The 2021 research project aims to show that optimised, healthy blood flow can be achieved from regular consumption of everyday tomato products such as juice, paste, soup.
Maintaining healthy blood flow is of critical importance, mitigating health risks associated with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and stroke such as atherosclerosis, thrombosis and hypertension, obesity, pre-diabetes, rheumatic disease as a result of unhealthy lifestyles (unhealthy dietary patterns, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, stress), pollution and early stage COVID-19.
Abnormal blood flow may be caused by hyperactive blood platelets clumping together (platelet aggregation), part of the sequence of events leading to the formation of a life-threatening thrombus (clot).
Unfortunately, popular daily use blood-thinning medications (Aspirin etc.) present a separate danger for those where risk of CVD etc. is still relatively low.
It is a priority to find alternative, safe solutions for the vulnerable population who have hyperactive platelets, in order to reduce the risk of disease.
The project goals are driven by the existence of an EFSA health claim for a simple, tomato-based supplement - Water Soluble Tomato Concentrate – and normal platelet function (EFSA-Q-2009-00229, EFSA-Q-2010-00809).
WHY DOES A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT MADE SOLELY FROM TOMATO PASTE HAVE AN EFSA HEALTH CLAIM FOR IMPROVED BLOOD FLOW, BUT TOMATO PASTE DOESN’T?
The Foundation recently completed a large scale study of a wide range of tomato product samples from the EU and wider global industry. The study data (100+ samples in triplicate) shows the relevant bioactive compounds in a single ‘dose’ of the WSTC supplement are present at higher levels in each serving of tomato products.
Next step is to conduct the human nutrition trials necessary to demonstrate antiplatelet activity and inhibition of thrombus formation.
Processed tomato products represent a major agricultural and food industry sector in Europe.
The Project will support public health goals, increase nutrition awareness, strengthen industry and agriculture in the Eurozone, and advance the scientific state-of-the-art globally.