organic tomatoes higher in quercetin and kaempferol

In a 10 year study highlighted by the BBC, organic tomatoes were found to contain twice the levels of flavonoids compared with commonly grown tomatoes.

Organic food ‘better’ for heart

Flavonoids have been shown to reduce high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the team said nitrogen in the soil may be the key.

Dr Alyson Mitchell, a food chemist at the University of California, and colleagues measured the amount of two flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol – in dried tomato samples that had been collected as part of a long-term study on agricultural methods.

Flavonoids have also been linked with reduced rates of some types of cancer and dementia.

The Food Standards Agency says there is some evidence that flavonoids can help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and they are currently carrying out a study to look at the health benefits in more detail.

However, a spokesperson said there was no evidence that organic food was healthier.

“Our long-standing advice on organic food is there can be some nutrient differences but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better for you.”

The RSRP Page on Quercetin tell us that, “Quercetin is an herbal COX and 5-LOX inhibitor that when taken as a supplement may be helpful in controlling inflammation”. The role of Quercetin and other flavonoids in vascular function is an interesting area of study. Whilst there is no direct link yet to rosacea, general vascular health is definitely a good thing for rosacea sufferers.

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About the Author:

David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998.

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2 Reader Comments

  1. I have read about this and also have some more infor on the health benefits of the tomato.

    There are many health benefits from eating natural grown tomatoes. They contain compounds which are proven to help prevent heart disease, cancer, and cataracts just to name a few.

    Tomatoes contain large quantities of Vitamin C providing up to 40% of the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake), up to 20% RDI for Vitamin A, 8% RDI of Potassium, and between 7 – 10 % RDI of Iron.

    The red colouring of the tomato is called Lycopene. It is a type of carotenoid anti-oxidant that has been found to contain up to twice the punch of more well known anti-oxidant beta-carotene. Lycopene has been found to offer some protection against a growing list of cancers which include prostate cancer in men, breast cancer in woman, pancreatic, endometrial and lung cancer.

    Recent research is beginning to show that 2 other compounds found in tomatoes may help to fight lung cancer as well. Coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid are thought to be able to block the effects of nitrosamines which are the strongest carcinogenic found in cigarette smoke. By blocking the effects of nitrosamines the chances of developing lung cancer are significantly reduced.

    What tomatoes contain the most Lycopene? This is easy. Choose the most brilliant red, natural home grown chemical free or organic tomatoes. These contain up to 3 times the amounts of these cancer – fighting carotenoids, and even more are released through cooking them with some olive oil. Also, when the tomatoes have been cooked in some olive oil, your body absorbs the Lycopene much better.

  2. Sandi says:

    So if they can’t prove the benefits of organic food over food that has been helped along with chemicals, then why don’t they tell us the chemicals that do appear in the food and what the amounts of those chemicals are? Then we can decide how many chemically treated products we are going to eat a day versus how much fresh produce we are going to eat a day….afterall we get to know what’s in processed food. So if a chemical test is taken on produce the results could be posted to a band on the produce or package. So if the nutritional information is the same, but the chemical balance is tilted, I think we deserve to know the amount of tilt. Weigh the pros and cons myself.

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