Call it vegetable or fruit – This functional food prevents heart disease
Who knew that the ubiquitous tomato, actually a super fruit, is good for your heart? The tomato is enjoyed as a tasty compliment in many traditional dishes or eaten a la carte, and scientists from Japan have now discovered that the tomato contains a nutrient that is shown to halt the devastating effects of vascular disease by improving blood lipids. Research published in the journalMolecular Nutrition & Food Researchexplains the importance of including this super food to prevent heart disease.
An extracted compound from the fruit called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid (9-oxo-ODA) was shown to influence the amount of blood lipids in circulation. The effects of high levels of blood fats are typically symptomless, but they have been shown to be an important factor in the development of heart disease and vascular disorders.
Contrary to the Big Pharma instigated notion that high cholesterolis the cause of arterial plaque and heart attack, researchers have shown that the problem is really caused by increased levels of triglycerides and small, oxidized LDL cholesterol particles. These dangerous fat fractions are the result of a diet high in sugar and processed foods that stimulate the liver to release disproportionate quantities of the atherogenic lipids.
The study leader, Dr. Teruo Kawada, determined that the tomato-based compound could enhance fatty acid oxidation while regulating the release of metabolized fats from the liver. By directly influencing blood lipids already in circulation as well as during hepatic development, 9-oxo-ODA from tomatoes can halt vascular disease in its tracks.
Researchers concluded that the tomato-derived compound is a potent activator of genes that control the release of blood fats known to cause cardiovascular disease. According to Dr. Kawada“Finding a compound which helps the prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases in foodstuffs is a great advantage to tackling these diseases. It means that the tomato allows people to easily manage the onset of dyslipidemia through their daily diet.”
The use of functional foods to prevent and treat chronic illness is rapidly gaining traction among mainstream medical practitioners. Despite the stronghold placed on physicians by pharmaceutical powerhouses and the American Medical Society to prescribe drugs for chronic disease management, a steady flow of solid peer reviewed research efforts are beginning to change the mindset of a growing number of physicians.
Past research designed to demonstrate the health benefits of tomatoes has shown that the key nutrient lycopene is activated when the fruit is cooked. The result of this study makes no distinction between raw and cooked versions, indicating that 9-oxo-ODA is bioavailable to regulate blood lipids in either form. Be certain to include tomatoes as part of your daily menu to help prevent heart disease.