In the study, 184 male and 297 female participants were provided with as much unsalted tomato juice as they wanted throughout one year.
At the end of the study, blood pressure in 94 participants with untreated prehypertension or hypertension dropped significantly: systolic blood pressure lowered from an average of 141.2 to 137.0 mmHg, and diastolic blood pressure lowered from an average of 83.3 to 80.9 mmHg.
LDL cholesterol levels in 125 participants with high cholesterol decreased from an average of 155.0 to 149.9 mg/dL. These beneficial effects were similar among men and women and among different age groups.
"To the best of our knowledge, the current study is the first to investigate the effects of tomato or tomato product intake on cardiovascular disease risk markers over the course of a year and over a wide age range,"
the authors wrote.