Twenty days of drinking a glass of 330 ml of tomato juice every day were associated with significant reductions in levels of the inflammatory compounds interleukin-8 (IL-8) and TNF-alpha, compared with women only drinking water.
The effects were more pronounced in overweight women rather than obese women, which surprised the researchers since inflammatory levels are higher in obese than overweight people.
“The nature of obesity as a chronic inflammatory condition highlights the potential beneficial role of nutrients such as lycopene, which have anti-inflammatory properties,” they wrote in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Nutrition.
“It is unclear why more significant changes were seen in the overweight, compared with the obese, group. It is possible that the anti-inflammatory actions of lycopene were not potent enough to dampen the heightened level of baseline inflammation that was present in the obese group.”
The study was performed by scientists from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in Iran and the University of Newcastle in Australia.
Overweight and obese women with an average age of 23 were randomly assigned to receive either tomato juice (Takdaneh Company) or water for 20 days.
Results showed that overweight women displayed significant reductions in both IL-8 and TNF-alpha of 11.77 and 5.44 pg/ml, respectively, compared with increases of 6.22 and 0.07 pg/ml, respectively, in the control group.
No significant changes were observed in the obese-only subjects.
“Tomato juice reduces inflammation in overweight and obese females,” they wrote. “Thus, increasing tomato intake may provide a useful approach for reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases such as CVD and diabetes, which are associated with obesity.”
Source: British Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, FirstView Articles, doi: 10.1017/S0007114512004278
“Tomato juice consumption reduces systemic inflammation in overweight and obese females”
Authors: M. Ghavipour, A. Saedisomeolia, M. Djalali, G. Sotoudeh, M.R. Eshraghyan, A.M. Moghadam, L.G. Wood