pharmaceutical usages. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12298-022-01126-2.
... Multiple studies reported an inverse association between vegetable consumption containing glucosinolates and the risk of chronic degenerative diseases [83]. The same correlation has been highlighted for tomato consumption and the risk of some types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and altered macular degeneration [1,[84][85][86][87]. This protective effect has been attributed mainly to pro-vitamin A and other carotenoids, precursors of essential vitamins and antioxidants [88]. ...
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The growing demand for safer foods reflects the public perception of the adverse consequences of chemicals used in agriculture. This research aimed at developing new biological formulations based on the combination of small microbial consortia containing two Trichoderma spp., with a medium–long chain fatty acids mixture (FAm). The bioactivity of these formulations was investigated on different vegetable crops in terms of biocontrol, growth promotion, yield and quality improvements. FAm application reduced Botrytis cinerea necrosis by up to 90% compared to the infected control plants and some of the assayed Trichoderma spp. + FAm combinations contained Rhizoctonia disease, reaching more than 90% reduction of tomato and lettuce plant mortality. An increasing yield, ranging to 25 and 90%, was recorded on treated tomato, lettuce and kohlrabi compared to untreated plants. A significant enrichment in carotenoids (+60%) and glucosinolates (+39%) was measured on biotreated plants compared to controls. Untargeted LC-MS analysis revealed a higher content of tomatine and dehydro-phytosphingosine, glycoalkaloids involved in defense responses, in Trichoderma spp. + FAm combination-treated plants. The combined biostimulant applications of Trichoderma spp. with FAm were able to improve the performances of different horticultural plant species, producing a premium quality marketable vegetable with higher antioxidant content.
Anthropogenic activities like the unbalanced use of fertilizers, agricultural chemicals like pesticides, and other industrial activities such as drilling, steelmaking, and burning of fossil fuels as well as the use of untreated wastewater from different industries have resulted in soil pollution with heavy metals (HMs). This important ecological restriction has contributed to reduced agricultural production and decreased nutritional quality due to the bioaccumulation of HMs in the plant body. Medicinal plants are being recommended for alternative products with non-food staple crops in potentially toxic elements contaminated environments. Despite their ability to bioaccumulate higher concentrations of HMs in their plant body, the plant parts used for medicinal purposes are transferring HMs into the food chain and have ultimately resulted in biomagnification through bioaccumulation in the food chain. Under HM stress, there is an increased production of reactive oxygen species, which pose oxidative stress on the membranous organelles, resulting in lipid peroxidation, protein denaturation, and nucleic acids destruction, damaging their structure and function and ultimately disrupting various metabolic processes involved in growth and development. In order to combat oxidative stress, medicinal plants activate the antioxidant system, which includes the secretion of enzymatic (ascorbate peroxidase, dehydroascorbate reductase, catalase, glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase) and non-enzymatic (carotenoids, glutamate, ascorbate, phenolics, or tocopherol) antioxidants. Chapter 8 summarizes the effects of HMs on the growth and physiological functions of medicinal plants and defence mechanisms against HM stress at morphological and molecular levels, both of which can contribute to improved bioactive compound yields.
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Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of different nutrients, pigments, secondary metabolites and other nutritional components which are beneficial and fundamental components for human health. In recent years, the consumption of coloured fruits and vegetables has increased significantly due to their superior nutritional characteristics. In this context, purple tomato is now gaining importance due to the high content of the pigment anthocyanins. This article provides knowledge on 1) Tomato in general and anthocyanin-rich purple tomato, 2) Benefits of anthocyanins in plants and human diet, 3) Strategies for development of purple tomato, 4) Better postharvest life of purple tomatoes, 5) Purple tomato in India and 6) Health benefits of purple tomato. Purple tomato fruits provide higher nutraceutical value as compared to the classical red tomato as it combines the health benefits of the anthocyanins along with other usual and known phytochemicals as already present in tomato fruit. Due to higher anthocyanins and antioxidative properties, purple tomatoes possess anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancerous, cardio-protective, hepto-protective and neuroprotective effects. Regular consumption of purple tomatoes has also been found effective in the prevention of certain chronic diseases of humans as well. The use of conventional breeding and modern transgenic approach is paving the way for higher anthocyanin and other nutraceuticals in tomato fruits. Higher anthocyanin content has also imparted enhanced shelf-life and better storability to purple tomatoes. In the coming time, the availability and popularity of purple tomatoes in India will be beneficial for farmers, processing industries and human health. This will also serve as another step forward towards attaining nutritional security. Key words: Anti-cancer, Anthocyanins, Antioxidants, Anti-diabetic, Health benefits, Purple tomato, Shelf-life.
