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Eating Tomatoes Benefits the Bones of Postmenopausal Women

Lycopene, present in tomatoes, has favourable effects on bones – results revealed at ECTS Conference 2012, Stockholm, Sweden, 19-23 May

May 21, 2012, Stockholm, Sweden. Press Dispensary. Eating a popular low-calorie fruit – the tomato – is beneficial for the bones of postmenopausal women, according to a recent study conducted in the Center of Excellence for Osteoporosis Research (CEOR) in Saudi Arabia. The CEOR Study found that lycopene, a potent antioxidant found mainly in tomatoes and tomato products, helps to decrease the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

The results were revealed today at the 'ECTS Conference 2012' organised by the European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS), and taking place in Stockholm on 19-23 May.

In the study, conducted at CEOR of the King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 90 women were randomised into three equal groups to follow a daily supplements routine: the first group received 30 mg/day of lycopene (Lyc-O-mato), the second had 45 mg/day and the third had placebo capsules containing no lycopene. The women started with a four-week washout period, in which no lycopene-containing foods were consumed, and then the supplement routine started, with blood and urine samples collected at two, four and six months.

All 90 women were healthy, aged 50-65 and postmenopausal. They were independently mobile and had a femoral neck and/or lumbar spine (L1-L4) with T-score values of less than 1.0. Women were excluded from the study if they had cancer, chronic diseases, treatment for metabolic bone disorders or diseases known to be associated with increased oxidative stress.

The study assessed the effects of lycopene supplementation on their bone mineral density (BMD), biochemical bone turnover (BTMs) and oxidative stress markers.

It found that taking lycopene supplements for six months significantly increased serum lycopene compared to the placebo (P<0.001) and decreased bone resorption (P<0.001) and bone formation markers (P<0.02). Lycopene supplementation significantly increased TAS (P<0.001) and decreased TOS (P<0.001); OSI (P < 0.001); lipid peroxidation (P<0.001) and protein oxidation (P<0.001) variables as compared with the placebo control, respectively.

Professor MSM Ardawi of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine and CEOR at King Abdulaziz University, said:
"We found a convincing argument that healthy postmenopausal women will benefit from eating tomatoes and other related foods that contain lycopene and/or when supplemented with lycopene. Bone loss and osteoporosis are commonly associated with postmenopausal life but, after just six months of supplementing their diet with lycopene, it was clear that, for these women, the risk of either was reduced."

This study is on-going to follow-up the women for one year to see the effect on a prolonged period of time.

Prior to the study, limited information was available on the role of lycopene in bone loss and osteoporosis.

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Notes for editors
Webcasts and a photo gallery of the congress are available on the ECTS website:-

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About the study
The CEOR study was headed up by Professor M.S.M Ardawi of the Department of Clinical Biochemistry, M.H. Quari of the Department of Heamatology and A.A. Rouzi along with B.M. Musfafa of the Obstetrics and Gynecology, Center Of Excellence For Osteoporosis Research and Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

90 healthy, postmenopausal women took part. They were medically examined and data was collected on their lifestyle and level of physical activity: four-day dietary records were also submitted. The following were determined at various time intervals: lycopene, total antioxidant status (TAS), total oxidant status (TOS), oxidative stress index (OSI), antioxidant enzymes, protein thiols, lipid peroxidation and BTMs (s-OC, s-PINP, s-bone ALP, s-CTX, u-NTX and s-TRACP-5b). BMD was measured by X-ray absorptiometry at baseline and six months following supplementation.

About the Congress
Taking place in Stockholm on 19-23 May, 2012, the 39th ECTS Annual Congress 2012 is Europe's key annual bone science event. The programme includes: symposium workshops covering bone biology and clinical research; results of the latest scientific research; clinical update sessions and a session dedicated to new investigators in the field.

About the ECTS
The European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS) is the major organisation in Europe for researchers and clinicians working in the field of calcified tissues and related fields. ECTS acts as a forum for the dissemination of high quality research through its annual meeting, the European Symposium on Calcified Tissues, and through training courses and workshops.

Calcified tissues are central to a healthy skeleton and to bone disorders - such as osteoporosis, back pain and fractures - that make life a misery for countless people. Children can inherit some forms of bone diseases causing bone pain, shortness and deformed limbs.

ECTS 2013, celebrating the society's 50th year, will be held in Lisbon, Portugal, on 18-21 May 2013

For further information, please contact:
Roberta Mugnai, ECTS executive director
European Calcified Tissue Society (ECTS)
Tel: + 32 476 520 716

Conference site:

Media contacts

Roberta Mugnai, ECTS executive director
Tel: + 32 476 520 716

Conference site:

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