Tomatoes help Endometriosis?

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As promised, more on alternative treatments for Endometriosis sufferers.

As readers of this site know, Endometriosis causes Pain due to the tissues that would normally be found in the womb being found elsewhere in the body, various complications surround this, such as adhesions due to the body reacting to the tissues presence etc..

However a study has found (preliminary results) that the chemical found in tomatoes (and watermelons) which is responsible for their red colouration may help to reduce symptons.  The chemical Lycopene has been known to be an anti-oxident for a quite a while, and has been linked to having benefits for cardiovascular disease and some cancers.

The specific aspect which may give relief is in the preventing of adhesions, these are formed around damaged cells, often thought to be part of the bodies immune response to injuries.  With the higher stages of Endometriosis it is not unusual for a surgeon to see webs of adhesions binding internal organs together during laproscopic surgery due to the Endometrial growths.

The Lycopene appears to inhibit the growth of these, therefore inhibiting one of the major suspected causes of pain in chronic sufferers.  The study was undertaken on culture cells, by Dr Dbouk, the cultures measured the formation of proteins which the body uses as markers for iniating the adhesion cell growth, in the cultures these proteins were reduced by 80 – 90%.

Dr Dbouk told the American Society for Reproductive Medicine conference in San Francisco “What we found in our laboratory study is that lycopene can help with the adhesions that these conditions cause,” he said. “One of the major complications of endometriosis is that it causes inflammation which induces adhesions.

“The inflammation basically causes scarring. What we did was to look at protein markers that could help us trace the activity of the abnormal cells that cause these adhesions. The lycopene worked to reduce the abnormal activity of these cells.

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“This means that you would not get the adhesions, which suggests that lycopene could work to mitigate the complications and ailments of endometriosis. So, hypothetically speaking, we might be able to reduce the adhesion effects of endometriosis.”

 

At this time there has been no study done to determine how much of the chemical is actually transmitted in the body from consumption in the diet, so whilst theoretically it is possible to postulate that the chemical may be available in high enough quantities to make a difference to Endometriosis sufferers there is no clinical evidence yet.

 

However you can take one very good bit of news if you don’t like raw tomatoes – ketchup contains the chemical as well, so there’s no reason to stop using it!

 

This story has been reported by many sources, including Marie Claire, Times Online, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.  As a result we are confident that this story is valid and people can indeed carry on eating Tomatoes.

How is endometriosis diagnosed?

There is only one certain way to diagnose Endometriosis and that is by a minor surgerical procedure called a laproscopy. During a laproscopy, the patient is put to sleep with anesthetic and their abdomen is distended with carbon dioxide gas to make the organs easier to see. While the patient is under anesthesia, a laproscope is inserted into a tiny incision in the abdomen and by moving it around, the surgeon can check the abdomincal organs to see if there are any endometrial implants.

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