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.

What is Endometriosis?

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This post just covers what Endometriosis is, you will find other information on the site about symptoms and treatments.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of endometrial cells that spread to areas in the body where they do not belong.

Usually endometrial cells exist within the lining of the womb and are shed during menstruation (period) – whilst they exist and are shed they do not cause endometriosis (they are supposed to exist in this situation).

Endometriosis cells can grow in many areas of the body, they have been reported in the brain, eyes , nose and more commonly in fallopian tubes, the outer surface of the uterus, pelvic organs, the ovaries,  colon, bladder and the sides of the pelvic cavity.

As normal during menstruation these cells will become filled with blood and may bleed, unfortunately when they are present elsewhere in the body this can lead to pain due to inflammation and other complications.  Often as a result of this symtons are cyclical – especially initially and is often mis-diagnosed as “period pain” or “cramps” etc…  It is worth noting that symtpoms can occur at any time and do vary from person to person, this is one of the reasons why we need sites like this!

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