Tomatoes for improving intestinal flora – therapeutic practice

How tomatoes affect the intestinal flora

Consumption tomatoes appear after a short time with one Increasing the diversity of gut microbes while promoting a more favorable concentration profile of certain beneficial bacteria.

In a new study by experts from Pennsylvania State University and The Ohio State University (OSU) investigated the effects of tomato consumption on The gut microbiome researched. The results were published in the English-language journal Microbiology Spectrum.

Try freeze-dried tomato powder

The team conducted a study on 20 piglets because the animals a physiologically relevant model of human metabolism represent. For a fortnight the pigs received either a freeze-dried tomato powder fortified feed or normal feed (control group).

The intake of fiber, sugars, proteins, fats and calories was the same in both groups. The animals were housed in separate groups and had as little contact with the researchers as possible. This should ensure that any changes in the microbiome caused by other factors are avoided.

Analyzed changes in intestinal flora

Based stool sampleswhich were taken at three different times (at the beginning, after seven days and at the end of the study), the researchers examined the changes microbial communities in the intestines of animals. To do this, the experts sequenced all the microbial DNA present in the samples.

For the first time, we studied how tomato consumption affects the microbiome and characterized which microbes were present and how their relative abundance changed with tomato consumption.” explains the author of the study Jessica Cooperstone of The Ohio State University in a press release.

Improving health by eating tomatoes

Two major changes were identified in the microbiome of pigs that ate tomatoes.

On the one hand, Diversity of types of microbes in these animals, on the other hand, especially the concentration two types of bacteria have a more favorable profile up, reports the team.

A higher proportion of Phyla Bacteroidota (formerly Bacteriodetes) was found compared to Bacillota (formerly Firmicutes), which according to experts with positive effects on health is connected.

Earlier studies have already shown that a higher proportion of Bacillota than Bacteroidota can be related, for example, to the development of obesity.

In addition, tomato consumption is already associated with a reduced risk of various diseases, including cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.

In a typical Western diet, tomatoes make up about 22 percent of vegetable consumption out.

Further human studies are needed

The current study clearly shows that tomato consumption can have other health benefits in addition to its positive effects on gut flora. However, some ambiguity remains regarding the effects of tomato consumption on the gut microbiome, the study author said. Jessica Cooperstone

Further research in humans is therefore necessary in the long term to fully understand the underlying mechanisms. “Ultimately, we would like to find out what role these special microorganisms play in humans and how they may contribute to possible health outcomes.“, he emphasizes Cooperstone.

It would also be possible evidence-based nutritional recommendations create which long term improve health, the team explains. (as)

Author and source information

This text meets the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been reviewed by health professionals.


  • Mallory L. Goggans, Emma A. Bilbrey, Cristian D. Quiroz-Moreno, David M. Francis, Sheila K. Jacobi, et al.: Short-term tomato consumption alters the porcine gut microbiome toward a more favorable profile; in: Microbiology Spectrum (veröffentlicht 08.11.2022), Microbiology Spectrum
  • Ohio State University: Tracking the health benefits of tomatoes for gut microbes (veröffentlicht 08.11.2022), OSU

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot replace a doctor’s visit.

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