Could eating tomatoes help prevent strokes? A Finnish study suggests that high blood levels of lycopene, unlike those of other antioxidants, could be associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke. Vegetables, especially tomatoes, are a significant source of lycopene. The analysis in the journal Neurology followed 1,031 men ages 46 to 55, measuring their blood levels of five antioxidants and recording incidents of stroke. Men with the highest lycopene levels were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest. There was no association between stroke and blood levels of the other four antioxidants -- alpha carotene, beta carotene, alpha tocopherol and retinol. Lead author Jouni Karppi, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland, said, "The consumption of vegetables is good for your health anyway, in addition to whatever protection it offers against stroke."
NEW YORK TIMES