Archive for the ‘Heart Failure’ Category

Lycopene Linked to Healthier Blood Vessels

February 23, 2014

Higher levels of Lycopene in the blood are associated with lower stiffness in the arteries, says a study supporting the heart health benefits of the carotenoid.

Women with the highest levels of Lycopene also had the lowest levels of oxidized LDL-cholesterol, according to a study with 264 women published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

Oxidation of LDLs is thought to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Increasing LDL’s resistance to oxidation is believed to help delay the progression of the disease.

“Our finding suggests that serum concentrations of Lycopene may play a important role in the early stage of atherosclerosis,”  reported the researchers from the Department of Food and Nutrition at Yonsei University in South Korea.

Growing Science for Lycopene Supplementation

Lycopene is an antioxidant that is present in red- and pink- colored fruits and vegetables. It has been shown to provide valuable cardiovascular, blood pressure, prostate, osteoporosis, skin and other health benefits. It is used for its functional health properties in food supplements and some nutritional food and beverage products.

Study Details

The researchers recruited women aged between 31 and 75 and took blood samples in order to measure their blood levels of Lycopene, as well as other carotenoids. Arterial stiffness was measured using brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (known as baPWV).

According to their results, women with the highest average Lycopene blood levels had the lowest baPWV measurement, compared to people with the lowest average Lycopene blood levels. These women also had lower oxidised LDL levels, as well as larger LDL particles. Levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation, were also lower in the women with the highest Lycopene levels.

This result confirms previous reports that Lycopene showed superior antioxidant capability or trend of a decreased atherosclerotic risk compared with other antioxidant such as beta-carotene both in vitro and in humans.

Source: Atherosclerosis “Independent inverse relationship between serum lycopene concentration and arterial stiffness”