The Tomato Secrets

The tomato, a super fruit, a super vegetable, a super food , with properties that have been recognized for a long time and have rise today, through a series of scientific evidence supporting its importance . My search for information resulted in a avalanche of allegations , many scientifically based, some with evidence in humans and other based in folcklore .

In most cases scientists establish that more research is needed to take the results as conclusively for humans. They also agree in the discordances, the mechanisms of action differ from one researcher to another.

Really one mystery, or more.

No doubt, medicinal properties of tomato are almost unique and compare favorably with those of apples, strawberries, and broccoli and with many other so-called super foods. Tomato particular characteristics are also maintained or even increased after processed.

a) Reduces the risk of onset and development of several tumor types.

Prostate, lungs, breasts and several of digestive tract. This activity is associated with the presence of lycopene (potent antioxidant that inhibits tumor cells) of some of its metabolites and other bioflavonoids (colorless carotenoids, phytoene and phytofluene), chlorogenic and coumaric acids ( nitrosamides inhibitors ), some saponins which produce apoptosis and in the case ofbreast tumors with the increase of the hormone adiponectin, that regulates glucose and fat levels .

It is also mentioned an interference with blood vessels formation that are supplying blood to the tissues a cell cycle arrest and invasion of tissues and metastasis occurrence. 

Lycopene and other antioxidants protect against ultraviolet skin damage and prevent the development of skin tumors.

b) Prevents cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks (to a these lesser extent).

The interference in the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, thus hardening of the arteries, a remarkable activity antiinflammatory and of blood pressure control (by the vascular endothelium) are some of the relevant actions. Potassium, found in tomatoes in good quantity, is important. Some scientists mention the involvement of GABA.

It has been observed a decrease in platelet aggregation with tomato consumption, thus reducing the risk thrombus formation .

The control of elevated homocysteine levels, by vitamin B6 and folate, prevents breakage of the walls of blood vessels.

c) Decreases cholesterol levels.

It has been noted a decrease in the formation of LDL cholesterol, inhibiting an enzymatic process. In parallel, has been proven to increase the good cholesterol. In these cases also lycopene is critical, although could involve other active ingredients, including fiber and some vitamins.

It is emphasized that the joint action of the substances active has greater efficacy than each separately .

d) Prevents atherosclerosis.

The tomato and its derivatives in the diet reduce oxidative stress and the inflammatory response created. An increase of vascular lesions known as atherosclerosis is prevented. There are several substances responsible for this activity.

e) It empowers the immune system.

Tomato increases the resistance to infections and reinforces immune system with its contribution of Vitamin C, A, E and minerals.

f) It is an effective cleaner and stimulates the liver to expel toxins resulting from the metabolism . Its diuretic action participates in it ( high in potassium and low in sodium). Also it has been observed a positive effect on the
heavy metal accumulation in the liver. Tomato helps to regulate body fluids. In heavy physical exertion acts as energizing. As mentioned is very rich in potassium, mineral involved in the regulation of body fluids. 

g) Regulates blood sugar levels. Tomatoes are a good source of chromium, which has been shown to help to keep blood sugar at normal levels. Therefore it is useful in cases of Type II Diabetes. The good amount of potassium present is also relevant, since potassium is involved in regulating the levels of blood glucose. The presence of antioxidants, previously mentioned, helps to prevent genetic material damage, attributed to chronic age, including diabetes.

h) Healing wounds. The tomato helps a faster healing of some wounds. Supports the recovery of skin affected by sunburn. Its content in vitamins and antioxidants explains this proppertie.

i) It is anti-inflammatory. Inflammation , a normal process of body defense, can not be properly controlled and cause or contribute to a variety of major chronic diseases, asthma, diabetes, atherosclerosis, psoriasis, mental problems, etc. Has been found that consumption of tomato products (mainly lycopene ) produces a decrease of important substances (cytokines) which trigger the inflammatory mechanisms, inhibition of pro inflammatory mediators, and decreased activity of various other substances involved .

j) Reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Tomato contains significant amounts of calcium and vitamin K, both substances essential to build and repair bone tissue.

k) The content of riboflavin (vitamin B2) explains the migraine attacks decrease observed with daily consumption of fresh or processed tomatoes.

i) Improves vision . Due to its high content of beta-carotene (provitamin A), also the decreased lipid oxidation achieved by the antioxidant action prevents macular degeneration syndrome, that especially affects central vision. Moreover the in vitamin C help to prevent cataracts.

m) The consumption of fresh and processed tomatoes prevent DNA damage, due to their high content of antioxidants, vitamins A and C so as lycopene, 
glutathione, quercetin, etc. This decreases the risk of diseases related to aging, atherosclerosis, diabetes, etc.

n) Other property, helps senior people to stay active and mentally alert, it regulates intestinal transit, diminishes itching, fights fungal skin infections.

