tomato effect

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tomato effect2016-12-09T08:47:34+00:00

tomato effect

tomato effect image from New Medical Terms



A popular term referring to the rejection of an effective treatment for a disease for illogical reasons, as may occur when conventional logic suggests that the agent should have no therapeutic value or is toxic—as once occurred with colchicine, aspirin, and currently with thalidomide (which is a known teratogenic agent). 

Note: When the tomato–Lycopersicon esculentum, a New World plant from Peru was brought back by Spanish explorers, it was an instant culinary success with the Spaniards, the Italians, who called it pommo d’oro, golden apple and the French, who thought it was an aphrodisiac–pomme d’amour, apple of love, but was relatively unpopular in the rest of Europe, since conventional logic held that the tomato was poisonous because it belongs to the deadly nightshade family of plants, which includes belladonna and mandrake; this belief persisted until a tomato was eaten publicly in Massachusetts in 1820; the only known adverse effect from tomatoes lies in herbal teas prepared from its leaves. 

Reference JAMA 1984; 251:2387-2390 

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