Tomato ‘heart’ supplement launched

A new lycopene supplement may protect against heart disease

A supplement based on lycopene, an antioxidant found in the skins of tomatoes that is said to protect against heart disease and stroke, is launched this week.

Lycopene is seen as key to the health-giving Mediterranean diet. It blocks bad LDL cholesterol, which can block arteries.

Trials on the new supplement, called Ateronon, found that after eight weeks of taking, the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood had dropped to zero.

Peter Kirkpatrick for the makers, Cambridge Theranostics Ltd, said that the supplement could be more effective than statin drugs at treating high cholesterol. It will be sold on the high street.

But Professor Peter Weissberg of the British Heart Foundation told the BBC, “As always, we caution people to wait for any new drug or modified ‘natural’ product to be clinically proven to offer benefits before taking it.”

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