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A Tomato-Heavy Diet Is Associated with Improved Gut Microbiota

A new study from Ohio State University in Columbus, U.S., finds that a tomato-heavy diet is associated with a more favorable profile of the ratio of “good” to “bad” bacteria and greater diversity in the gut microbial community.

For their study, the researchers used an animal model. They randomly assigned 10 piglets to a tomato diet consisting of freeze-dried tomato powder added to the basal diet. The other 10 piglets received the control diet, consisting of the basal diet modified to match the tomato diet’s sugar, fiber, and other macronutrient content.

Lead study author Jessica Cooperstone, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology at Ohio State University in Columbus, says: “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.”

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