Dietary Factors in the Modulation of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Activity

Shinil Shah, DO, PGY-1


March 27, 2007


Two studies have indicated that lycopene, an antioxidant, found in high quantities in foods that have a natural red color (eg, tomato, watermelon, pink grapefruit, etc) may play a role in attenuating the inflammatory process. Lycopene, a member of the carotenoid family, is a free radical scavenger and is only found in plant products.[45] Studies done using indoacetamide rat model of colitis showed that lycopene and 5-aminosalicylate (either in combination or as monotherapy) attenuated the inflammatory response in rat models given iron supplementation. The studies used levels of myeloperoxidase to evaluate inflammation.[46] In a 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid-induced rat models of colitis, lycopene supplementation was shown to decrease tissue levels of myeloperoxidase and a decreased histological immune response.[47] Translational research is necessary before lycopene becomes more mainstream adjunctive therapy.


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