UNAIR NEWS – Menopausal phase often raises its own concerns in the minds of women aged 50 years and over. Besides being haunted by the problem of wrinkles on the face, another classic problem that is not less sensitive is the decline of elasticity in the area of “Miss V”.
Aging is a multifactorial phenomenon characterized by a decline in physiological function. When a woman enters the menopausal phase, her body will experience a decrease of estrogen hormone, and then followed with thinning of the epithelium, atrophy until the elasticity decrease of the vaginal wall.
Until now the handling of menopausal symptoms is done through hormone replacement therapy (HRT). This therapy has proven effective in increasing estrogen levels. It is considered able to answer various physiological problems faced by menopausal women.
But a number of studies actually report that apparently estrogen hormone replacement therapy has terrible long-term side effects. Giving estrogen hormone continuously can increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, to stroke.
Dissatisfied with this, Dr. Juminten Saimin, Dr., SpOG (K)., was intrigued to present a solution through her dissertation research.
Juminten offers local estrogen by using tomato juice as an alternative which is considered safer and more natural. This research was conducted for 64 days using mice as experimental animals. This research was conducted at Faculty of Veterinary Medicine UNAIR and Biology Lab of Faculty of Science and Technology UNAIR.
The research result from the menopausal model rats that were given tomato juice showed that there was an increase in the thickness of the vaginal wall epithelial layer.
“By giving tomato juice, the thickness of the epithelium increases and the amount of collagen increases. Epithelial thickness and the amount of collagen affect the elasticity of the vaginal wall, ” she explained.
Why tomatoes? Because tomatoes are known to contain the highest phytoestrogens compared to other types of vegetables. Besides, tomatoes are easy to get and the price is also affordable. This one fruit plant also contains complete nutrition, antioxidants because it is rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, Beta carotene, lycopene, and other nutrients.
Nutrients in tomatoes can prevent and fight conditions related to oxidative stress. While the content of lycopene itself functions as a powerful antioxidant, because it is able to capture free radicals. This effect is believed to be very beneficial for body health.
“Cooked or crushed omatoes can produce more lycopene and are more easily absorbed by the body compared to raw tomatoes,” she explained.
Some studies use phytoestrogens as a natural source of estrogen derived from plants for handling menopausal symptoms. In addition to tomatoes, plants reported to contain high phytoestrogens include centella leaves, clover leaves, and papaya.
Although this research is still limited to animal experiments, Juminten did not limit anyone who wants to consume tomato juice as a daily menu.
To reduce the risk of decreasing elasticity of the vaginal wall before menopause, Juminten recommends consuming tomato juice in some doses. “Some references stated tomato juice can be consumed at a dose of 600 grams per day,” she explained.
The results are indeed not as instantaneous as the estrogen hormone therapy which is known to have an immediate effect. According to him, it took up to six months to be able to see the results.
The woman, born in Jember, September 16, 1971, hoped that this research can be the basis for the development to overcome problems in menopausal women by using natural ingredients that are available and cheap.
“I hope I could provide scientific contributions about the mechanism for improving the elasticity of the vaginal wall in menopausal women through the provision of tomato juice as phytoestrogens and antioxidants,” she explained.
Juminten had the opportunity to present her dissertation entitled Mechanism for Improving Elasticity of Vaginal Wall of Menopausal Rattus Norvegicus through Tomato Juice in the Dissertation Defense Exam of Medical Doctoral Program at FK UNAIR in FK UNAIR Hall some time ago.
Thanks to her hard work and perseverance during her doctoral education, the woman who is also Dean of Faculty of Medicine at Halu Oleo Kendari University finally succeeded in obtaining 810th Doctorate degree with cum laude result.
Author: Sefya H Istighfaricha
Editor: Nuri Hermawan