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Tomato-A Natural Medicine and Its Health Benefits INTRODUCTION: Tomatoes are a member of

Authors:
  • HIMACHAL PHARMACY COLLEGE
Online Available at www.phytojournal.com
Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 24
Tomato-A Natural Medicine and Its Health Benefits
Debjit Bhowmik1*, K.P. Sampath Kumar2, Shravan Paswan3, Shweta Srivastava4
1. Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2. Department of Pharmaceutical sciences, Coimbatore medical college, Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu, India
3. Advance Institute of Biotech and Paramedical Sciences, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
4. Hygia Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
Tomatoes can make people healthier and decrease the risk of conditions such as cancer,
osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. People who ate tomatoes regularly have a reduced risk
of contracting cancer diseases such as lung, prostate, stomach, cervical, breast, oral, colorectal,
esophageal, pancreatic, and many other types of cancer. Some studies show that tomatoes and
garlic should be taken together at the same time to have its cancer preventive effects. Whatever it
is, we really do not know how or why tomatoes work against cancers. We believe that lycopene
and the newly discovered bioflavonoids in tomatoes are responsible as cancer fighting agents.
Not only raw tomatoes but also cooked or processed tomato products such as ketchup, sauce, and
paste, are counted as good sources of cancer prevention. Tomato is also good for liver health.
Tomato has detoxification effect in the body. Probably it is due to the presence of chlorine and
sulfur in tomatoes. According to some studies, 51 mg of chlorine and 11 mg of sulfur in 100
grams size of tomato have a vital role in detoxification process. We know that natural chlorine
works in stimulating the liver and its function for filtering and detoxifying body wastes. Sulfur in
tomatoes protects the liver from cirrhosis, too. Tomato juice is known as good energy drink and
for rejuvenating the health of patients on dialysis. Herbalists knew that taking tomatoes and
tomato products could reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases because of lycopene in it. What
is your worry when you take too much food that contains animal fat, Butter, cheese, pork, egg,
beef, and other fried foods. Take tomato, it will prevent hardening of the arteries. Therefore,
tomato can reduce high blood pressure, too. Red ripened tomato is a powerful antioxidant.
Vitamin E and lycopene in tomato prevents LDL oxidation effectively. Bean sprouts, cabbage or
barley malt contain vitamin E. Tomato is an excellent fruit or vegetable for rapid skin cell
replacement. Tomato juice can be used for healing sunburn because of its unique vitamin C. You
can also name tomato juice as a good sports drink to restore yourself from fatigue and sleepiness.
Keyword: Tomato, cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease
Corresponding Author’s Contact information:
Debjit Bhowmik*
Karpagam University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
E-mail: debjit_cr@yahoo.com
INTRODUCTION: Tomatoes are a member of
the deadly nightshade family, and as such were
considered toxic, causing many conditions like
appendicitis, "brain fever" and cancer. In fact,
they may have just the opposite effect. Tomatoes
were not even eaten in the US until the early
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 25
1800s, when an eccentric New Jersey gentleman
Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson brought them
back from a trip overseas. Always one to take
advantage of a dramatic opportunity, he
announced an amazing display of courage would
take place on September 26, 1820. He shocked
his hometown of Salem by consuming and entire
basket of tomatoes in front of a crowd of
spectators, expecting him to keel over any
second. Obviously, he didn't and since then
tomatoes have been a staple of the American diet
and with good reason. Starting with the basics,
tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C,
providing 40 percent of the daily value (DV).
They also contain 15 percent DV of vitamin A, 8
percent DV of potassium, and 7 percent of the
recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron
for women and 10 percent RDA for men. The red
pigment contained in tomatoes is called lycopene.
This compound appears to act as an antioxidant,
neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells in
the body. Only recently, studies have revealed
that lycopene may have twice the punch of
another well-known antioxidant beta-carotene.
Studies conducted by Harvard researchers have
discovered that men who consumed 10 servings
of tomatoes a week, or the equivalent to 10 slices
of pizza, can cut the risk of developing prostate
cancer by a formidable 45 percent. However, its
benefits are not limited to the prostate. Italian
researchers have found that those who consume
more that 7 servings of raw tomatoes lower the
risk of developing rectal colon or stomach
cancers by 60 percent. Israeli researchers have
found that lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of
lung, breast, and endometrial cancer cells.
Research has also indicated that the lycopene in
tomatoes can help older people stay active longer.
New research is beginning to indicate that
tomatoes may be used to help
prevent lung cancer. Two powerful compounds
found in tomatoes-coumaric acid and chlorogenic
acid-are thought to block the effects of
nitrosamines. These are compounds that not only
are formed naturally in the body, but also are the
strongest carcinogen in tobacco smoke. By
blocking the effects of these nitrosamines, the
chances of lung cancer are reduced significantly.
When choosing your tomatoes, be sure to pick
those with the most brilliant shades of red. These
indicate the highest amounts of betacarotene and
lycopene. Though raw tomatoes are great for you,
cooking them releases even more of the benefits.
Lycopene is located in the cell wall of the tomato,
so by cooking in a bit of oil, this healing
compound is more fully released. In addition
cooking the tomato in olive oil allows your body
to absorb the lycopene better. Don't worry about
the availability of fresh tomatoes. Tomatoes don't
lose any of their nutritional value in the high heat
processing, making canned tomatoes and tomato
sauce are both just as viable and beneficial as
fresh tomatoes. The researchers found that
tomatoes are the biggest source of dietary
lycopene; a powerful antioxidant that, unlike
nutrients in most fresh fruits and vegetables, has
even greater bioavailability after cooking and
processing. Tomatoes also contain other
protective mechanisms, such as antithrombotic
and anti-inflammatory functions. Research has
additionally found a relationship between eating
tomatoes and a lower risk of certain cancers as
well as other conditions, including cardiovascular
disease, osteoporosis, ultraviolet light-induced
skin damage, and cognitive dysfunction.
