You may already know that lycopene, the nutrient found primarily in cooked tomato products and watermelon, fights cancer. You may also know that it helps your heart. But now there's proof that lycopene can even lower your blood pressure.

A study published in the American Heart Journal included 31 participants aged 30-70. They had no history of taking blood pressure or lipid-lowering drugs. All had "stage I" hypertension with systolic blood pressure between 140 and 159 mm Hg. Diastolic pressures were between 90 and 99 mm Hg.

The participants first spent four weeks on one capsule daily of a placebo. The researchers then switched them to one capsule of Lyc-O-Mato every day for eight weeks (Lyc-O-Mato is a proprietary extract of tomatoes made by Lycored-Natural Products of Israel). They then went back on the placebo for the final four weeks of the study.

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While taking the active capsule, the group's systolic blood pressure dropped down to between 134 and 144. Their average diastolic fell to between 83.4 and 87.4. The authors of the study considered both reductions significant.

If you're having trouble with your blood pressure, I suggest you give Lyc-O-Mato a try.  It's available at most health food stores, and at $12 for a month's supply, it's much less expensive than most blood pressure formulations on the market.  (Some sell for $50 a month, and I've even seen some combinations that sell for nearly $100 a month.)

Of course, lycopene is great for more than just high blood pressure.  Numerous studies show that it protects against prostate cancer, breast cancer, heart disease, and more.

And, finally, this supplement is far safer than high blood pressure drugs. So if you have high blood pressure, don't think you need to start taking drugs to treat it.

If you're already taking high blood pressure drugs, you'll need to find a doctor who can help wean you off of them and onto the right nutrients. Stopping blood pressure meds cold turkey can be disastrous, even fatal.

Ref: American Heart Journal, January 2006.

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