Thies, F., Masson, L., Rudd, A., Vaughan, N., Tsang, C., Brittenden, J., Simpson, W.G., Duthie, S.J., Horgan, G.W. and Duthie, G.G.
||Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality in the UK. Epidemiological studies suggest that consumption of tomato-based foods may lower CVD risk. Such potential benefits have been ascribed in part to high concentrations of lycopene in the tomatoes. However, these findings have not as yet been validated by comprehensive intervention trials. The aim of this study was to conduct a single blind, randomised controlled intervention trial with healthy overweight volunteers to assess whether the consumption of tomato-based foods affects recognised bio-markers of CVD risk.
Methods: After a 4 week run-in period on a low-tomato diet, volunteers (n=225; 40-65y, 94 males and 131 females) were randomised into one of three dietary intervention groups and asked to consume either a control diet (low in tomato-based foods), a high tomato-based food diet or the control diet supplemented with lycopene (10mg/day) for 12 weeks. Blood samples were collected at baseline, 6 weeks and post-intervention and analysed for carotenoid and lipid profiles, as well as inflammatory markers. Blood pressure, weight and arterial stiffness were also measured. Dietary intake was also determined during intervention.
Results: None of the systemic markers (inflammatory markers, markers of insulin resistance/sensitivity) differed significantly after dietary intervention. Moreover, lipid concentrations and arterial stiffness were also unaffected by the interventions.
Conclusion: This data indicates that a relatively high daily consumption of tomato-based products (equivalent to 32-50 mg lycopene daily) or lycopene supplementation (10mg/day) is ineffective in reducing conventional CVD risk markers in middle-aged individuals.