Solanum lycopersicum Linn.
Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.
Lycopersicum cerasiforme Dunal
Kamatis (C. Bis., Tag., Bik., Sul., Ig.)
Fan qie (Chin.)
There are around 7,500 varieties of tomato. In 2009, about 150 million tons of tomatoes were produced worldwide. China, the largest producer, accounted for almost 30 % of the global output. Depending on shape or size, tomatoes are categorized into: Slicing or globe, beefsteak, oxheart, plum, pear, cherry, grape, and campari.
Kamatis is a hairy annual herb, typically growing 1 to 3 meters in height, with ascending or spreading hairy and branched stems. Stem is weak, often sprawling over the ground or vines over other plants. Leaves are pinnate and alternate, oblong-ovate, 10 to 40 centimeters long. Leaflets are irregular and toothed or lobed. Inflorescence is racemose or cymose, 5 to 8 centimeters long, and few flowered. Flowers are yellow, 1 to 1.5 centimeters long. Fruit is variable in shape; in the wild and naturalized forms it is rounded or pear-shaped; 1 to 1.5 centimeters in diameter; in the commonly cultivated form, the fruit is rounded and compressed, lobed, 4 to 10 centimeters wide, red when ripe, smooth, fleshy, juicy, subacid, containing numerous seeds.
- Found throughout the Philippines in its original form.
- Extensively cultivated; grown in gardens and farms as vegetable.
- Cultivated worldwide.
- Plant yields solanine and fixed oil.
- The fruit yields the carotene lycopene, of the most powerful antioxidants. The red color found in tomatoes is due to lycopene; therefore, the redder the tomato, the higher the lycopene content. Yellow and green tomatoes are relatively low in lycopene.
- 100 gm of tomato contains: Water 94%, protein 1 gm; fat 0,3%, carbohydrate 4%, fiber 0.6%, vitamin A 1,100 IU, Vit B 0.2mh. vitamin C 23 mg, nicotinic acid 0.6%, pantothenic acid 0.31 mg, vitamin E 0.27 mg, biotin 0.004 mg, malic acid 150 mg, citric acid 390 mg, oxalic acid 7.5 mg, sodium 3 mg, potassium 268 mg, calcium 11 mg, magnesium 11 mg, iron 0.6 mg, copper 0.1 mg, manganese 0.19 mg, phosphorus 27 mg, sulfur 11 mg, chlorine 51 mg.
- Natural genetic variation has yielded a genetic plethora of genes that produce lycopene, carotene, anthocyanin, and other antioxidants.
- Seeds contain globuline, vitamins A, B, and C, solanine, etc.
- Considered a mild aperient, a promoter of gastric secretion, and a blood purifier.
- Also considered an intestinal antiseptic, with a cleansing effect in the enteric portion of the intestinal tract.
- Considered antioxidant from the carotene lycopene.
• Lycopene / Hepatoprotective: Lycopene is considered a better antioxidant than other carotenoids. In a study on acute injury caused by oxidant carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), results showed that tomato juice, with its lycopene and ascorbic acid content, exhibited a strong effect on oxidative damage of CCl4 in rat liver.
• Lycopene / Prostate Cancer Prevention / No Magic Tomato / A Negative Report: A study reported no significant difference between those who had prostate cancer and those who did not in relation to the concentration of lycopene in their blood stream. In fact, researchers noted an association between beta-carotene, an antioxidant related to lycopene, and an increased risk for aggressive prostate cancer.
• Lectins / Mucosal Immunogen: Lycospersicum esculentum lectins studies suggest it to be a potent mucosal immunogen, enhancing immune responses to antigens.
• Tomatoes in Gene Therapy: Jure Piskur et al from the Lund University, published study results suggesting the tomato gene could be of value in future treatment of brain tumors.
• Antimutagenic / Anticlastogenic: Study evaluated the combined effect of tomato and garlic against DBMA-induced genetic damage and oxidative stress in mice. Results suggest a broad spectrum of antimutagenic and anticlastogenic effects may be achieved through a combination of functional foods.
• Radioprotective: Radioprotective effects of an aqueous extract of tomato extract was studied in chromosome aberration in cells of bone marrow in irradiated mice. Pretreatment with the extract resulted in a significant reduction in the percentage of aberrant metaphases as well as in the different types of aberration scored. The extract showed not toxicity at 1500 mg KBW.
• Prevention of Lead Adverse Effects: In a rat study, lead was showed to cause significant reductions in many hematologic and laboratory parameters with significant increases in the percentage of neutrophils and plasma malondialdehyde concentration. Tomato paste significantly prevented the effects of lead acetate.
• Decreased Plately Aggregation: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study evaluated the use of a tomato extract as dietary supplement to prevent platelet aggregation. Results showed significant reductions in es vivo platelet aggregation induced by ADP and collagen. Results suggest tomato extract, as a dietary supplement or functional food, may have a role in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease by reducing platelet activation, which could contribute to thrombotic events.
In The News
• Fruitflow / Antithrombotic / Aspirin Alternative: Study claims that Fruitflow, a tomato extract, can reduce the risk of blood clots, which can trigger heart attacks and strokes. Results of a human clinical trial compares Fruitflow with aspirin, with its ability to reduce platelet aggregation by 28% through three different biologic pathways (vs aspirin, 60% reduction, in a single pathway).
(1)Protective effects of tomato consumption against the oxidative damage caused by CCl4 in rat's liver / Tuncay Altug et al / Adv Mol Med 2007; 3(4): 183-188 / DOI 10.2399/amm.07.183
(2)Medicinal (Healing) Applications of Tomatoes / HolisticOnLine
(3)Tomato genes could be used as future treatment in gene therapy: Study / The Medical News
(4)Tomato and garlic by gavage modulate 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced genotoxicity and oxidative stress in mice / V Bhuvaneswari et al / Braz J Med Biol Res, July 2004, Volume 37(7) 1029-1034 (Short Communication)
(5)Aspirin may have a new anti-thrombotic rival / Elaine Watson / Headlines / FoodManufacture
(6)Tomato / Wikipedia
(7)RADIO-PROTECTIVE EFFECT OF LYCOPERSICON ESCULENTUM EXTRACT AGAINST RADIATION INDUCED CHROMOSOMAL ABERRATION IN SWISS ALBINO MICE / Tekchand Dhirhe, B.K Maheshwari, Presenjit Raut, Sangeeta Dhirhe / International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences Review and Research, Volume 7, Issue 1, March – April 2011
(8)Lycopersicon esculentum (Tomato) Prevents Adverse Effects of Lead on Blood Constituents / Salawu, Emmanuel O. / Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010, pp. 13-18
(9)Tomatoes and Tomato Products as Medicine / Jade Teta, ND, CSCS; Keoni Teta ND, LAc CSCS; and Julie Sutton ND, LAc, CSCS / Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients
(10)No Magic Tomato? Study Breaks Link Between Lycopene And Prostate Cancer Prevention / May 17, 2007 / Science Daily
(11)Lycopene / Health Information / Mayo Clinic
(12)A Review of Epidemiologic Studies of Tomatoes, Lycopene, and Prostate Cancer / Edward Giovannucci / Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2002
(13)Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans / Niamh O'Kennedy, Lynn Crosbie, Stuart Whelan, Vanessa Luther, Graham Horgan, John I Broom, David J Webb, and Asim K Duttaroy / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006
(14)Effect of a tomato-rich diet on markers of cardiovascular disease risk in moderately overweight, disease-free, middle-aged adults: a randomized controlled trial / Frank Thies, Lindsey F Masson, Amelia Rudd et al / American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2012