A study by scientists at the University of Oulo in Finland found that volunteers who regularly ate tomato ketchup experienced a drop in their levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), otherwise known as 'bad' cholesterol.
The researchers asked volunteers to eat 30g of tomato ketchup or drink a few glasses of tomato juice every day for a three-week period.
Reporting their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition, they revealed that total cholesterol levels fell by just under six per cent on average, while LDL levels fell by nearly 13 per cent.
They concluded: "The changes we saw can be regarded as significant, considering that the time period was only three weeks and all the volunteers had normal cholesterol levels to start with."
Around seven in ten people over the age of 45 are thought to have high cholesterol