Tomato paste supplementation improves endothelial dynamics and reduces plasma total oxidative status in healthy subjects.

May 3, 2012

Athens Medical School, Hippokration Hospital, 114 Vasilisis Sofias Ave, Athens, Greece

Peripheral Vessels


Consumption of tomato products is linked to beneficial outcomes through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms. The aim of this study was to determine whether a 14-day period of tomato paste supplementation would improve endothelial function. Nineteen volunteers (mean age, 39 ± 13 years; 8 men/11 women) were studied in a randomized (exposure sequence), single-blind (operator), crossover design. The study consisted of a supplementation arm (70 g tomato paste containing 33.3 mg of lycopene) and a control arm, during which no tomato paste was added to their regular diet. Volunteers maintained their regular diet during study arms. Two-week washout periods preceded each arm. Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) measured by brachial artery ultrasonography was used as an estimate of endothelial function at day 1 (acute response) and day 15 (midterm response). Plasma lipid peroxides were measured with a photometric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay as an index of total oxidative status. Tomato supplementation led to an overall FMD increase compared with the control period (P = .047 for repeated-measures 3 × 2 analysis of variance). At day 1, FMD was not significantly increased (P = .329). By day 15, tomato supplementation resulted in an increase in FMD by 3.3% ± 1.4%, whereas at the control arm, FMD declined by -0.5% ± 0.6% (P = .03); magnitudes of change are absolute FMD values. Total oxidative status decreased at the end of the supplementation period compared with baseline values (P = .038). Daily tomato paste consumption exerts a beneficial midterm but not short-term effect on endothelial function. Further studies are warranted to explore the effects of tomato paste on endothelial dilation in different age groups and comorbidities.