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Protective activity of processed tomato products on postprandial oxidation and inflammation: A clinical trial in healthy weight men and women


Correspondence: Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, Center for Nutrition Research, Institute for Food Safety and Health, 6502 S. Archer Road, Bedford Park, IL-60501, USA

Fax: +1-708-563-1873



This study was designed to evaluate the ability of tomato rich in lycopene to modify postprandial oxidative stress, inflammation, and endothelial function in healthy weight individuals.

Methods and results

Twelve women and 13 men (mean age = 27 ± 8 years; mean body mass index= 22 ± 2) consumed high-fat meals known to induce postprandial oxidative stress on two separate occasions containing either processed tomato product or non-tomato alternative. Blood samples were collected at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120 min, then hourly until 360 min. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) was performed at 0 and 210 min. Endpoints included changes in glucose, insulin, lipids, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL), inflammatory cytokines, and FMD. Both meals induced increases in plasma glucose, insulin, and lipid concentrations (p < 0.05). A trend for higher triglycerides at >240 min was observed after the tomato meal (p = 0.006). Tomato significantly attenuated high-fat meal-induced LDL oxidation (p < 0.05) and rise in interleukin-6 (p < 0.0001), a proinflammatory cytokine and inflammation marker.


The data indicate that consuming tomato products with a meal attenuates postprandial lipemia-induced oxidative stress and associated inflammatory response. The relevance of OxLDL and inflammation to vascular injury suggests a potentially important protective role of tomato in reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Registration number – NCT00966550.