Since we are a link in our chain ecosystem it is natural to be also some other, relevant links that help our maintenance in it.
As it is usually said "nature has provided." Constantly scientists, through research, discover the structure of this system and usually this knowledge ends up to the conclusion that nature generously and without our being aware of it -until it is proved-gives us what we need to go on maintaining our existence. In the last years, Greek researchers have discovered the beneficial effects of tomato juice in the human body. On our site we will be honored to host a summary of their research and Mrs Tsitsimpikou Christina’s (researcher, team member) interview in VIMA Science.
"Administration of tomato juice ameliorates lactate dehydrogenase and creatinine kinase responses to anaerobic training."
Creatinine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are important biological markers of various myocardial disorders and exercise-induced muscle damage. Lycopene, on the other side, is a natural anti-oxidant with protective action against cardiovascular risk. Fifteen anaerobically trained athletes with elevated LDH and CPK baseline levels were enrolled in this study after undergoing thorough biochemical and cardiovascular evaluation with echocardiocraphy. In nine athletes tomato juice, a lycopene plain juice, was administered during and after exercise, replacing the carbohydrate supplementation beverages commonly used during training for over a 2-month period. Tomato juice administration significantly reduced LDH and CPK levels, which returned back to almost normal levels. At the same time homocysteine and C-reactive protein were also attenuated. No changes were observed in the control group, where the usual carbohydrate supplementation had been followed.
"Effect of a special carbohydrate-protein bar and tomato juice supplementation on oxidative stress markers and vascular endothelial dynamics in ultra-marathon runners."
It is well established that exercise induces excessive production of reactive species leading to oxidative stress, which has been implicated in oxidative damage of macromolecules, immune dysfunction, muscle damage and fatigue. The present study examined the effect of supplementation of ultra-marathon runners for a two-months-period with a special whey protein bar containing carbohydrates and protein in a specific ratio (1:1) (N=16), prepared using as starting material the by-products of cheese manufacturing, and supplementation with commercially available tomato juice (N=15). Thiobarbituric-acid reactive substances and protein carbonyls were significantly decreased in both supplementation groups, while a pronounced increased in reduced glutathione was observed in the protein bar group. Total anti-oxidant activity remained unchanged in both groups. Flow-mediated dilatation, used as an estimate of endothelial function, was increased in both groups, with a significant rise observed only in the tomato juice administration group. In conclusion, supplementation of ultra marathon runners for a two-months-period with a special protein bar and tomato juice significantly improved the oxidative status of the subjects, while tomato juice also improved vascular endothelial function in these athletes.
The researcher Christina Tsitsimpikou
«In the research there were involved researchers from the Departments of Physical Education and Sports, Biochemistry and Biotechnology of the University of Thessaly, the Medical School of the University of Crete, the General Hospital of Karditsa, the Doping Control Centre and cardiology clinics of Athens, in collaboration with former Olympiakos team cardiologist Dr Panayotis Stamatopoulos” explains to VIMA Dr. Christina Tsitsimpikou, researcher and communication manager of the study, general secretary of the Greek Society of Toxicology and former director of doping control during the Olympic Games.
Lycopene against oxidation
«The specialists’ objective, as she says, was to strengthen sport activities from a biochemical point of view, without drugs consumption “We followed, inter alia, an idea expressed some years ago by Professor of Cardiology Dimitris Kremastinos from the Medical School of Athens University, an idea concerning the aid that lycopene may give to the heart. According to this idea behind many heart diseases, oxidative stress and inflammation are hidden”. “Oxidative stress is a pathogenic condition in which free radicals are released. Oxygen free radicals resemble to uncontrollable active oxygen "bombs" in the body, which have no reason to exist and tend to oxidize or otherwise destroy macromolecules of the organism, -mainly proteins such as muscle proteins, immune system proteins, binding proteins, etc.”, says Dr. Tsitsimpikou.
In the study there were involved 15 athletes who were asked to continue their normal workouts anaerobic exercise (e.g., judo, weightlifting, wrestling, sailing, handball, basketball, etc.). Nine of them, for a period of two months were asked to replace the isotonic drink consumed after their workouts with ready tomato juice and what is more, with the product of their choice. The others continued to drink regularly their isotonic drink. In the beginning, during and at the end of the testing, experts recorded the vital functions of athletes but also the levels of their body recovery after their workouts.
«We wanted to see what would happen if we changed the common isotonic drinks used by athletes with tomato juice, rich in lycopene - a key tomato antioxidant that gives it the red color – having also about the same level of carbohydrates as common dietary supplements” explains Dr. Tsitsimpikou. “Based on the measurements, we saw that some typical indicators such as those of oxidative stress, inflammation and muscle damage were repaired within about two months».
Life saving intervention also for the heart
«So we noticed that when the athletes had, for example, the ratio of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) significantly enhanced, the tomato juice consumption seemed to prevent injuries associated with this increase. Lactic dehydrogenase is one of the enzymes increased in the case of myocardial infarction, when in fact, there is destruction of cardiac muscle, a peripheral system muscle damage. The same increase, more limited, of course, is observed in sports, due to the muscles stress” says the researcher. According to the researchers, the damage is caused because during the exercise strong cytokines are produced, which in fact destroy the body tissues. “We do not know whether tomato juice inhibits the cytokines production. However, for some reason "it puts a brake" to the destruction of the tissue”, says Dr. Tsitsimpikou. “At the same time we saw that indicators such as homocysteine, which are characteristics of poor endothelial function - and which are associated with the heart and damage to the endothelium as has been noticed in patients with heart failure, along with the progress of the disease- revert to normal levels after tomato juice consumption».
In FOS natural creativity by taking into account what we learned from these studies, we decided to propose and try to establish in the minds of people practicing sports, -either embracing championship, or wishing to maintain their physical fitness-, tomato juice as the new energy drink.
The natural energy drink that we, with Μala peruviana are careful to maintain as healthy and natural as possible, preserving the fruit original characteristics. Using only natural ingredients without artificial preservatives. So, with respect to its beneficial effects on human beings, we can recommend our 3 products and mainly the virgin blend due to its mixing with other vegetables, for use during the preparation, before the race, and daily for any sport activity.
Receiving all the benefits of lycopene and its typical protection that natural tomato juice offers to the heart.