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Lycopene Associated with Reduced Stroke Risk in Men — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 10, 2012

Lycopene Associated with Reduced Stroke Risk in Men

Patients may ask about a study in Neurology that links the antioxidant lycopene — found in tomatoes and some other red fruits and vegetables — with reduced stroke risk.

Researchers tested blood levels of several antioxidants in about 1000 middle-aged men in Finland. During 12 years' follow-up, 67 strokes occurred. After adjustment for standard stroke risk factors, men in the highest quartile of serum lycopene had a 55% lower risk for any stroke and a 59% lower risk for ischemic stroke, compared with men in the lowest quartile. Other measured antioxidants were not associated with stroke risk.

S. Andrew Josephson of Journal Watch Neurology, cautions: "The number of strokes in the study was small, and the lack of longitudinal measurements of serum lycopene limits generalizability. For now, clinicians should continue to recommend a diverse diet high in fruits and vegetables for general health, but further work is needed to determine which, if any, specific dietary components have beneficial effects in stroke prevention."

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