Lycopene for Hypertension and Factors Affecting Its Use: A Survey of Pharmacy Students.
Hypertension remains a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease,
estimated to affect over 40% of American adults.
Prescription drug therapies and dietary restrictions have been mainstays of therapy
for those with hypertension however, there has been
growing inquiry into the potential of food products and supplements to positively impact blood pressure.
One such food product is lycopene, a phytochemical found in fruits and vegetables
such as tomato, guava, grapefruit, carrot, and watermelon. Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant.
By scavenging reactive oxygen species, it can mitigate cellular oxidative damage,
which has been implicated in cardiovascular disease and inflammation.
Research also suggests that lycopene may have a beneficial effect on several other pathologies
including prostate and colorectal cancer, and diabetes, as well as having hepatoprotective
and neuroprotective properties.
Lycopene consumption has also been demonstrated to reduce systolic blood pressure.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study investigating the effect of various daily doses of lycopene
on blood pressure found that 15 mg and 30 mg lycopene treatment groups experienced
a statistically significant reduction in mean systolic blood pressure after 8 weeks.
A meta-analysis investigating the effect of lycopene supplementation on blood pressure
using the pooled data from six studies also found that lycopene produced a statistically
significant reduction in systolic blood pressure and suggests that >12 mg daily intake of lycopene
may produce greater blood pressure reduction than lower doses.
While no explicit recommendation regarding lycopene intake is given, these studies suggest,
an intake of approximately 15 mg of lycopene daily may have a beneficial effect on blood pressure.
Diabetes Res Open J. 2022; 8(1): 6-10. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-8-153