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Tomatoes linked to improved gut health, study finds – Medical News Today

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In a recent study, tomato-fed pigs experienced greater diversity in their stomach microbiome, a signifier of stronger belly health. Carol Yepes/Getty Images

  • A recent research observed the effects associated with tomato consumption on the gut microbiome in pigs.
  • After 10 piglets were fed a diet of which 10% was freeze-dried tomato powder, their ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria shifted toward a more favorable profile.
  • The tomato-fed pigs also acquired greater diversity within their gut microbial community, believed to be a signifier of stronger gut health.
  • The findings could potentially lead to dietary recommendations for long-term health within humans.

Rich in the particular antioxidant lycopene and other essential nutrients, tomatoes are known for their health benefits .

But lesser understood are the implications tomato usage has for gut wellness.

In a new study, researchers examined the effects of the tomato-heavy diet on the gut microbiome using an animal model.

Researchers given piglets a tomato-supplemented diet plan for 14 days and found that the balance of their gut bacteria shifted toward a healthier, more favorable profile.

The results were recently published in Microbiology Spectrum .

Lead research author Jessica Cooperstone , Ph. D., assistant professor in the Department of Food Science plus Technology at Ohio State University in Columbus, told Medical Information Today :

“Tomato consumption has been correlated to a variety of positive health outcomes, and they are the second most commonly consumed vegetable within the United States. About 22% associated with total vegetable intake comes from tomatoes, so we are interested in better understanding the health effects of this commonly consumed food. ”

Researchers used 20 male piglets that were born in the summer of 2019 at the particular OSU Swine Facility within Dublin, OH. After they were weaned from their own sows, they were fed a basal diet with regard to 1 week.

Next, researchers randomly assigned 10 piglets to a tomato diet consisting of freeze-dried tomato natural powder added in order to the basal diet. The remaining 10 piglets received the control diet, consisting of the basal diet modified to match the tomato diet’s sugar, fiber, and other macronutrient content.

“We wanted to make sure we could provide a consistent source of tomatoes to the pigs throughout the study, ” Dr. Cooperstone said.

“In Ohio, we can only grow tomatoes in the field for harvest toward the end of summer, so freezer drying serves as a preservation step. We wanted to incorporate the tomato into the basal diet associated with the pigs, and that diet is powdered, ” she added.

The tomatoes from which the particular powder was derived were a hybrid grown in the North Central Agricultural Research Station of Kansas State University (OSU) within Fremont, OH YEA.

Additionally, to avoid any non-dietary spread of bacteria, pigs were housed only with other members of the group on one side of a walkway. Pens allowed snout-to-snout contact between grouped companions.

At the end associated with the experiment, there were no body-weight differences between the two groups of piglets.

The experts analyzed fecal samples from all the domestic swine at the start of the test, 7 days in, plus then again after fourteen days.

Using DNA shotgun genomics , the particular researchers identified the germs present at each point.

Sequencing detected a shift after 14 days in the ratio associated with Bacillota (“bad” bacteria) towards Bacteroidota (“good” bacteria).

Both types or lineages of bacterias, known as phyla, contain a large number of bacteria, some of which may be helpful or not.

Researchers also observed a greater bacterial diversity in the samples of the tomato group, which may suggest the healthier phenotype .

While diversity is viewed as useful in the particular gut microbiome, much remains unknown about the overall impact.

Dr. Ashkan Farhadi , a gastroenterologist at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, not involved in the study, questioned what could have resulted if the particular pigs had been given regular tomato vegetables versus tomato powder.

In addition, whether the quantity and duration of tomato consumption can have yielded different results is not yet known and may warrant further study.

“There are a lot of questions that come out of a good research, and this is a good study, ” Dr. Farhadi informed MNT .

Dr . Farhadi noted that will comparisons among any 2 species are usually hard to make definitively.

“We both have stomach germs, [but] are they identical between us? There are simply no identical germs between even two individuals or within one individual on two days. Gut germs are therefore dynamic that even if you are stressed out for a period associated with 1 hour, the germs are different, ” he explained.

Although pigs are not humans, there is reason in order to suspect that will tomato intake might equally benefit the human microbiome.

“We [are] gaining a far more detailed understanding of how specific foods impact human being health, ” Doctor Cooperstone said.

“Previous studies have found that the particular gastrointestinal tract of pigs is more similar to humans than mice are to humans, which is why we elected to do this research in pigs. Other studies have discovered that this two major phyla of bacteria within the belly microbiome are usually the same between domestic swine and people. We hope in order to move our trials to humans in the future. ”

– Jessica Cooperstone, Ph. Deb., lead author of the study

Speaking to Ohio Condition News about the study, Dr . Cooperstone said that the better knowledge of the results of different foods upon gut wellness “could result in more evidence-based dietary tips for long-term health. ”

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