Call it a fruit or vegetable, tomato holds a constant position in our vegetable basket. From having it raw to making curries and chutneys, we use tomatoes on a daily basis. Besides being super versatile, the fruit is loaded with health-benefiting properties too. According to health experts, vitamin C, antioxidants etc (in tomatoes) help promote good skin, ease inflammation and boost immune health. But did you know that tomatoes might help promote gut health too? A recent study, published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum, finds that “tomatoes impart benefits through their modulation of the gut microbiome”.
The research was initially conducted on young pigs. It was found that the gut microorganisms were changed in the pigs, toward a more favorable profile after two weeks of consuming a diet high in tomatoes. As per a report in ANI, after observing the results with a short-term intervention, the researchers decided to conduct a similar study on humans to establish the link between tomato and gut microbiome. Senior author of the study, Jessica Cooperstone states, “It’s possible that tomatoes impart benefits through their modulation of the gut microbiome.”
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For the first study, the researchers surveyed 20 pigs for 14 days. These animals were divided into two sets – the first 10 were fed a standard diet and the other ten were given an additional diet of freeze-dried powder made of tomatoes.
It was found the pigs, with a tomato-heavy diet, had their microbes increased in their guts. “This was our first investigation as to how tomato consumption might affect the microbiome, and we’ve characterized which microbes are present, and how their relative abundance has changed with this tomato intervention,” Jessica Cooperstone stated. The researchers plan for an in-depth study for understanding long-term health benefits.
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