High intake of Lycopene linked to healthy blood vessels in women
Korean researchers have found that women with the highest level of the tomato carotenoid Lycopene in their blood had less stiffness in their arteries and there was a lower level of oxidized (rancid) LDL-cholesterol. When LDL-cholesterol becomes rancid it contributes significantly to hardening of the arteries. The women who ranged in age from 31 to 75 also had LDL-particle size was also larger decreasing its ability to fit snugly into the walls of arteries and causing damage in the first place. Low-level inflammation was also lessened in these women signified by a lower level of CRP (C-reactive protein); a protein associated with hardening or stiffening of the arteries, stroke and heart attack. The results of the study are published online ahead of print in the journal Atherosclerosis.