The antioxidant in question is a compound known as lycopene which is what helps to give ripe tomatoes their striking red colour.
Though the compound is found in other fruits such as pink grapefruits and apricots, one of the study’s authors Dr Karin Ried of the University of Adelaide said tomatoes have particularly high levels of lycopene.
The Australian experts looked at data from 14 international studies on the benefits of lycopene, spanning a 55 year period.
What they found was that tomatoes provided a natural defence system against high levels of ‘bad cholesterol’ in the blood and could eventually be used as alternative to cholesterol lowering drugs ‘statins’.
Ried has said that eating just one tomato a day would not be enough and instead recommends looking into having 50g of tomato paste or half a litre of tomato juice per day.
‘Our study suggests that if more than 25 milligrams of lycopene is taken daily, it can reduce “bad” cholesterol by up to 10 per cent’ she said.
View the original Daily Mail article.