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.