Kagome Co., Ltd. corporate planning headquarters’ research institute, through animal tests carried out during collaborative research with Professor Kazuo Miyashita Sugiyama of Hokkaido University, has confirmed the function of lycopene has of increasing adiponectin in blood. The results of the current research therefore raise the expectation that the consumption of tomatoes will have a preventive function on metabolic syndrome.
The content of this research was announced at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Food Factors.
It is now understood that adipose tissue is not merely a store of energy, but it in fact secretes various bioactive proteins called adipocytokines that affect the entire body. If the adipocytes over-enlarge due to visceral-fat-type obesity, this causes changes in the secretion of adipocytokines. This then causes the promotion of metabolic syndrome through the reduction of adiponectin, which is also known as a beneficial adipocytokine. It can therefore be thought that adiponectin plays a critical role in the prevention of metabolic syndrome. The current research confirmed the increasing function of lycopene, a pigment found in tomatoes, on adiponectin in blood. It can be thought that as metabolic syndrome is a condition that increases the risk of various diseases, by contributing to the increase of adiponectin in blood, lycopene is very important in decreasing the risk of disease.