Tomatoes have been widely used in nutrition, as well as in nutritional medicine. Red tomatoes are used for the treatment of anaemia, they contain the antioxidant lycopene, and the high concentration of organic acids promotes digestion. Yellow tomatoes have valuable amounts of ß-carotene, the pigment that gives orange and yellow tomatoes their colour, and helps to neutralise free radicals that may damage cells. The size of brown tomatoes is smaller than an average tomato, but they are sweeter, due to higher concentration of fructose. Cherry tomatoes are among the smallest tomatoes commercially available, but they are known for being rich in carotenoids, lycopene and phenolic compounds. The aim of the study was to evaluate how the concentration of biologically active substances differs depending on the tomato growing season. The study examined four varieties of tomatoes (Bolzano F1 — yellow, Chocomate F1— brown, Encore F1 — red, Strabena F1— red cherry) grown in an industrial greenhouse “Mežvidi” (Latvia) using additional light. The concentration of biologically active substances (lycopene, ß-carotene, total phenolic compounds, and soluble solids) was determined in two vegetation periods — autumn (November) and spring (March). The obtained results showed that tomatoes harvested in autumn contained more biologically active substances than in spring, as many biological processes in plants occur more rapidly at the beginning rather than in the middle or at the end of the vegetation season. Therefore, the concentration of secondary metabolites in tomatoes is higher at the end of the season. In autumn, cherry tomatoes Strabena contained the highest amount of pigments, total phenols, and soluble solids, and therefore the taste index of this variety also was the highest. In spring, pigment concentration was significantly lower (on average by 20–30%), and phenols and soluble solids concentration (oBrix) was not significantly lower — on average by 2–4%. Of the large-fruit tomatoes, at the beginning of vegetation season (autumn), the highest amounts of pigments were in red tomatoes (Encore) — lycopene concentration 4.63 ± 0.04 mg·100 g−1; yellow tomatoes Bolzano were rich in phenolic compounds — 128.46 ± 3.25 GAE mg·100−1, and brown tomatoes Chocomate had the highest soluble solids concentration — 4.48 ± 0.05 oBrix. In spring, the concentration of biologically active substances was lower on average by 10–15%, regardless of the colour and variety of the tomato.
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Improving tomatoes keeping quality is crucial for reducing post-harvest losses. Knowledge on heterosis, and combining ability is pre requisite for breeding high yielding and good shelf life heterotic hybrids. An investigation was undertaken with each of 3 lines, testers, and 9 hybrids to identify desirable parents and crosses for 20 fruit biochemical, morpho-physiological, and yield traits and to elucidate nature of gene action for shelf life and its contributing traits through Line × Tester analysis. The lines contributed to most of hybrids variability than testers and fruit quality traits had higher degree of SCA variance as compared to GCA variance. pH, ascorbic acid, fruit firmness, and plant height governed by additive gene action. Lycopene, titratable acidity, TSS, calcium, magnesium, pericarp thickness, pulp content, locule number, fruit length, diameter, weight, shelf life, number of branches, number of clusters, number of fruit/cluster, and yield/plant were under the control of non-additive gene action. All the lines and Arka Saurabh were best general combiners and IIHR 2349 × Arka Vikas, IIHR 2349 × Arka Saurabh, IIHR 2358 × Arka Ahuti and IIHR 2357 × Arka Ahuti were the best specific combiner in producing heterotic hybrids. IIHR 2349 × Arka Vikas and IIHR 2349 × Arka Saurabh were promising hybrids for high yield and shelf life. The crosses involved both parents with high, one parent with high and other with low and both parents with low good overall general combining ability status respectively indicated the additive, non-additive and epistatic gene action in fruit quality and yield traits inheritance.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.