Tomatoes are widely available, people of all ages
and cultures like them, they are cost-effective,
and are available in many 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. Tomatoes
are the most important non-starchy vegetable in
the American diet. Research underscores the
relationship between consuming tomatoes and
reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and other
conditions," the authors conclude. "The evidence
also suggests that consumption of tomatoes
should be recommended because of the
nutritional benefits and because it may be a
simple and effective strategy for increasing
overall vegetable intake.
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 26
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF
SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM
There are known different varieties of tomato,
round, oval, "cherry", but all have the same
nutritional characteristics, being an important
source of: - potassium, phosphorus, magnesium,
iron, so necessary to the normal activity of nerves
and muscles;
- vitamins as A, B and C - tomatoes is the third
source of vitamin C in our diet and the fourth for
vitamin A, through its content in beta-carotene or
pro vitamin A;
- phytosterols, compounds that help to keep
cholesterol under control;
- folic acid, which helps eliminate homocysteine,
an amino acid whose metabolism is dependent on
the metabolism of vitamins from B complex,
especially that of folic acid.
Tomato
Cross-section and full view of a hothouse (greenhouse-
grown) tomato.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. lycopersicum
Binomial name
Solanum lycopersicum
L.
Synonyms
Lycopersicon lycopersicum
Lycopersicon esculentum[1]
HEALTH BENEFITS
Tomatoes, which are actually a fruit and not a
vegetable, are loaded with all kinds of health
benefits for the body. They are in fact, a highly
versatile health product and due to their equally
versatile preparation options, there's really no
reason to neglect the tomato as part of a healthy
diet. One of the most well-known tomato eating
benefit is its' Lycopene content. Lycopene is a
vital anti-oxidant that helps in the fight against
cancerous cell formation as well as other kinds of
health complications and diseases. Free radicals
in the body can be flushed out with high levels of
Lycopene, and the tomato is so amply loaded
with this vital anti-oxidant that it actually derives
its rich redness from the nutrient. Lycopene is not
a naturally produced element within the body and
the human body requires sources of Lycopene in
order to make use of this powerful anti-oxidant.
While other fruits and vegetables do contain this
necessary health ingredient, no other fruit or
vegetable has the high concentration of Lycopene
that the tomato takes pride in. Studies involving
the tomato have cropped up all over the world of
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 27
medical science. There are more health benefits
derived from eating a tomato than the scientific
community is able to print, at least yet. These
studies have proven not only the benefits in
preventing cancer, heart disease as well as high
cholesterol are also in the tomato's sights. This is
really exciting information. The health benefits of
tomatoes are becoming more and more
documented every day as we learn new uses of
this amazing fruit. Cancers such as prostate
cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, rectal
cancer, and cancers of the stomach, mouth,
pharynx, and esophagus have all been proven to
be staved off by high levels of
Lycopene. Researchers introduced Lycopene into
pre-existing cancer cell cultures and the
Lycopene prevented the continued growth of
these cultures. This is pretty powerful evidence
that the health benefits of eating a tomato are
really quite phenomenal. It takes as little as 540
milliliters of liquid tomato product to get the full
benefits of Lycopene. This means that a daily
glass of tomato juice has the potential to keep a
person healthy for life. Tomatoes are equally as
nutritious fresh as they are in other variable
forms. When tomato products are heat processed
the bioavailability of the Lycopene actually
increases rather than the anticipated decrease.
Even with all the plentiful research that has gone
into the health benefits of tomatoes, there is still
more research being conducted as the medical
science community understands that we have not
fully tapped into the potential presented by a
tomato just yet. Research is now slowly proving
that there is a high likelihood that the
consumption of tomatoes and tomato based
products actually may prevent serum lipid
oxidation and reduce the risk of macular
degenerative disease. Tomatoes are by far
the healthiest of the fruits and vegetables with the
power to ward off some of the worst known
diseases to man. With the vast variety of tomato
products on the market, it really shouldn't be
difficult to get the full health benefit of tomatoes
but, if you would like to get the full health
benefits of tomatoes and have some fun at the
same time, consider raising your own organic
tomatoes. It would be a lot of fun, get you outside
for some vitamin D and best of all reward you
with great taste and vibrant health.
Home Remides of Solanum Lycopersicum
Eating lots of tomatoes, any way you can, is a
great thing. This fruit that acts like a vegetable is
loaded with health properties.
Here are 10 reasons why you should have
tomatoes in your kitchen and pantry:
1. Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids:
alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.
These carotenoids may have individual
benefits, but also have synergy as a group (that
is, they interact to provide health benefits).
2. In particular, tomatoes contain awesome
amounts of lycopene, thought to have the
highest antioxidant activity of all the
carotenoids.
3. Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may
help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One
study showed that prostate tumors grew much
more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato
and broccoli powder than in rats given
lycopene as a supplement or fed just the
broccoli or tomato powder alone.
4. A diet rich in tomato-based products may help
reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according
to a study from The University of Montreal.
The researchers found that lycopene (provided
mainly by tomatoes) was linked to a 31%
reduction in pancreatic cancer risk between
men with the highest and lowest intakes of this
carotenoid.
