And the research continues to mount.
Last week, an Australian meta-analysis of 14 studies showed that, on average, the equivalent of 5 ounces of tomato sauce (25 milligrams of lycopene) or 2.5 ounces of tomato paste (ditto) lowered LDL cholesterol as much as small doses of statins–about 10%.
Lycopene from tomatoes is 4x better absorbed if the tomatoes are cooked, and eaten with a drop of luscious oil, btw. Thus, sauce and paste.
Two other studies which Katherine Hobson highlighted last week in the Wall Street Journal suggest that medication for this purpose, well, may not be all it is cracked up to be.
One found that extended release niacin (Niaspan, a form of vitamin B3, available only by Rx for raising HDL) didn’t protect against heart attacks when added to statins.
The other found that a fibrate called Tricor, also by Rx, didn’t prevent heart attacks and strokes, also when added to a statin.
These are, individually, multi-billion dollar drugs.
Studies like these make me think there should be a cholesterol registry– a place where the best natural approaches to lowering cholesterol can shine.