Hypertension (HT), dislipidaemia, and homocysteinaemia are a major risk factors for cardiac, cerebral and renal diseases. Treatment of HT can reduced this increased risk, however, in 70% of hypertensives, BP is poorly controlled. Major problem in HT managment is lack of concordance to treatment, especialy in low grade hypertensives. Non-pharmacologic therapy by natural products may improve patient atitude and complience with treatment. Lycopene, a natural carotenoid occuring in fruits and vegetables as well as in tomatos, is an effective anti-oxidant, it inactivates free radicals, and reduces LDL susceptibility to oxidation. Inverse relations have been demonstrated between serum lycopene concentrations and the risk for cancer and cardiovascular morbidity. No study has been done yet, examining the lycopene's combined effect on hypertension and cardiovascular risk factors.

The aims of our study were to evaluate the effects of tomatoe's lycopene extract on systolic and diastolic blood pressure in grade I HT, on serum lipoproteins, plasma homocystein and oxidative stress markers. 30 grade I HT subjects, aged 40-65, without concomitant diseases, who required no blood pressure and/or lipid lowering drug therapy, were recruited from primary care clinics. Study participants entered a two weeks run in period for establishment of HT diagnosis and base line evaluation, then 4 weeks placebo and finaly 8 weeks treatment periods.

Our preliminary results demonstrate significant reduction in both systolic BP (from 144 to 135), average of 9 mmHg reduction, and diastolic BP (from 91 to 84), average of 7 mmHg reduction, and some beneficial effects on blood lipids, lipoproteins and oxidative sress markers. These preliminary results suggests the lycopene's ability to reduce BP in grade I HT patients and a possible beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk factors.