It is emphasized the need to consume tomato with caution when there are inflammatory digestive problems and in cases of predisposition to kidney and biliar stones.

It remains to discuss the importance of its association with other foods and the use of some of its active principles in medications and supplements. Mainly based on research techniques and modifications genetic engineering of crops.


Some foods and Diabetes type 2

A very important communication.

Ingredients in Chocolate, Tea, Berries Could Guard Against Diabetes

Jan. 20, 2014 — Eating high levels of flavonoids including anthocyanins and other compounds (found in berries, tea, and chocolate) could offer protection from type 2 diabetes,  according to research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and King's College London.

Findings published today in the Journal of Nutrition reveal that high intakes of these dietary compounds are associated with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation.

A study of almost 2,000 people also found that these food groups lower inflammation which, when chronic, is associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Prof Aedin Cassidy from UEA's Norwich Medical School led the research. She said: "Our research looked at the benefits of eating certain sub-groups of flavanoids. We focused on flavones, which are found in herbs and vegetables such as parsley, thyme, and celery, and anthocyanins, found in berries, red grapes, wine and other red or blue-coloured fruits and vegetables.

"This is one of the first large-scale human studies to look at how these powerful bioactive compounds might reduce the risk of diabetes. Laboratory studies have shown these types of foods might modulate blood glucose regulation -- affecting the risk of type 2 diabetes. But until now little has been know about how habitual intakes might affect insulin resistance, blood glucose regulation and inflammation in humans."

Researchers studied almost 2,000 healthy women volunteers from TwinsUK who had completed a food questionnaire designed to estimate total dietary flavonoid intake as well as intakes from six flavonoid subclasses. Blood samples were analysed for evidence of both glucose regulation and inflammation. Insulin resistance, a hallmark of type 2 diabetes, was assessed using an equation that considered both fasting insulin and glucose levels.

"We found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance. High insulin resistance is associated with Type 2 diabetes, so what we are seeing is that people who eat foods rich in these two compounds -- such as berries, herbs, red grapes, wine- are less likely to develop the disease.

"We also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation -- which is associated with many of today's most pressing health concerns including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

"And those who consumed the most flavone compounds had improved levels of a protein (adiponectin) which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels.

"What we don't yet know is exactly how much of these compounds are necessary to potentially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes," she added.

Prof Tim Spector, research collaborator and director of the TwinsUK study from King's College London, said: "This is an exciting finding that shows that some components of foods that we consider unhealthy like chocolate or wine may contain some beneficial substances. If we can start to identify and separate these substances we can potentially improve healthy eating. There are many reasons including genetics why people prefer certain foods so we should be cautious until we test them properly in randomised trials and in people developing early diabetes."

Story Source:

University of East Anglia (2014, January 20). Ingredients in chocolate, tea, berries could guard against diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 22, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2014/01/140120090647.htm 


Antioxidants and cancer

Recently it has been published an article about a study done in Sweden, the journalist conclude that antioxidants increase tumor progression .

This is the article's title, but reading the text what scientists say is "high doses of antioxidant supplements can be harmful in some cases." They are referring to supplements of beta-carotene and vitamin E in high doses.

This does not mean that antioxidants obtained in the diet, by eating lots of fruits and vegetables and some other foods, are harmful, indeed, it has been properly demonstrated that they possess antioxidant substances that have anti-cancer properties .

News biased like these are very harmful, they confuse people and give a hand to companies that sell synthetic products that act "solving" some health problemsand not preventing them, alienating ordinary people about the possibilities offered by foods in disease prevention .

It is not easy to analyze these positions, that lack of scientific basis, as generalizations of this kind are not at all recommended in the scientific field.


Eating Berries Benefits the Brain

Mar. 7, 2012 — Strong scientific evidence exists that eating blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and other berry fruits has beneficial effects on the brain and may help prevent age-related memory loss and other changes, scientists report. 

