Tomato Juice May Aid

Aug 20, 2004 06:50 PM EDT

A recent study has found that tomato juice thinned blood of those with type 2 diabetes helping alleviate heart problems that often accompany the condition.

Diabetics have increased clotting

The study, published in the August 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that subjects who drank the juice for three weeks had reduced platelet aggregation (clotting) and thinner blood.

Blood platelets create the clotting action in blood, which is useful when injuries occur, but is also the process that can cause heart attacks, strokes and other potentially dangerous conditions. In subjects with diabetes, platelet viscosity is increased. As a result, patients with type 2 diabetes have increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular afflictions. Typically, anti-clotting medications have been used to reduce these risks.

Researchers studied 20 type 2 diabetics aged 43 to 82, with no prior history of clotting problems. The patients were free of anti-inflammatory or anti-clotting drugs that might influence the results.

Aggregation was lower in tomato juice group

Subjects were picked randomly and made to drink 250ml of tomato juice or a placebo, every day for three weeks. While in the study, patients maintained their normal eating habits.

Blood samples were collected at the beginning and at the end of the study.

Researchers found that platelet aggregation was much lower at the end of the trial for the group drinking tomato juice. There was no significant difference in aggregation in the group who drank the placebo.

The scientists are still not sure why the tomato juice had this effect. A possibility may involve a substance known as P3, which is found in the yellow fluid found surrounding the seeds of the tomato. In past studies, P3 has been found to influence platelet aggregation to a certain degree. However, further studies are needed.



2. S. A. Lazarus; K. Bowen; M. L. Garg, “Tomato Juice and Platelet Aggregation in Type 2 Diabetes,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 2004: 292:805-806.