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Tomatoes linked to improved gut health, study finds

  • A recent study observed the effects of 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 in 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 in humans.

Rich in the antioxidant lycopene and other essential nutrients, tomatoes are known for their health benefits. But lesser understood are the implications tomato consumption has for gut health.

In a new study, researchers examined the effects of a tomato-heavy diet on the gut microbiome using an animal model. Researchers fed piglets a tomato-supplemented diet 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 study author Jessica Cooperstone, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State University in Columbus, told Medical News Today:

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

Studying the impact of a tomato-heavy diet

Researchers used 20 male piglets that were born in the summer of 2019 at the OSU Swine Facility in Dublin, OH. After they were weaned from their sows, they were fed a basal diet for 1 week. Read entire article by Robby Berman at MedicalNewsToday


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