Their new article on the value of eating berry fruits appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.In the article, Barbara Shukitt-Hale, Ph.D., and Marshall G. Miller point out that longer lifespans are raising concerns about the human toll and health care costs of treating Alzheimer's disease and other forms of mental decline. They explain that recent research increasingly shows that eating berry fruits can benefit the aging brain. To analyze the strength of the evidence about berry fruits, they extensively reviewed cellular, animal and human studies on the topic.

Their review concluded that berry fruits help the brain stay healthy in several ways. Berry fruits contain high levels of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from damage by harmful free radicals. The two also report that berry fruits change the way neurons in the brain communicate. These changes in signaling can prevent inflammation in the brain that contribute to neuronal damage and improve both motor control and cognition. They suggest that further research will show whether these benefits are a result of individual compounds shared between berry fruits or whether the unique combinations of chemicals in each berry fruit simply have similar effects.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. 

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
Marshall G. Miller, Barbara Shukitt-Hale. Berry Fruit Enhances Beneficial Signaling in the Brain. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2012; : 120203155528007 DOI: 10.1021/jf2036033

American Chemical Society (2012, March 7). Eating berries benefits the brain. ScienceDaily.


The risks of high blood cholesterol

Looking at new views on the importance of blood lipid levels, especially the so-called bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, which question the validity of treatments intended to control dislipidemia, certain clarifications seem to be important.

My view is of a patient, a patient with proved organic tendency to exaggerated levels of cholesterol and the burden of atheromas, that diminishes my possibilities of a full and healthy life.

Some people questioned and denie the validity of anti-cholesterol treatments, especially those using statins. They are called "the deceitfulness of statin" or "statins scam".

Given this two clarifications.

There are many scientific studies that support the relationship between some types of blood cholesterol and the risk of heart problems, by the narrowing of the coronary arteries (due to the formation of atheroma).

An important amount of work tested the effectiveness of statins in the control of blood cholesterol levels.

As a seemingly opposite I mention the importance of inflammatory processes, especially at arterial walls level, in the formation of atheromatous plaques. This fact is also scientifically proved and is of great importance, so that, without inflammation of the vascular endothelium atheromas will nopt appear. Therefore it seems reasonable to require technical advise on substances that indicate the presence of inflammatory processes.

Independently and without reference to the critical importance of cholesterol, scientists have been working on the revision of the test parameters that should be used to assess the risk of coronary artery and other vascular problems. In this regard, new ways to measure lipid levels in blood and the introduction of measuring the presence of calcium in the arterial wall, appear to be of great importance.

It therefore seems relevant or necessary, rather than denying, to provide new tests and new treatments, according to a different approach about the results of routine laboratory tests, appears to be the way.

As a final note, it has been shown that statins improve endothelial dysfunction, are anti-inflammatory, antiproteolytic, antithrombogenic and furthermore, inhibit the new plaque formation and stabilize the existing ones.

So, being an avowed opponent of the trade policies of many pharmaceutical companies and a fervent promoter of herbal treatment, but with an atheromatous plaque in the left carotid artery and another in the external iliac artery, Should I say, after years of successful control, "Statins are a hoax, are scams, I stop taking them"? And to
who I would claim later, from a wheelchair or from ....?


Natural Products Could Be as Effective as Synthetic Drugs, Although the Odds Are Low

Feb. 5, 2013 — In a first-ever comprehensive study of 124 natural product combinations, a team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Tsinghua University, led by Professor Chen Yu Zong from the 
Department of Pharmacy at the NUS Faculty of Science, found that certain combinations of natural products can be as effective as human-made drugs in acting against specific disease processes. However, the chances of finding the
effective combination of natural products could be as low as below 3 per cent.

Natural product combinations as potent as human-made drugs

Published in PLOS ONE in November 2012, the research showed that active ingredients in combinations of natural products can achieve the same level of potency as synthetic anticancer and antibacterial drugs but they have to be taken in larger quantities or for a longer period of time. These combinations include traditional Chinese medicine such as the Realgar-Indigo naturalis formula designed for the treatment of leukemia, Wedelia chinensis for anti-inflammatory purposes and black tea used in Japan for the treatment of gastroenteritis.

Through an analysis of more than 1,601 previous studies conducted on natural products and 190 human-made drugs, the researchers found that natural products are generally 10 to 100 times weaker than human-made drugs. They concluded that combinations of natural products can achieve the same strength as human-made drugs, but with current traditional practices, the odds are low.

