Tomato extract supports heart health, researchers say

New research has found evidence that a water-soluble tomato extract (Fruitflow) from Royal DSM may activate the gut-heart axis. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, 22 overweight and obese subjects were given either placebo or 150 mg of the tomato extract daily for four weeks, with a six-week washout period between interventions. Researchers collected stool, blood, and urine samples to test changes in trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO; primary outcome) as well as fecal microbiota, fecal and plasma metabolites, and urine TMAO (secondary outcomes).

The researchers explain that “TMAO is derived from trimethylamine (TMA), a microbial metabolite produced by various taxa of the gut microbiota primarily from dietary phosphatidylcholine and L-carnitine, commonly found in red meat, cheese, and eggs.” Absorbed through the intestinal epithelium and transported to the liver, TMA is converted into TMAO, which is known to be proinflammatory and proatherogenic. High baseline levels of TMAO are associated with major adverse cardiovascular events.

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