5. Tomatoes contain all three high-powered
antioxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin
A activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin
C. A U.S. Department of Agriculture
report, What We Eat in America, noted that a
third or we get too little vitamin C and almost
half get too little vitamin A.
6. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral
most of us don't get enough of. A cup of
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 28
tomato juice contains 534 milligrams of
potassium, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce has
454 milligrams.
7. When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier
fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body's
absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in
tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times,
according to a study from Ohio State
University.
8. Tomatoes are a big part of the famously
healthy Mediterranean diet. Many
Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for
tomatoes or tomato paste or sauce. Some
recent studies, including one from The
University of Athens Medical School, have
found that people who most closely follow the
Mediterranean diet have lower death rates
from heart disease and cancer. Researchers
from the Harvard School of Public Health,
who followed more than 39,000 women for
seven years, found that consumption of oil-
and tomato-based products -- particularly
tomato and pizza sauce -- was associated with
cardiovascular benefits.
9. When breastfeeding moms eat tomato
products, it increases the concentration of
lycopene in their breast milk. In this case,
cooked is best. The researchers also found that
eating tomato products like tomato sauce
increased concentrations of lycopene in breast
milk more than eating fresh tomatoes did.
10. Tomato peels contribute a high concentration
of the carotenoids found in tomatoes. The
amount of carotenoids absorbed by human
intestinal cells was much greater with tomato
paste enriched with tomato peels compared to
tomato paste without peels, according to a
study from Marseille, France. The tomato skin
also holds most of the flavonols (another
family of phytochemicals that includes
quercetin and kaempferol) as well. So to
maximize the health properties of tomatoes,
don't peel them if you can help it!
MEDICINAL USES OF SOLANUM
LYCOPERSICUM
1. Tomatoes are good for your skin.
Tomatoes contain a high level of
lycopene, which is a substance that is used
in some of the more pricy facial cleansers
that are available for purchase over-the-
counter.
If you want to try tomatoes for skin care,
you need to start with about eight to
twelve tomatoes. Peel the tomatoes and
then place the skin on your face with
inside of the tomato touching your skin.
Leave the tomatoes on your face for a
minimum of ten minutes, then wash. Your
face will feel clean and shiny. Some
redness may occur, but should fade with
time.
2. Tomatoes help prevent several types
of cancer.
A number of studies have been conducted
that indicate that the high levels of
lycopene in tomatoes works to reduce
your chances of developing prostate,
colorectal and stomach cancer.
Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that
works effectively to slow the growth of
cancerous cells. Cooked tomatoes produce
even more lycopene, so go ahead and
cook up a batch of your mom’s famous
tomato soup.
3. Tomatoes help maintain strong
bones.
Tomatoes contain a considerable amount
of calcium and Vitamin K. Both of these
nutrients are essential in strengthening
and performing minor repairs on the
bones as well as the bone tissue.
4. Tomatoes help repair damage caused
by smoking.
No, eating tomatoes is not the most recent
fad to help you quit smoking. However,
tomatoes can reduce the amount of
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 29
damaged done to your body by smoking
cigarettes.
Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and
chlorogenic acid that work to protect the
body from carcinogens that are produced
from cigarette smoke.
5. Tomatoes provide essential
antioxidants.
Tomatoes contain a great deal of Vitamin
A and Vitamin C. This is primarily
because these vitamins and beta-carotene
work as antioxidants to neutralize harmful
free radicals in the blood.
Free radicals in the blood stream are
dangerous because it may lead to cell
damage. Remember, the redder the tomato
you eat is, the more beta-carotene it
contains. In addition, you also want to
keep in mind that cooking destroys the
Vitamin C, so for these benefits, the
tomatoes need to be eaten raw.
6. Tomatoes are good for your heart.
Because of the Vitamin
B and potassium in tomatoes, they are
effective in reducing cholesterol levels
and lowering blood pressure. Therefore,
by including tomatoes in your regular
balanced diet you can effectively prevent
heart attacks, strokes as well as many
other heart related problems that may
threaten your life.
7. Tomatoes are good for your hair.
The Vitamin A in tomatoes works
perfectly to keep your hair shiny and
strong. In addition, it also does wonders
for your eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
8. Tomatoes are good for your kidneys.
Adding tomatoes without seeds to your
diet has been proven in some studies to
reduce the risk of kidney stones.
9. Tomatoes are good for your eyes.
The Vitamin A found in tomatoes is
fantastic for improving your vision. In
addition, eating tomatoes is one of the
best foods to eat to prevent the
development of night blindness.
10. Tomatoes are good for diabetics.
Tomatoes are packed full of the
valuable mineral known as
chromium. It works effectively to
help diabetics keep their blood sugar
levels under better control
EFFECT OF HOMOCYSTEINE ON
HEALTH
Increased levels of homocysteine increase the risk
of cardiovascular disease, particularly myocardial
infarction and brain and vascular accidents or
hands and legs vascular disease . Homocysteine is
also involved in the evolution of arteriosclerosis,
a process which produces agglomerations of fat
and minerals in the arteries, which gradually
acquire a distinct hardness and cause damage to
blood vessel flexibility. People with high blood
levels of homocysteine present other associated
risk factors such as hypertension or raised
cholesterol levels that cause thrombosis.
A medium size tomato has 11 calories, 95 percent
of its weight is water and 4 percent carbohydrate.
These features, along with its diuretic power and
low in sodium content, makes it an important ally
in weight-loss diets and weight control.
Surveys suggest that some compounds of the
tomatoes, such as lycopene, influence the
biological defense mechanisms such as the
immune and antioxidant function of the body.
