A small study done at the University of Toronto suggests that drinking a couple of glasses of tomato juice a day may help you avoid osteoporosis. The researchers found that lycopene – an antioxidant carotenoid that helps give tomatoes their red color reduces oxidative stress and bone resorption connected to osteoporosis. By “quenching” the reactive oxygen, lycopene may protect bones against osteoporosis effects.
The study participants who received at least 30 milligrams a day of lycopene in tomato juice showed improvements in markers of oxidative stress, and in a key marker of bone resorption called NTx. Leticia Rao, PhD, director of the university’s Calcium Research Laboratory and her colleagues reported their findings in Osteoporosis International. They noted that this is the first trial to show that lycopene may potentially improve bone health. They concluded, “our novel study suggests that lycopene may be used as a natural complementary or alternative supplement for the reduction of the bone resorption marker NTx in postmenopausal women by decreasing oxidative stress parameters, which may therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis.” The article added that long-term studies are needed to determine whether lycopene can slow bone loss and reduce fracture risk….. www.tuftshealthletter.com 5/6/13