Pill derived from tangerine tomatoes reduces cholesterol by 90 per cent
01 June 2009
A new pill derived from the chemicals of tangerine tomatoes, is expected to save thousands of lives as it cleans up the fat in arteries according to British scientists.
The pill is made up of lycopene, a chemical that is abundant in the skin of ripe tomatoes and helps make the tomato red, is believed to remove the 'bad' cholesterol by more than 90 per cent within eight weeks if the pill is taken daily.
Scientists, who have conducted tests on 150 heart patients suffering from the harmful fats in the blood, known as lipids or bad cholesterol, had their bad cholesterol reduced to almost zero in just eight weeks after taking the pill daily.
Though lycopene has long been known as a powerful anti-oxidant for controlling bad cholesterol, scientists had difficulty in making the human body absorb it.
Now scientists have found out a way to surmount this problem by using an extra-potent form of lycopene in a pill extracted from tangerine tomatoes, which are grown mainly in the mediterranean climate of Italy.
People living in the mediterranean region, whose daily diet includes the tangerine tomatoes, are known to have relatively very low problems related to the heart.
Scientists say that is very difficult to ignore these findings.
The pill called 'Ateronon', will be launched today in the UK at the conference of the British Cardiovascular Society in London and will be subsequently sold over the counter as a supplementary pill. Since the pill is made from natural food ingredients, it does not require the approval of the UK drug watchdogs.
Taking a pill daily will be equivalent to eating three kilos of ripe tomatoes a day, and is priced £35 (approximately Rs2,700) for a month's supply.
Cambridge Theranostics, a spin-off of Cambridge University, has developed this wonder pill and scientists led by Neuroscientist Peter Kirkpatrick, will conduct further trials on 200 patients for a year at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge and at HarvardMedical School in the US to see if the pill can reverse the effects of heart disease.