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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Eating more tomatoes could help prevent scarring and adhesions associated with endometriosis

Tomatoes could hold key to treat painful condition suffered by women
article in the Telegraph


"A chemical in the fruit which gives it its red colour has been found to help prevent scarring associated with endometriosis.

A study found that when cells taken from the internal scar tissue were exposed to lycopene in the laboratory they reacted positively.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant which mops up other oxidative chemicals that cause damage in the body.

In this case it was found to prevent adhesions, where scar tissue builds up in thin films or thick lumps and can cause internal organs to stick together after surgery or due to certain diseases like endometriosis which can lead to fertility problems.

The disease occurs when cells that usually line the womb are found elsewhere in the body.

The most common symptom of endometriosis is pain or discomfort in the abdomen.

Dr Tarek Dbouk, from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, said lycopene could become a safe and cheap treatment in these conditions.

In a laboratory study, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Francisco, the nutrient was found to cut the presence of proteins that cause tissue to form by between 80% and 90%.

Simply increasing the amount of lycopene in the diet through taking supplements or increasing the intake of tomatoes could become a preventative treatment before abdominal surgery and may lead to new treatments for endometriosis, he said."