Modified Lycopene Product May Help People with Cardiovascular Disease
A breakthrough study from the University of Cambridge in the UK suggests that a modified lycopene product may improve blood vessel functioning in people with cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The study included 36 participants with CVD and 36 healthy control subjects. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either the 7mg lycopene supplement or a placebo daily for two months.
Prior to supplementation, blood vessel function in participants with CVD was 30% below that of the healthy subjects. At the end of the supplementation period, the elasticity and efficiency of blood vessels in participants with CVD had improved by up 53%. Overall blood vessel function was only 3% below that of the healthy subjects.
No change was seen in the healthy participants who received the supplement or in the participants who received the placebo.
As this was only a preliminary study, the researchers caution that more investigations need to be undertaken to uncover the exact effect of lycopene on blood vessel functioning. Further studies are currently underway at Harvard University.
The full study has not yet been published in a scientific journal.
Previous studies have shown that lycopene may have a positive effect on bone health and skin health.
If you want to increase lycopene levels you may want to consider taking a lycopene supplement, or increasing your consumption of red-pigmented foods such as tomatoes, peppers and papayas.