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LYCOPENE TO PREVENT HEART ATTACKS

Seventy-two studies show that the people who eat large amounts of tomatoes are at reduced risk for developing heart attacks (1) and cancers of the prostate, breast, lung, stomach, pancreas, colon, esophagus, mouth and cervix (2). That doesn't mean that you should eat tomatoes with every meal.

Countless numbers of plants have been on earth for 3.5 billion years. Almost all have become extinct. The few that have survived contain chemicals that protect them from insects, bacteria, fungi and even animals and man. Over the years, men have learned which plants are poisonous to man and which are not. However, plants that are harmless in average doses can be harmful when eaten all the time. So you should eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables for their lycopene, but you should not eat one fruit all the time.

Lycopene prevents cancer by protecting cells from oxidants. It helps prevent heart attacks by preventing the bad LDL cholesterol from being converted to oxidized LDL that forms plaques in arteries. It's antioxidant properties also may help to prevent sunburns. Lycopene is found in tomatoes and other brightly colored vegetables, such as watermelon and red grapefruits, but it is absorbed in greater quantities from cooked tomatoes, rather than from fresh ones. The best sources are tomato paste and sauce, and ketchup.

1) Lenore Kohlmeier et al. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. American Journal of Epidemiology October, 1997.

2) Giovanucci E et al. J of the National Cancer Institute February, 1999.

Checked 7/31/07

May 29th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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