US Pharm. 2010;35(12):102 

New research supports the health benefits of tomato products. The findings, presented at the American Dietetic Association's Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo held in Boston, introduced data that links tomato products such as canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa, juice, and sauce with heart health.

Lycopene and other antioxidants in food sources of tomato products appear to be the reason for the reduction in oxidative stress and inflammation tied to consuming tomato products, according to Julie Talbot, MS, RD, Illinois Institute of Technology. Talbot reported that “In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, tomato products significantly attenuated oxidative stress and associated inflammatory response, with potential benefits on endothelial function.” These benefits are linked with reduced risk of heart disease. A high-fat meal can raise levels of inflammation within hours of consumption. This and other studies suggest that if tomato products are consumed with the meal, the inflammatory effect may be lessened.

More evidence that tomato products may protect against inflammation, the root of heart disease, was presented by Tissa Kappagoda, PhD, of the University of California-Davis, and Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, of Penn State University, who reported findings from the multicenter, randomized, controlled trial that they coauthored. The study found that consuming a diet high in tomato products blunted LDL oxidation and reduced levels of the inflammation. The study also found a benefit on blood pressure.