The DNA damage is an important step in the
appearance of cancer. Experimental
administration, for 2 weeks, of tomato juice
significantly reduced levels of affected DNA of
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 30
the lymphocyte cells (defense cells) in peripheral
blood, and in combination with tomato puree
increased DNA protection against free radicals.
LYCOPENE, A COMPOUND WITH
EXCEPTIONAL PROPERTIES
The tomato is a food very rich in lycopene, a
vegetal pigment from carotenoid family, a
compound discovered in 1873, which gives color
to the vegetable, but also has exceptional
properties as lycopene is a powerful antioxidant.
Numerous studies have shown that by regular
consumption of tomatoes, the resistance to cancer
of the prostate, lung, digestive, but also heart
disease is increased. Also, tomatoes help to fight
against atherosclerosis syndrome and muscle
degeneration, the main causes of discomfort in
people over 65 years.
Studies on the health beneficial effects of
tomatoes and their derivatives have focused
mainly on lycopene, however, the administration
only of lycopene for 12 weeks had no effect on
the damaged DNA in human lymphocytes. These
observations show that is more efficient the
combination of:
-carotenoids (a class of natural liposoluble
pigments found especially in plants, interfering in
the photosynthesis);
-tocopherol (vitamin E, soluble);
-phenolic acid and flavonoids (natural
compounds found in plants).
This combination of different carotenoids or the
association of carotenoids with tocopherol
(vitamin E) or phenolic acid has simultaneous
effects on blocking the pathological reactions,
which generates free radicals, able to affect the
DNA. It was also found that the supplementation
of a diet containing a small quantity of
carotenoids with tomato juice can increase
cellular immunity, involved in reducing the risk
of cancer.
Thermally treated tomatoes are more efficient
Unlike fruits and vegetables which reduce their
nutritional content when are thermally treated,
such as vitamin C, thermally treated tomatoes
increase the concentration of lycopene and the
antioxidant properties are not lost. Moreover,
studies have confirmed that the body absorbs
better the lycopene from tomatoes when they are
thermally treated.
Fresh tomato provides 4 times less the amount of
bioavailable lycopene to the while the juice or
sauce of a tomato is a source of lycopene easier to
use. Besides tomatoes, there are other red fruits
and vegetables rich in lycopene, such as
watermelon, but the content is lower Over 80
percent of the lycopene in our diet comes from
tomatoes and tomato-derived products, and
combination with olive oil increases its
absorption.
Antioxidants
Antioxidants are substances (vitamins, minerals,
natural coloring) that protect body cells from the
harmful effects of free radicals, molecules that
form in the body through contact with oxygen.
Free radicals are partly responsible for the
processes of aging, cardiovascular diseases and
cancer and act by attacking the cell membranes
and the cellular DNA.
Cellular oxidation is a normal process that affects
all tissues, is inevitable, but some factors such as
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 31
environmental contamination, smoking, diets
high in saturated fats, excessive sun exposure and
excess physical activity contribute to increased
production of free radicals . Most antioxidants are
found in plants, which is why it is so necessary to
eat more fruits and vegetables as they protect us
from free radicals naturally.
The three main representatives of antioxidants are
vitamins C, E and pro vitamin A. Citrus, nuts,
peanuts, almonds, spinach, onion, especially the
red one, berries, cabbage, carrots , grapes,
pumpkins, melon, kiwi and of course, tomatoes
have the highest antioxidant power. It is
recommended a weekly consumption of 7
servings of tomato derivatives, (one serving = one
glass of tomato juice of 250 ml or 125 ml of
tomato sauce for other dishes). Tomatoes are
mostly used in the Mediterranean diet, and in
Spanish cuisine is the main component of a
typical preparation called gazpacho.
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR TOMATOES
It should also be remembered the moderately
content in oxalic acid of tomatoes (5.3 mg / 100
g), substances which form insoluble calcium salts
(calcium oxalate) which can precipitate in the
form of kidney stones. Also, due to its acidity, a
moderate consumption is encourage and in the
case of gastro duodenal diseases, the
consumption should be stopped.
When buying tomatoes, you have to choose the
freshest ones, with smooth, soft skin, of medium
consistency (neither too strong nor too soft) or
too green, but not too mature. Tomatoes can be
stored for longer periods in their natural state by
placing them on their tail or the green area
corresponding to the tail and separated between
them. The fridge can maintain them in good
condition between 6 to 8 days, if kept whole and
no more than 2 days if they are preserved in the
form of fresh juice.
HEALTH PROPERTIES OF SOLANUM
LYCOPERSICUM
Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids:
alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.
These carotenoids may have individual benefits,
but also have synergy as a group (that is, they
interact to provide health benefits).
1. In particular, tomatoes contain awesome amounts
of lycopene, thought to have the highest
antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids.
2. Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may
help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study
showed that prostate tumors grew much more
slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and
broccoli powder than in rats given lycopene as a
supplement or fed just the broccoli or tomato
powder alone.
3. A diet rich in tomato-based products may help
reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to
a study from The University of Montreal. The
researchers found that lycopene (provided mainly
by tomatoes) was linked to a 31% reduction
in pancreatic cancer risk between men with the
highest and lowest intakes of this carotenoid.
4. Tomatoes contain all three high-powered
antioxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin A
activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin C. A
U.S. Department of Agriculture report, What We
Eat in America, noted that a third or us get too
little vitamin C and almost half get too little
vitamin A.
5. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral most
of us don't get enough of. A cup of tomato juice
contains 534 milligrams of potassium, and 1/2
cup of tomato sauce has 454 milligrams.
6. When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier
fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body's
absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in
tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times,
according to a study from Ohio State University.
7. Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy
Mediterranean diet. Many Mediterranean dishes
and recipes call for tomatoes or tomato paste or
sauce. Some recent studies, including one from
The University of Athens Medical School, have
found that people who most closely follow the
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 32
Mediterranean diet have lower death rates
from heart disease and cancer. Researchers from
the Harvard School of Public Health, who
followed more than 39,000 women for seven
years, found that consumption of oil- and tomato-
based products -- particularly tomato and pizza
sauce -- was associated with cardiovascular
benefits.
When breastfeeding moms eat tomato products, it
increases the concentration of lycopenein their
breast milk. In this case, cooked is best. The
researchers also found that eating tomato
products like tomato sauce increased
concentrations of lycopene in breast milk more
than eating fresh tomatoes did.
Tomato peels contribute a high concentration of
the carotenoids found in tomatoes. The amount of
carotenoids absorbed by human intestinal cells
was much greater with tomato paste enriched
with tomato peels compared to tomato paste
without peels, according to a study from
Marseille, France. The tomato skin also holds
most of the flavonols (another family of
phytochemicals that includes quercetin and
kaempferol) as well. So to maximize the health
properties of tomatoes, don't peel them if you can
help it!
RECENT RESEARCH GOING ON
TOMATO
There are many health benefits of tomatoes and
there is one more that could possibly be added to
the list -- tomatoes lower cholesterol. While there
is considerable debate over whether or not they
are considered to be a fruit or a vegetable,
tomatoes offer a delicious compliment to any dish
–- from salads to main courses. However, there is
considerable evidence that tomatoes can provide
a variety of health benefits, too. Tomatoes
contain many antioxidants, including a chemical
called lycopene. There has been a lot of research
investigating tomatoes and the chemicals
contained in them like lycopene. From these
studies, tomatoes have been shown to possess a
vast array of healthy benefits, including macular
degeneration and certain cancers. Studies have
also proven that tomatoes may provide healthy
effects on your cholesterol. The studies
examining the effects of tomato products on
cholesterol are small and looked at raw tomatoes,
or a combination of tomato paste and tomato
juice. One of the chemicals in tomatoes,
lycopene, has had the most research associated
with it and it is thought to be a major contributor
to the health benefits provided by tomatoes. From
these studies seen in both animals and humans, it
has been found that HDL cholesterol levels were
increased by at least 15%. The studies examining
the effects of tomatoes on LDL cholesterol
andtriglycerides vary –- some studies indicate a
slight decrease in these lipids (by an average of
8%), whereas other studies did not detect a
significant drop in LDL or triglycerides. Another
surprising finding was that the lycopene in the
tomatoes –- as well as probably other
antioxidants in tomatoes –- reduced the presence
of oxidized LDL. When LDL becomes oxidized,
it can contribute to the formation of plaque on the
walls of arteries. The studies that examined the
effects of tomatoes and/or lycopene didn’t require
too many tomatoes to achieve this effect. In fact,
these studies suggest that you would need two
medium sized tomatoes or a combination of 14
ounces of tomato juice and two tablespoons of
ketchup to affect your cholesterol. Tomatoes are a
healthy food that contains a variety of vitamins,
minerals and antioxidants. While a small number
of studies suggest that tomatoes lower cholesterol
levels, this should not be the only thing you rely
on in your plan to lower cholesterol.
BENEFITS OF TOMATO
Lower Cholestrol
A Tomato- cholesterol free and a
good source for diet; it won’t add
cholesterol to the diet. A cup of
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 33
tomato provides 9% of fiber that
helps you to lower the high
cholesterol levels. Tomatoes also
contains niacin (vitamin B3),
which has been used as a safe way
to lower cholesterol levels.
Reduce Heart Disease
Tomatoes are good source of
potassium that have been shown to
lower high blood pressure and
reduce risk of heart disease.
Vitamin B6 and folate, present in
tomatoes, are needed to the body
to convert a dangerous chemical
called homocysteine into other,
benign molecules. High levels of
homocysteine can directly damage
blood vessel walls and are
associated with an increased risk
of heart attack and stroke.
Lower Blood Pressure
The tomatoes provide significant
drop in blood pressure. After 8
weeks, ongoing tracking of daily
tomato ingestion (in the form of
lycopene complex a tomato
extract) showed a drop in both the
blood pressure top number
(systolic) by 10 points and the
bottom number (diastolic) by 4
points.
Protection from cell Damage
The tomatoes are excellent source
of antioxidant lycopene.
Antioxidants travel through the
body, neutralizing dangerous free
radicals that otherwise damage
cells and cell membranes. Free
radicals escalate the progression or
severity of atherosclerosis,
diabetic complications, asthma,
and colon cancer. High intakes of
lycopene have been shown to help
reduce the risk or severity of all of
these illnesses.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Tomatoes are an outstanding
source of chromium that has been
shown to help diabetic patients
keep their blood sugar levels under
control.
Counteract Acidosis
Acidosis, is a main cause of
calcium loss, fatigue, headaches,
sleeplessness, muscle aches, acne,
eczema, arteriosclerosis, sexual
dysfunction, hormone imbalance,
depression, and degenerative
conditions. Our bodies are
designed to maintain an alkaline
balance with a pH of 7.365.By
including plenty of alkaline
minerals in our diets – calcium,
magnesium, potassium and sodium
– we help our body maintain its
alkaline balance naturally.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of
calcium, magnesium, and
potassium and can aid in
preventing acidosis.
Reduce Migraines
Tomatoes are an outstanding
source of riboflavin, which helps
for reducing the migraine attacks.
