Tomato juice may be the key to decreasing hyperactive platelet aggregation, which can lead to heart disease, according to the latest nutrition and dietetics study by HMRI researchers based at the University of Newcastle.
Research conducted by Sherri Lazarus and Associate Professor Manohar Garg, published in an August edition of the Journal of American Medical Association, has found that over a three week period, the platelet activity in people with type 2 diabetes decreased when they took a dietary supplement of tomato juice.
"Diabetes is a multi-faceted disease with problems such as glucose intolerance, hypertension (high blood pressure), dislipidaemia (high cholesterol and high triglycerides) and the less talked about hyperactive platelets," says Sherri.
"Aggregation is the clumping together and clotting of platelets. We looked at how susceptible the platelets were to clotting before and after the people with type 2 diabetes had taken tomato juice."
"Platelets are the parts of blood responsible for the preservation of healthy blood vessels. When the health of blood vessels is impaired, as in the case of diabetes, platelets stick to the lining of the vessel wall and over time can lead to the development of cardiovascular disease."
"Dietary strategies have been developed to address known cardiovascular risk factors, however, currently there is no dietary strategy aimed at reducing high platelet activity and this is the first time that tomato juice has been used in humans to reduce platelet activity."
"We are looking for dietary solutions for people with type 2 diabetes rather than just popping pills. Larger randomised controlled trials are needed to determine whether the consumption of tomato juice can improve cardiovascular outcomes in individuals with type 2 diabetes," says Sherri.