Lycopene side effects, lycopene health benefits, lycopene prostate cancer
Lycopene supplement has been shown to lower biomarkers of oxidative stress and carcinogenesis in healthy and
type II diabetic patients, and prostate cancer patients, respectively.  [15] Lycopene supplementation has also been
shown to boost immune function [16].

Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated its possible benefits in the chronic cardiovascular diseases via
altering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation

Some researchers further propose the potential lycopene health benefits of processed tomato products like tomato
juice, tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and tomato oleoresin. [A2]

benefits of lycopene

Lycopene benefits - cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
Sesso HD and co-workers at Harvard Medical School conducted a prospective, nested, case-control study in 39,876
middle-aged and elderly women initially free of CVD and cancer and observed that higher plasma lycopene
concentrations are associated with a lower risk of CVD in women [B1] On the other hand, Rissanen TH with co-
workers at University of Kuopio, Finland noticed the intima-media thickness of the common carotid artery (CCA-IMT)
would be greater in men with low serum lycopene concentrations.  This finding suggests that the serum lycopene
concentration may play a role in the early stages of atherosclerosis. [B2]

Ahuja KD and co-workers at University of Tasmania compared the effect of two diets (a monounsaturated fat
enriched olive oil diet and high carbohydrate low olive oil diet), with controlled carotenoid content on serum
lycopene, lipids and susceptibility of serum to in vitro oxidation. Based on the experimental data, they concluded that
a high olive oil diet with high lycopene content could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by increasing serum
lycopene levels and improving serum lipid profile. [B3]

Agarwal S and co-workers at University of Toronto, found that dietary supplementation of lycopene significantly
increased serum lycopene levels by at least twofold in 19 healthy human subjects. Although there was no change in
serum cholesterol levels (total, LDL, or high-density lipoprotein), serum lipid peroxidation and LDL oxidation were
significantly decreased. These results may have relevance for decreasing the risk for coronary heart disease. [B4]

Lycopene benefits - cancers
Studies have demonstrated that the consumption of fresh and processed tomato products is associated with
reduced risk of prostate cancer, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, cervical dysplasia, lung, stomach and breast
cancers [1-7].  Indeed, tomato is an excellent source of lycopene, polyphenols, folate, vitamins A, C and E. Research
shows that lycopene, the primary red carotenoid in tomatoes, may be the major contributor for this health benefit [8].

Lycopene prostate cancer
In early 1990s, a study has already showed that lycopene was linked to lower risk of prostate cancer [9]. In the
study, subjects with the highest
lycopene dosage (at least 6.5 mg per day) showed a 21% decrease in the risk of
prostate cancer compared with those eating the least. However, other studies found no protective association [10-
14]. The conflicting data or inconclusive results might be related to experimental design and dose forms.

Later on, researchers in Basil observed a decrease of 10.77% in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in patients
with benign prostate hyperplasia who ingested  (dosage) 50 g of tomato paste per day for 10 weeks in a study of 43
men ranging in age from 45 to 75 years. [A3]

Herzog A et al feed young rats with 200 ppm lycopene for up to 8 wk, then they found that lycopene accumulated in
all four prostate lobes, with all-trans lycopene being the predominant isoform. And, the lateral lobe showed a
significantly higher total lycopene content than the other prostate lobes. Lycopene treatment significantly reduced
gene expression of androgen-metabolizing enzymes and androgen targets and transcript levels of proinflammatory
cytokines, immunoglobulins, and immunoglobulin receptors in the lateral lobe. This indicates that lycopene reduced
inflammatory signals in the lateral prostate lobe. [T15]

Jian L et al, Curtin University of Technology, Australia, studied 130 cases to determine whether dietary intake of
lycopene and other carotenoids has an etiological association with prostate cancer in Hangzhou, southeast China
during 2001-2002. They concluded that the prostate cancer risk declined with increasing consumption of lycopene,
alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach, watermelon and
citrus fruits.

Thus, these results probably explain the epidemiologically observed prostate cancer risk reduction by lycopene.

Similarly, lycopene also appears to be a breast cancer preventive phytochemical candidate found in raw tomatoes
and tomato-derived products. French researchers observed that lycopene seems to exert regulation on apoptosis,
cell cycle and DNA repair mechanisms in their study using oligonucleotide microarray approach. [A4]

Lycopene benefit - osteoporosis
A cross-sectional study of 33 postmenopausal women aged 50-60 years showed that groups with higher lycopene
intake had higher serum lycopene. A higher serum lycopene was found to be associated with a low cross-linked N-
telopeptides of type I collagen and lower protein oxidation.  Since the dietary antioxidant lycopene reduces oxidative
stress and the levels of bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women, and may be beneficial in reducing the
risk of osteoporosis. [A1]

Lycopene benefit - skin conditions
A study of 38 volunteers with healthy, normal skin of skin type 2 demonstrated that lycopene 12 week-
supplementation improved roughness, scaling, smoothness and wrinkling of the skin, according to Surface
Evaluation of Living Skin (Visioscan). [A5]

Lycopene benefit - pre-eclampsia.
Indian researchers demonstrated that supplemental dietary antioxidants, such as lycopene, may have a beneficial
role in the prevention of pre-eclampsia in women at high-risk for this condition, in a study of 50 healthy pregnant
women and 50 women with pre-eclampsia. [A6]

lycopene side effects
Ansari MS et al, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India, evaluated the efficacy of lycopene for the treatment of
patients (median age 72; range 56-90) with metastatic hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) in 2001 and
2002. After 12-72 weeks of study, they found no drug intolerance (i.e. side effects) nor toxicity. They concluded that
lycopene therapy appeared to be effective and safe in the treatment of HRPC. [T16]

Lycopene weight loss
There is no scientific support for lycopene weight loss. (August 7, 2011)

Relevant Research - Lycopene Prostate Cancer


Commentary: Serum lycopene and prostate cancer progression: a re-consideration of findings from the
prostate cancer prevention trial. Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Jul;22(7):1055-9.
A recent analysis in the
Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial appeared to show no association between serum lycopene and prostate cancer risk

Suppression of growth and invasive behavior of human prostate cancer cells by ProstaCaid™:
mechanism of activity. Int J Oncol. 2011 Jun;38(6):1675-82.
A mixture of ingredients (one is lycopene) showed
lycopene treatment resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation of prostate cancer cells in a dose- and time-
dependent manner.

Growth inhibitory efficacy of lycopene and β-carotene against androgen-independent prostate tumor
cells xenografted in nude mice. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Apr;55(4):606-12.
Athymic nude mice were
implanted subcutaneously with human androgen-independent prostate carcinoma PC-3 cells. They were
supplemented with
lycopene dosages (4 and 16 mg/kg) and a single dose of β-carotene (16 mg/kg) twice a week
for 7 wk. At the end of the experiment, both lycopene and β-carotene strongly inhibited the tumor growth, as
evidenced by the decrease in tumor volume and tumor weight.

Serum lycopene concentration and prostate cancer risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Apr;20(4):638-46.
This study does not support a role for lycopene in prostate cancer prevention.

Lycopene inhibits the proliferation of androgen-dependent human prostate tumor cells through
activation of PPARγ-LXRα-ABCA1 pathway.J Nutr Biochem. 2011 Feb 18.
Lycopene treatment (2.5-10 μM)
significantly inhibited the proliferation of LNCaP cells during incubation for 96 h. In addition, lycopene significantly
decreased cellular total cholesterol levels


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