Boost Immunity
Due to consumption of tomatoes
helps to avoid flu and colds,
especially for males. These
common illnesses are widely
believed to be rooted in carotenoid
deficiencies, including low
amounts of lycopene and beta
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 34
carotene in our body. Drinking
tomato juices assists in building
defenses against colds and flu.
Natural Unscreen
It has been showing that lycopene
in tomatoes works as a natural
sunscreen and provide protection
against UV rays.
Strenghten Bones
A serving of tomatoes provide
18% the daily value of vitamin K,
which promotes bone health.
Vitamin K activates osteocalcin,
the major non-collagen protein in
bone. Osteocalcin mineralizes
calcium molecules inside of the
bone.
Treatment of Vasolidation
Vitamin C has effectively resulted
in proper dilation of blood vessels
in the cases of atherosclerosis,
congestive heart failure, high
cholesterol, angina pectoris, and
high blood pressure. It has been
found that supplements of vitamin
C improve blood vessel dilation.
Lead Toxicity
Lead Toxicity is a severe health
problem found in children,
especially in the urban areas.
Abnormal development and
growth has been found in children
who are exposed to lead. They
develop behavioral problems,
learning disabilities and have low
IQ. It may damage the kidney and
increase blood pressure in adults.
Vitamin C supplements reduce the
blood lead level. Hence by intake
of tomato lead toxicity can be
reduced among the children.
Hence tomato has rich in vitamin c
due to this it can able to lower this
risk factor.
Eye Disorder
Cataracts are the most common
causes of visual problems.
Decrease in the level of vitamin C
in the lens of the human eye leads
to increased number of cataracts.
Increase of vitamin C in tomato
intake increases the blood supply
to the visual zones of the body and
helps to cure this eye disorder.
Cancer
It has been found that high
consumption of fresh vegetables
and fruits have a linkage with a
minimized risk for the various
types of cancer. The increased
consumption of vitamin C is
connected with the decreased
possibilities of cancers of lung,
mouth, vocal chords, throat, colon-
rectum, stomach, and esophagus
the fruits such as tomato, orange,
pomegranate are highly rich in
vitamin c.
Combating Stroke
Vitamin C in tomato or Ascorbic
Acid helps in reducing the risk of
stroke, a kind of cardiovascular
disease. A diet full of vegetables
and fruits produces good quantity
of vitamin C which maintains the
appropriate blood pressure level. It
also protects the body from free
radicals which could be the reason
for the stroke.
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 35
Mood
Vitamin C present in the tomato
plays a key role in the production
of neurotransmitters,
norepinephrine. If vitamin c is less
then they can affect the mood of a
person and are critical to the
proper functioning of the brain.
Wound Repair
Due to intake correct amount of
tomato per day the Vitamin C
present in it helps to repair wounds
in the body. It facilitates the
growth of the connective tissues
that helps in the process of healing
of wounds from our body.
Diabetes
One of the main reasons for
diabetes is the deficiency of
vitamin C in our body.
Supplements of vitamin C are
beneficial to cure the diabetes as
they help in processing of insulin
and glucose. It can be cured by
regular intake of vitamin c.
Uses of tomatoes
Several medical books and journals have
described medicinal uses of tomato. These are
enumerated as under for ready reference:
Tomato juice keeps the blood stream
alkaline and thus maintain a high
resistance to disease. It is very rich in iron
and potash salts.
Half-ripe tomatoes offer an excellent
remedy in all sorts of liver troubles.
Tomatoes stimulate torpid liver and are
very good for dyspepsia, diarrhea and
dysentery.
Being a rich source of vitamin A, it is a
dependable preventive against eye
troubles.
Tomato is a nervine tonic. It is very useful
in all sorts of nervous disorders.
As it is a rich source of vitamin C, it is
very valuable in scurvy.
Half ripe tomatoes are very valuable in
summer diarrhea. But it should be taken
with musumbi (lime) juice.
It is also very effective in dysentery. But
it should be taken with garlic and
musumbi (lime) juice.
Half-ripe tomatoes are very useful in hot
summer months as it prevents sun-stroke
or heat-stroke.
Tomatoes are usually effective in
heartburn, flatulence or indigestion.
Half-ripe tomatoes are usually given in
dyspepsia.
CONCLUSION
Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) is
termed as "the most popular vegetable fruit".
Tomato is cooked as vegetable alone or in
combination with potato besides eaten raw when
ripe. It is a fruit of good nutritive value as it is
fairly rich in vitamins (vitamin C), and other
minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron.
Considering its low cost, it qualifies for inclusion
in the daily diet of young and growing children.
There are several misbeliefs associated with
tomato consumption. It is believed that tomato
causes hypertension. However, there are no
scientific evidences available to correlate the
intake of tomatoes with hypertension. In fact,
tomatoes are high in gamma-amino butyric acid
(GABA), a compound that can help bring down
blood pressure. A recent study has confirmed that
tomato and tomato sauce lower blood pressure
and the risk of heart disease. Effectiveness of
tomatoes in lowering blood pressure is attributed
to lycopene, a chemical present in tomato.
Tomato extract contains carotenoids such as
lycopene, beta carotene, and vitamin E, (known
Debjit Bhowmik* ,K.P. Sampath Kumar, Shravan Paswan, Shweta Srivastava
Vol. 1 No. 1 2012 www.phytojournal.com Page | 36
as effective antioxidants) to inactivate free
radicals, and to slow the progression of
atherosclerosis. Consumption of tomato may lead
formation of gall bladder stones due to presence
of purine and oxalic acid in the fruit. Chemical
analysis of tomato shows that it contains less
purine (11 mg/100g) than carrots (17 mg),
potatoes (16 mg), cabbages (32 mg) and other
vegetables. Oxalic acid content of tomato is
relatively less than beets, potatoes, cucumber and
lettuce. Experts now recommend inclusion of
tomatoes in the diets of gall bladder patients. It
may aggravate gout problems and uric acid
diseases. In fact, tomato is included in the diet as
it has uric acid lowering effect.
