A chemical found in a specific variety of tomatoes has led to the development of a new pill that could help prevent heart disease and stroke.
Lycopeneâ€”the antioxidant-rich component that turns tomatoes redâ€”has long been recognized for its health benefits. But prior attempts to develop it as a supplement have been hindered by difficulties in getting the body to absorb it.
Enter the tangerine tomato, which is grown primarily in Italy. Scientists say the extra-potent form of lycopene extracted from this variety of tomato can be more successfully absorbed—and, hence, a new supplement has been born.
The 7mg pill, called Ateronon, was introduced last week at an international meeting of cardiologists in London. Clinical studies show it reduced damaging changes to â€˜badâ€™ cholesterol by more than 90 percent in a two-month period.
Further trials of the natural supplement will be conducted at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK, and at Harvard Medical School. Stay tuned for future developments.
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