Prof Chen said, "There have been claims that natural products simply have a placebo effect. In our study, we looked at more than 100 types of natural product combinations that are perceived to be the best and found that it is possible for natural products to achieve the same effectiveness as human-made drugs. However, the probability of finding such combinations based on traditional methods is low (below 3 per cent) as the natural products have to be of sufficient potency and taken in the right combination."

Next steps for research on natural products

The findings from this research provide a foundation for further studies on the clinical effectiveness of herbal medicine and how a combination of natural products and synthetic drugs can be taken together to fight diseases.

The team will continue to conduct more research in this area, in particular, to determine how to achieve the same level of effectiveness for natural products as synthetic drugs. Their research will focus on popular herbal products and frequently prescribed traditional medicine.

National University of Singapore (2013, February 5). Natural products could be as effective as synthetic drugs, although the odds are low. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 28, 2013, 

from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2013/02/130205101156.htm 


Age-Old Remedies

Age-Old Remedies Using White Tea, Witch Hazel and Rose May Be Beneficial, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Dec. 1, 2011) — Age-old remedies could hold the key to treating a wide range of serious medical problems, as well as keeping skin firmer and less wrinkled, according to scientists from London's Kingston University. A collaboration between the university and British beauty brand Neal's Yard Remedies has seen experts discover that white tea, witch hazel and the simple rose hold potential health and beauty properties which could be simply too good to ignore.

The research suggests a number of naturally-occurring substances may offer the hope of new treatments to block the progression of inflammation. It is credited with a major role in both the initiation and development of diseases ranging from cancer, diabetes and arthritis through to neuro-degenerative conditions and cardiovascular and pulmonary problems.

"For thousands of years people used natural remedies to try -- and sometimes succeed -- in curing their ailments and preserving their youth," Professor Declan Naughton, from the University's School of Life Sciences, said. "Now the latest research we have carried out suggests a number of naturally-occurring substances may offer the hope of new treatments to block the progression of inflammation."

Inflammation is credited with a major role in both the initiation and development of diseases ranging from cancer, diabetes and arthritis through to neuro-degenerative conditions and cardiovascular and pulmonary problems. It is also implicated in premature aging and early death. "Inflammation is a secret killer -- helping arrest its development, or being able to stop it happening at all, would clearly be of benefit," Professor Naughton explained.

The new study builds on work undertaken by Professor Naughton and Kingston University PhD student Tamsyn Thring, along with the technical team from Neal's Yard. They tested 21 plant extracts for evidence of their efficiency in fighting cancer and also in the battle against aging. Of the 21 extracts, three -- white tea, witch hazel and rose -- showed considerable potential, with white tea displaying the most marked results. "Indeed it appeared that drinking a simple cup of white tea might well help reduce an individual's risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or even just age-associated wrinkles," Professor Naughton said.

Spurred on by their laboratory findings, the team members decided to take the work further to see if they could replicate the results in human skin cells, looking more closely at the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity of the three extracts.

Using human skin cells as their model, the researchers added three different concentrations of white tea (freeze dried powder), witch hazel (dried herb) and rose extract (in a medicinal tincture form) to see what effect the mixtures might have on suppressing rogue enzymes and oxidants which play a key role in helping inflammation develop, as well as aging the skin. "As the largest organ in the body, the skin provides a barrier against UV radiation, chemicals, microbes and physical pollutants," Ms Thring said. "Challenges like this can contribute to both inflammation and skin aging.

"We also know that when inflammation starts -- be it a simple cut to a finger or in an arthritic joint -- the body starts producing a compound called interleukin 8, which helps the process along. We began wondering if there was a way we could switch that signal off, thereby blocking the inflammation's progress."

Even though the team's previous research had intimated there might be some promising results ahead, the experts were astonished to see just how good the various concentrations of the three extracts were at doing the job.

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Kingston University.

Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
Tamsyn SA Thring, Pauline Hili, Declan P Naughton. Antioxidant and potential anti-inflammatory activity of extracts and formulations of white tea, rose, and witch hazel on primary human dermal fibroblast cells. Journal of Inflammation, 2011; 8 (1): 27 DOI: 10.1186/1476-9255-8-27

Kingston University (2011, December 1). Age-old remedies using white tea, witch hazel and rose may be beneficial, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 4, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of ScienceDaily or its staff.