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1. Periago MJ, Jacob K, Boehm V et al. Influence of
lycopene and vitamin C from tomato juice on
biomarker of oxidative stress and inflammation. Br J
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2. Silaste ML, Alfthan G, Aro A et al. Tomato juice
decreases LDL cholesterol levels and increases LDL
resistence ot oxidation. Br J Nutr 2007; 98: 1251-
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3. Blum A, Merei M, Karem A et al. Effects of
tomatoes on the lipid profile. Clin Invest Med 2006;
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4. Blum A, Monir M, Wirsansky I, et al. The beneficial
effects of tomatoes. Eur J Intern Med 2005; 16: 402-
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5. B. B. Freeman, K. Reimers. Tomato Consumption
and Health: Emerging Benefits. American Journal of
Lifestyle Medicine, 2010;
6. Zdeňka Polívková, Petr Šmerák, Hana Demová,
Milan Houška "Antimutagenic Effects of Lycopene and
Tomato Purée" Journal of Medicinal Food. December
2010, 13(6): 1443-1450.
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S, Shidfar S, Gohari M.,"The effects of tomato
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in type 2 diabetic patients." Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011
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8. Barceloux, Donald G. (2009-06). "Potatoes,
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L., Solanum lycopersicum L.)". Disease-a-Month 55
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... Tomatoes are also a significant source of Potassium, protein, phylloquinone (vitamin K), folate (vitamin B9), Beta carotene, Naringenin, Chlorogenic acid, glycoalkaloids (tomatine), flavanones, phytoene and flavones (Masood et al., 2018;Setyorini, 2021). The quantity of main nutrients that can be derived from 100 g of ripened tomato is given below in the Table 1 (Bhowmik et al., 2012;Jaramillo et al., 2007). ...
... The rutin found in tomato (vitamin P) has previously shown significant anti-oxidant, antiinflammatory and anti-carcinogenic potential (Kelebek et al., 2017;Li et al., 2014;Navarro-González et al., 2011;Röhlen-Schmittgen et al., 2020). The healthy benefits of tomatoes (Table 2) make it the most demanding vegetable in the world Bhowmik et al., 2012). Table 2 Health benefits of tomato (Bhowmik et al., 2012;Ali et al., 2021) ...
... The healthy benefits of tomatoes (Table 2) make it the most demanding vegetable in the world Bhowmik et al., 2012). Table 2 Health benefits of tomato (Bhowmik et al., 2012;Ali et al., 2021) ...
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Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, β-carotene, potassium, vitamin C, flavonoids, folate and vitamin E that may provide protection against the development of type 2 diabetic patients, so the present study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of tomato intake on serum glucose, homocysteine, apolipoprotein (apo) B, apoA-I and blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients. In a quasi-experimental study, 32 type 2 diabetes patients received 200 g raw tomato daily for 8 weeks. Serum glucose enzymatically, apoB and apoA-I immunoturbidometrically and homocysteine by high-performance liquid chromatography were measured at the beginning and end of 8 weeks. There were significant decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure and also a significant increase in apoA-I at the end of study compared with initial values (P = 0.0001, P = 0.0001 and P = 0.013, respectively). In conclusion, 200 g raw tomato per day had a favored effect on blood pressure and apoA-I so it might be beneficial for reducing cardiovascular risk associated with type 2 diabetes.
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Several health benefits, including protection from tumors at various anatomic sites, such as the lungs, stomach, and prostate gland, have been attributed to tomatoes and tomato-based products. Among tomato carotenoids, lycopene is the most active antioxidant, although it has many other biological effects, but data on its antimutagenic effects are scarce and often discrepant. The aim of our work was to determine the protective effects of lycopene, with regard to mutagenicity, via two indirect mutagens/carcinogens-2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) and aflatoxin B₁ (AFB₁) and the direct mutagen/carcinogen N-nitroso-N-methylurea (MNU)--using the Ames and micronucleus tests. The significant, dose-dependent, antimutagenic effects of two concentrations of lycopene (30 μg and 300 μg per plate) were demonstrated at various concentrations of both AFB₁ and IQ in two strains of Salmonella typhimurium (TA98 and TA100). The protective effects of lycopene relative to MNU were lower in comparison to its protective effects relative to AFB₁ and IQ. Mice treated for 3 days with different doses of lycopene (either 25 or 50 mg/kg of body weight) prior to administration of individual mutagens resulted in a significant reduction of micronuclei numbers in the micronucleus test. Tomato purée (tested using the Ames test and AFB(1)) revealed a much stronger, dose-dependent, antimutagenic effect compared with corresponding doses of pure lycopene. Results indicate that lycopene has antimutagenic effects, although the effects are lower than that of tomato purée, which contains a complex mixture of bioactive phytochemicals. The antimutagenic effect is connected with the chemoprotective role of lycopene, tomatoes, and tomato products in the prevention of carcinogenesis.
