Monday, 1 June 2009

Don't chop tomatoes out of your diet

Here's our line on the new 'tomato pill' - or Ateronon to give it its trade name - which was launched this week in a blaze of newspaper headlines proclaiming its powers to stave off both heart attack and stroke.

We are urging people to take a more cautious approach to the natural supplement, which is not as yet clinically proven but which scientists linked to Cambridge University claim can block so-called "bad" cholesterol from clogging the arteries.

Our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, says the public will need to exercise caution and patience. And, it seems, the pill is not a substitute for eating real tomatoes, and other fruit and vegetables.

"As always, we caution people to wait for any new drug or modified ‘natural’ product to be clinically proven to offer benefits before taking it. It will take some time, and several clinical trials, to provide such evidence for Ateronon.

"In the meantime, our advice to heart disease patients or those at high risk is to rely on proven medications prescribed by their doctor, and aim to get the benefits of a Mediterranean diet by eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg.

"We need to be clear in this instance, that the British Heart Foundation supported some of the basic science at Cambridge University underpinning the development of this product over a decade ago and, as such, could benefit from its commercialisation."

So don't chop the tomatoes out of your diet just yet would be our advice.

What do you think about the new 'tomato pill'? Let us know by posting a comment below...

1 comment:

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