Probiotic-Fermented Tomato Boosts Liver Fat Metabolism

Jenn Hoskins
10th April, 2024

Probiotic-Fermented Tomato Boosts Liver Fat Metabolism

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Study in China found fermented tomatoes can help fight obesity
  • Fermented tomatoes reduced sugar, increased antioxidants, and slowed fat/carb digestion
  • Key compounds in tomatoes were identified that reduce liver fat accumulation
Obesity has become a significant health challenge worldwide, often leading to chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In the quest to find natural solutions to this growing problem, scientists have been exploring the potential of certain foods and their bioactive compounds to prevent and manage obesity. A recent study by the State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology has shed new light on this topic, revealing that fermented tomatoes could play a role in combating obesity[1]. The study focused on a specific strain of bacteria, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum NCUH001046 (LP), and its effects when used to ferment tomatoes. Fermentation is a process where bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms break down substances in food, often enhancing its nutritional value and health benefits. In this case, the researchers found that LP fermentation not only increased the levels of beneficial compounds in tomatoes but also improved their ability to combat obesity. After fermentation with LP, the tomatoes showed a significant increase in viable bacterial counts, indicating a successful fermentation process. Interestingly, the sugar content in the tomatoes decreased, while levels of organic acids, umami amino acids, total phenols, and flavonoids increased. These changes are noteworthy because phenols and flavonoids are antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and have been linked to various health benefits, including weight management. The fermented tomatoes also demonstrated an enhanced capacity to inhibit the activities of three digestive enzymes. This is significant because slowing down these enzymes can reduce the digestion and absorption of fats and carbohydrates, potentially aiding in weight loss. Additionally, the fermented tomatoes showed increased antioxidant activities and could inhibit the growth of Enterobacter cloacae, a bacterium that has been implicated in obesity. A critical aspect of the study was the examination of how fermented tomatoes affected hepatic lipid metabolism, which is how the liver processes and stores fats. The Western blot analysis, a laboratory method used to detect specific proteins, suggested that fermented tomatoes, particularly those containing live LP bacteria, could reduce fat accumulation in the liver. This effect was attributed to the activation of the AMPK signal pathway, a cellular pathway that plays a vital role in regulating energy balance and lipid metabolism. Using advanced metabolomics analysis, the researchers identified several phenolic compounds whose levels increased after fermentation. These included chlorogenic acid, capsiate, tiliroside, irisflorentin, and homoeriodictyol. Further experiments showed that two of these compounds, irisflorentin and homoeriodictyol, were particularly effective at reducing lipid accumulation in liver cells, suggesting that they could be key players in the anti-obesity effects observed. The findings of this study are supported by previous research indicating that dietary interventions, including the consumption of certain fruits and plants, can have therapeutic potential against obesity[2][3]. For example, GABA-enriched fermented litchi juice was shown to protect against obesity in a high-fat diet mouse model by improving the serum lipid profile and gut microbiota composition[2]. Similarly, a variety of edible and medicinal plants have been identified for their anti-obesity mechanisms, like suppressing appetite and increasing energy expenditure[3]. The current study expands on these earlier findings by pinpointing specific bioactive compounds in fermented tomatoes that could be responsible for their obesity-alleviating effects. In summary, the research conducted by the State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology demonstrates that LP-fermented tomatoes could be a valuable addition to the diet for those looking to manage their weight. The study provides a foundation for further exploration into probiotic-fermented plant-based foods and their role in preventing and treating obesity. As interest in functional foods continues to grow, these findings offer a promising avenue for the development of new dietary strategies to combat obesity and its associated health risks.



Main Study

1) Probiotic-fermented tomato with hepatic lipid metabolism modulation effects: analysis of physicochemical properties, bioactivities, and potential bioactive compounds.

Published 9th April, 2024

Related Studies

2) GABA and fermented litchi juice enriched with GABA promote the beneficial effects in ameliorating obesity by regulating the gut microbiota in HFD-induced mice.

3) Effects and mechanisms of edible and medicinal plants on obesity: an updated review.

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