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A human study was carried out to investigate whether tomato juice, rich in natural lycopene and fortified with vitamin C, is able to reduce several biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation and whether the effect can be attributed to lycopene, vitamin C or any other micronutrient. Following a 2-week depletion phase, volunteers were assigned randomly to ingest either tomato juice with (LC) or without (L) vitamin C fortification for 2 weeks (daily dose 20.6 mg lycopene and 45.5/435 mg vitamin C). Plasma and urine were analysed for carotenoids and vitamin C, lipid status, antioxidant capacity, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and 8-epi-PGF2alpha, protein carbonyls, cytokines IL-1beta and TNFalpha and C-reactive protein (CRP). The consumption of tomato juice led to a reduction in total cholesterol levels (L: 157.6 v. 153.2 mg/dl, P = 0.008; LC: 153.4 v. 147.4 mg/dl, P = 0.002) and that of CRP (L: 315.6 v. 262.3 microg/l, P = 0.017; LC: 319.2 v. 247.1 microg/l, P = 0.001) in both groups. The vitamin C-fortified juice slightly raised the antioxidant capacity in urine and decreased TBARS in plasma and urine. All other markers were affected to a lesser extent or remained unchanged. Cholesterol reduction was correlated with lycopene uptake (P = 0.003), whereas the other effects could not be related with particular micronutrients. Any beneficial effects of tomato consumption for human health cannot be attributed only to lycopene and, as the additional supplementation with ascorbic acid indicates, a variety of antioxidants might be needed to optimize protection against chronic diseases.
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Dietary intake of tomatoes and tomato products containing lycopene has been shown to be associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease in several recent studies. Serum and tissue lycopene levels have also been inversely related to the risk of chronic disease. While the antioxidant properties of lycopene are thought to be primarily responsible for its beneficial effects, evidence is accumulating to suggest that other mechanisms, such as modulation of intercellular gap junction communication, hormonal and immune systems, and metabolic pathways, may also be involved. Lycopene inhibited the activity of an essential enzyme involved in cholesterol synthesis in an in vitro study and a small clinical study, suggesting a hypocholesterolemic effect.
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The Mediterranean diet has been reported to reduce cardiovascular mortality and morbidity considerably. Tomatoes and lycopene are considered potent antioxidants. Our purpose was to study the effects of a tomatoe-rich diet on the lipid profile following 300g daily of tomatoes for one month. Plasma concentrations of triglyceride, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and VLDL-cholesterol were determined in 98 apparently healthy volunteers (mean age 45.5+/-14.1 yr) before and after one month of follow-up. Fifty volunteers (34 women and 16 men) ate tomatoes 300g daily and 48 volunteers (32 women and 16 men) continued their regular diet without eating tomatoes for a month. In the regular diet group, there were no changes in the lipid profile: triglyceride level (169.6+/-156.8 vs. 147.6+/-93.4mg/dl; P=0.33), total cholesterol level (198.3+/-41.2mg/dl vs. 204.2+/-70.9mg/dl; P=0.23), HDL-cholesterol level (50.6+/-12.2mg/dl vs. 47.6+/-10.8mg/dl; P=0.79), and LDL-cholesterol level (122.7+/-39.4mg/dl vs. 120.2+/-32.2mg/dl; P=0.24) before and after the 1 month offollow-up. In the tomato-rich diet group: triglyceride level 170.8+/-85.4mg/dl to 167.4+/-99.4mg/ dl (P=0.98), total cholesterol level 207.5+/-44.3mg/ dl to 204.1+/-45.1mg/dl (P=0.68), HDL-cholesterol level 46.1+/-10.6mg/dl to 53.4+/-13.3mg/dl (P=0.03), and LDL-cholesterol level 127.7+/-41.8mg/dl to 119.1+/-41.7mg/dl (P=0.57). We found that tomatoes'-rich diet (300g daily for one month) increased HDL-cholesterol level significantly by 15.2%.
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High dietary intakes of tomato products are often associated with a reduced risk of CVD, but the atheroprotective mechanisms have not been established. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of increased dietary intake of tomato products on plasma lipids and LDL oxidation. The diet intervention included a baseline period, a 3-week low tomato diet (no tomato products allowed) and a 3-week high tomato diet (400 ml tomato juice and 30 mg tomato ketchup daily). Twenty-one healthy study subjects participated in the study. Total cholesterol concentration was reduced by 5.9 (sd 10) % (P = 0.002) and LDL cholesterol concentration by 12.9 (sd 17.0) % (P = 0.0002) with the high tomato diet compared to the low tomato diet. The changes in total and LDL cholesterol concentrations correlated significantly with the changes in serum lycopene (r 0.56, P = 0.009; r 0.60, P = 0.004, total and LDL, respectively), beta-carotene (r 0.58, P = 0.005; r 0.70, P < 0.001) and gamma-carotene concentrations (r 0.64, P = 0.002; r 0.64, P = 0.002). The level of circulating LDL to resist formation of oxidized phospholipids increased 13 % (P = 0.02) in response to the high tomato diet. In conclusion, a high dietary intake of tomato products had atheroprotective effects, it significantly reduced LDL cholesterol levels, and increased LDL resistance to oxidation in healthy normocholesterolaemic adults. These atheroprotective features associated with changes in serum lycopene, beta-carotene and gamma-carotene levels.
Vegetables That Contain Natural Toxins". California Master Gardener Handbook
  • Dennis R Pittenger
Pittenger, Dennis R. (2002). "Vegetables That Contain Natural Toxins". California Master Gardener Handbook. ANR Publications. pp. 643-4. ISBN 978-1-879906-54-9.
Accused, Yes, but Probably Not a Killer". The New York Times
  • Harold Mcgee
Mcgee, Harold (2009-07-29). "Accused, Yes, but Probably Not a Killer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.