Posted on Nov 19, 2013, 6 a.m.
An antioxidant compound found abundantly in tomatoes, lycopene is shown to significantly reduce blood pressure, among people with hypertension.
Elevated blood pressure (hypertension) is a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease, which is the #1 cause of death in the United States. Xinli Li, from the Medical College of Soochow University (China), and colleagues completed a meta-analysis of data collected from six clinical trials involving lycopene supplementation and blood pressure. The team found that lycopene supplementation associated with an average reduction in systolic blood pressure of 5 mmHg. Further analysis suggested that lycopene may effectively lower systolic blood pressure in people who are pre-hypertensive. Effects were noted the dose-dependent, with greater supplementation of lycopene causing a greater reduction of systolic blood pressure.
Li X, Xu J. “Lycopene supplement and blood pressure: an updated meta-analysis of intervention trials.” Nutrients. 2013 Sep 18;5(9):3696-712.