TOMATO

OTHER NAME(S):

Extrait de Tomate, Love Apple, Lycopersicon esculentum, Pomme d'Amour, Pomme d'Or, Raktamaci, Solanum lycopersicum, Tamatar, Tomate, Tomato Fruit.

Overview

Overview Information

Tomato is a plant. The fruit is a familiar food, but the fruit, leaf, and vine are also sometimes used to make medicine.

Some people use tomato for high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, cancer, and many other uses, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

How does it work?

Tomatoes contain a chemical called lycopene, which is thought to play a role in preventing cancer. It's easier for the body to use lycopene that comes from tomato products, such as tomato paste or tomato juice, than from fresh tomatoes. Tomato might also help reduce the risk of heart disease and sun damage.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Purdue University researchers are developing a tomato that contains more than twice as much lycopene and has a longer shelf life than currently available tomatoes. The tomato, which is still in development, is modified with a yeast gene that slows the ripening process, allowing more time for lycopene to accumulate. Researchers think it will be several years before this tomato is on store shelves.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Bladder cancer. Eating more tomato products does not seem to decrease the risk of bladder cancer.
  • Breast cancer. Eating more tomato products does not seem to decrease the risk of breast cancer.
  • Diabetes. Eating more tomato products does not seem to decrease the risk of diabetes. It also doesn't seem to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Heart disease. Limited research has found that eating more tomato-based foods is associated with a decreased risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • Cataracts. Eating more than 3 servings of tomatoes each week may help to prevent cataracts.
  • Cervical cancer. Limited research has found that eating more tomatoes is linked with a lower risk of developing cervical cancer.
  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer. Some studies suggest that tomatoes or tomato-based products may help to reduce the chance of getting this type of cancer. But other studies have found no benefit.
  • Asthma caused by exercise. Early research suggests that taking a specific tomato extract (Lyc-O-Mato) seems to reduce symptoms in people who get asthma attacks from exercise.
  • Stomach cancer. So far, research studies do not agree on whether or not tomatoes or tomato-based products can help prevent stomach cancer.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Tomatoes containing the chemical lycopene seem to reduce lipid levels in the blood.
  • High blood pressure. Early research shows that a specific tomato extract (Lyc-O-Mato) might lower blood pressure by a small amount in people with high blood pressure.
  • Lung cancer. Some research suggests that tomatoes or tomato-based products can help prevent lung cancer. But these studies have been criticized because they didn't take people's smoking behavior into account. Higher quality, large-scale studies do not show any link between eating tomato products and the risk for lung cancer.
  • Muscle strength. Early research suggests that eating tomatoes more frequently has been linked to a slower decline in hand-grip strength in older adults.
  • Ovarian cancer. Some research suggests that eating more tomato or drinking more tomato juice doesn't seem to prevent ovarian cancer. But some research suggests that consuming tomato sauce two or more times per week does seem to lower the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer. One large study shows that eating tomato or tomato-based products does not seem to prevent pancreatic cancer. But other studies suggest that raw tomato intake, and high tomato intake in general, is linked with a reduced chance of developing pancreatic cancer.
  • Prostate cancer. Some research suggests that the risk of getting prostate cancer is decreased modestly in men who eat tomato products, including tomatoes, tomato sauce, pizza, or tomato juice, one time or more per week. But other research has found no benefit.
  • Arthritis.
  • Common cold.
  • Chills.
  • Digestive disorders.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of tomato for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Red tomatoes, green tomatoes, and tomato leaves are LIKELY SAFE when used in the typical amounts found in food. A specific tomato extract (Lyc-O-Mato) is POSSIBLY SAFE when used for up to eight weeks. Large amounts of tomato leaf or green tomatoes are POSSIBLY UNSAFE. In large amounts, tomato leaves or green tomatoes can cause poisoning. Symptoms of poisoning may include severe mouth and throat irritation, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, headache, mild spasms, and death in severe cases.

There isn't enough reliable information to know if tomato vine is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Tomato fruit is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant and breast-feeding women to eat in food amounts. But there isn't enough reliable information to know if the larger amounts used as medicine are safe. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Interactions

Interactions?

We currently have no information for TOMATO Interactions.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of tomato for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for tomato. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Paran, E., Novack, V., Engelhard, Y. N., and Hazan-Halevy, I. The effects of natural antioxidants from tomato extract in treated but uncontrolled hypertensive patients. Cardiovasc.Drugs Ther. 2009;23(2):145-151. View abstract.
  • Ried, K., Frank, O. R., and Stocks, N. P. Dark chocolate or tomato extract for prehypertension: a randomised controlled trial. BMC.Complement Altern.Med. 2009;9:22. View abstract.
  • Rizwan, M., Rodriguez-Blanco, I., Harbottle, A., Birch-Machin, M. A., Watson, R. E., and Rhodes, L. E. Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: a randomized controlled trial. Br.J.Dermatol. 2011;164(1):154-162. View abstract.
  • Asero R, Mistrello G, Amato S. Airborne allergy to tomato proteins. Allergy. 2010;65(12):1626-7. View abstract.
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  • Clinton SK, Emenhiser C, Schwartz SJ, et al. Cis-trans lycopene isomers, carotenoids, and retinol in the human prostate. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1996;5:823-33. View abstract.
  • Cramer DW, Kuper H, Harlow BL, Titus-Ernstoff L. Carotenoids, antioxidants and ovarian cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal women. Int J Cancer 94:128-34.. View abstract.
  • Dalbeni A, Treggiari D, Tagetti A, et al. Positive Effects of Tomato Paste on Vascular Function After a Fat Meal in Male Healthy Subjects. Nutrients. 2018;10(9):1310. View abstract.
  • Engelhard YN, Gazer B, Paran E. Natural antioxidants from tomato extract reduce blood pressure in patients with grade-1 hypertension: a double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study. Am Heart J 2006;151:100. View abstract.
  • Etminan M, Takkouche B, Caamano-Isorna F. The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2004;13:340-5. . View abstract.
  • FDA. Qualified Health Claims: Letter Regarding "Tomatoes and Prostate, Ovarian, Gastric and Pancreatic Cancers (American Longevity Petition)" (Docket No. 2004Q-0201). 2005. https://wayback.archive-it.org/7993/20171114023213/https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm072760.htm. Accessed on May 20, 2020.
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  • Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, et al. Intake of carotenoids and retinol in relation to risk of prostate cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1995;87:1767-76. View abstract.
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  • Kavanaugh CJ, Trumbo PR, Ellwood KC. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's evidence-based review for qualified health claims: tomatoes, lycopene, and cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2007;99:1074-85. View abstract.
  • Kirsh VA, Mayne ST, Peters U, et al. A prospective study of lycopene and tomato product intake and risk of prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2006;15:92-8. View abstract.
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  • Michalickova; D, Belovic; M, Ilic; N, Kotur-Stevuljevic; J, Slanar; O, Sobajic; S. Comparison of Polyphenol-Enriched Tomato Juice and Standard Tomato Juice for Cardiovascular Benefits in Subjects with Stage 1 Hypertension: a Randomized Controlled Study. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2019;74(1):122-127. View abstract.
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  • Neuman I, Nahum H, Ben-Amotz A. Reduction of exercise-induced asthma oxidative stress by lycopene, a natural antioxidant. Allergy 2000;55:1184-9. View abstract.
  • Nishimura M, Tominaga N, Ishikawa-Takano Y, Maeda-Yamamoto M, Nishihira J. Effect of 12-Week Daily Intake of the High-Lycopene Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum), A Variety Named "PR-7", on Lipid Metabolism: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(5). pii: E1177. View abstract.
  • Nkondjock A, Ghadirian P, Johnson KC, Krewski D. Dietary intake of lycopene is associated with reduced pancreatic cancer risk. Canadian Cancer Registries Epidemiology Research Group. J Nutr 2005;135:592-97. View abstract.
  • Norrish AE, Jackson RT, Sharpe SJ, Skeaff CM. Prostate cancer and dietary carotenoids. Am J Epidemiol 2000;151:119-23. View abstract.
  • Olmedilla B, Granado F, Southon S, et al. A European multicentre, placebo-controlled supplementation study with alpha-tocopherol, carotene-rich palm oil, lutein or lycopene: analysis of serum responses. Clin Sci (Lond) 2002;102:447-56. View abstract.
  • Paetau I, Khachik F, Brown ED, et al. Chronic ingestion of lycopene-rich tomato juice or lycopene supplements significantly increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and related tomato carotenoids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;68:1187-95. View abstract.
  • Ren Z, Huang C, Momma H, et al. High Tomato and Tomato Product Consumption is Protective Against the Decline in Handgrip Strength Among Japanese Adults: The Oroshisho Study. J Epidemiol. 2018;28(9):397-403. View abstract.
  • Rowles JL 3rd, Ranard KM, Applegate CC, Jeon S, An R, Erdman JW Jr. Processed and raw tomato consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2018;21(3):319-336. View abstract.
  • Sesso HD, Liu S, Gaziano JM, Buring JE. Dietary lycopene, tomato-based food products and cardiovascular disease in women. J Nutr 2003;133:2336-41.. View abstract.
  • Shidfar F, Froghifar N, Vafa M, et al. The effects of tomato consumption on serum glucose, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-I, homocysteine and blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients. Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2011;62(3):289-94. View abstract.
  • Stram DO, Hankin JH, Wilkens LR, et al. Prostate cancer incidence and intake of fruits, vegetables and related micronutrients: the multiethnic cohort study. Cancer Causes Control 2006;17:1193-207. View abstract.
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  • Valderas-Martinez P, Chiva-Blanch G, Casas R, et al. Tomato Sauce Enriched with Olive Oil Exerts Greater Effects on Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors than Raw Tomato and Tomato Sauce: A Randomized Trial. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):170. View abstract.
  • Wang L, Liu S, Manson JE, et al. The consumption of lycopene and tomato-based food products is not associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. J Nutr 2006;136:620-5. View abstract.
  • Watzl B, Bub A, Blockhaus M, et al. Prolonged tomato juice consumption has no effect on cell-mediated immunity of well-nourished elderly men and women. J Nutr 2000;130:1719-23. View abstract.
  • Wolak T, Sharoni Y, Levy J, Linnewiel-Hermoni K, Stepensky D, Paran E. Effect of Tomato Nutrient Complex on Blood Pressure: A Double Blind, Randomized Dose?Response Study. Nutrients. 2019;11(5). pii: E950. View abstract.
  • Yang T, Yang X, Wang X, Wang Y, Song Z. The role of tomato products and lycopene in the prevention of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of epidemiologic studies. Med Hypotheses. 2013;80(4):383-8. View abstract.

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