Lycopene: Implications for Human Health–A Review

Lynda M. Doyle*

Corresponding Author

Lynda M. Doyle, MS, MBA

President and CEO, Human Nutrition, Avant Nutrition, LLC, Rockaway, NJ 07866, USA; E-mail:


Lynda M. Doyle, MS, MBA*

Human Nutrition, Avant Nutrition, LLC, Rockaway, NJ 07866, USA

Corresponding Author

Lynda M. Doyle, MS, MBA

President and CEO, Human Nutrition, Avant Nutrition, LLC, Rockaway, NJ 07866, USA; E-mail:

Article History

Received: November 20th, 2019; Revised: December 30th, 2019; Accepted: January 6th, 2020; Published: January 21st, 2020

Cite this Article

Doyle LM. Lycopene: Implications for human health–A review. Adv Food Technol Nutr Sci Open J. 2020; 6(1): 1-12. doi: 10.17140/AFTNSOJ-6-163


© 2020 by Doyle LM. This is an open-access article distributed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which allows to copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and reproduce in any medium or format, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited.



Lycopene is one of the six major dietary and serum carotenoids, and a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. A large and growing body of scientific evidence supports the role of lycopene in multiple areas of health, including cancer, prostate, cardiometabolic, lung, skin, and liver health, and elucidates lycopene’s mechanisms of action. This paper provides an overview of several benefit areas, specifically prostate, testes, cardiovascular, liver and skin health.


Carotenoids are naturally occurring, generally fat soluble pigments synthesized by plants, algae, and photosynthetic bacteria. Over 750 carotenoids are found in nature1 and 1,117 are catalogued in the Carotenoids Database.2 Carotenoids are responsible for the yellow, orange, and red colors in nature. Of the 4050 carotenoids found in the human diet, lycopene is among the 6 most common dietary carotenoids, including αcarotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These are grouped into provitamin A carotenoids (αcarotene, βcarotene, β-cryptoxanthin) and non-provitamin A carotenoids (lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin). Lycopene contains 11 conjugated and 2 un conjugated double bonds and undergoes cis-trans isomerization through light, thermal energy and chemical reactions.3

Lycopene is present in orange-red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, papayas, red peppers, pink grapefruit, and watermelons. The highest natural concentration is found in gac fruit, from a tropical vine in Southeast Asia.4 Tomatoes and tomato based products, such as ketchup, tomato juice, tomato paste and tomato sauce, provide at least 80% of dietary lycopene in western countries such as the United States.5,6,7 The average daily consumption of lycopene in the western world is 57 mg.8 Lycopene from highly processed tomatoes is more bioavailable than that from raw tomatoes.9 Cooking and processing help release the lycopene from its plant matrix8 and convert lycopene from its natural straight (trans) structure to a more bioavailable geometric (cis) isomer,10,13  because lycopene is fat soluble, dietary fat improves absorption.14

Since the human body cannot synthesize lycopene, it must be consumed in the diet or taken as a dietary supplement. A significant portion of intact lycopene is absorbed by humans, which circulates through and accumulates in the liver, plasma and other tissues. Lycopene is first emulsified and solubilized into micelles before absorbed into the intestinal mucosa, then transported with other dietary lipids via chylomicrons through the lymphatic system to the blood. Lycopene is the most predominant carotenoid in the plasma15 and concentrates in low density and very low density lipoprotein fractions of serum due to its lipophilic nature.6,16 Lycopene is found in most human tissues with preferential accumulation in the testes, adrenal glands, liver and prostate.15,17

Major health problems nowadays deal with the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accompanied with abnormalities, such as inflammation and irregular lipid metabolism, that are the primary risk factor for the increased prevalence of lifestyle metabolic diseases. ROS, also called free radicals, are highly reactive, unstable molecules that contain oxygen, and a buildup of these may cause damage to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA), and proteins, and ultimately may cause cell death. With 11 conjugated double bonds, lycopene is one of the most potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers18,23 with stronger antioxidant properties than other serum carotenoids.24,25 Lycopene has the highest singlet oxygen quenching rate of the carotenoids, specifically twice that of βcarotene and 10 times greater than αtocopherol.26,27 By reducing the burden of ROS and oxidative stress, lycopene has been shown to prevent oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and cells.5,28


Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer in men globally and the fifth leading cause of death worldwide.29 In the United States, after skin cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, accounting for 9.5% of all new cancer cases.30,31 The primary risk factors are obesity, age, and family history. Positive prostate health outcomes have been associated with dietary intake of tomatoes, tomato based products and lycopene supplementation, and lycopene blood levels.32,35 In a dose response meta analysis of lycopene and prostate cancer research, Chen, et al demonstrated that higher lycopene consumption between 9 and 21 mg/day and higher circulating levels of lycopene between 2.17 and 85 μg/dL were associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.34 Both lycopene supplementation (15 mg/d for 6months) and consumption of lycopene rich foods for 6months have been shown to increase mean lycopene (1.28× and 1.42× higher, respectively, compared to placebo) in men with elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels.36 Circulating pyruvate levels are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene supplementation (15 mg/d for 6months) decreased circulating pyruvate levels in men with elevated PSA levels.37

Oxidative stress plays a role in prostate cancer by increasing ROS and cancer cell proliferation, thus causing somatic DNA mutations and increased angiogenesis.38 In addition to its ability to quench free radicals, lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by additional mechanisms. Lycopene impacts intercellular communication modulation and the alteration of intra cellular signaling pathways,14 which include an upregulation in intercellular gap junctions,39 an increase in cellular differentiation,40 and alterations in phosphorylation of some regulatory proteins.41 Physiological concentrations of lycopene have been shown to inhibit cell line proliferation in combination with αtocopherol42 and lycopene was shown to inhibit prostate cancer cell proliferation via PPARLXRaABCA1 pathway.43 Lycopene attenuates the risk of prostate cancer by modulating the expression of growth and survival associated genes, e.g. CDK7, BCL2, EGFR, and IGF 1R.44 Multiple lycopene doses showed significant improvement in survival rate of and significant reduction of tumor volume in mice injected with prostate cancer cell lines.45

Male Infertility

Infertility affects an estimated 70 million people globally,46 where male infertility contributes to 50% of the cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Evidence suggests that oxidative stress caused by excessive amounts of ROS plays a role in idiopathic male infertility.47 This results in sperm membrane lipid peroxidation, DNA damage, and apoptosis leading to decreased sperm viability and motility.48 Lycopene concentration in testes is significantly lower in infertile men.49 Supplementation has been shown to increase seminal plasma lycopene,50 and lycopene may play a role as an antioxidant in the process of spermatogenesis.49

Multiple lycopene supplementation studies have shown promising results in reducing male infertility in both human and animal models. Results include a decrease in lipid peroxidation and DNA damage, an increase in sperm count and viability, and general immunity.48 Lycopene has been shown to reduce lipid per oxidation.51,52 Lycopene increases sperm count.51,53,58

Daily supplementation of 48 mg lycopene improves sperm motility,59,60 which was also shown in animal studies.56,61 Daily supplementation with 14 mg lactolycopene, a combination of lycopene with whey protein, was shown to improve sperm motility and morphology in young healthy men.62 Durairajanaya gam et al concluded that daily 48 mg lycopene supplementation for 312months is sufficient to treat male infertility.48,59,60 Supple mentation of 20 mg/d lycopene for 3months prior to in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment resulted in 7 spontaneous pregnancies prior to treatment and 15 pregnancies post treatment and a significant improvement in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/arachidonic acid (AA) ratio in seminal plasma.63 Twenty five lycopene supplementation over 12weeks in infertile men resulted in a significant increase in sperm count and concentration and a significant increase in transient aplastic crisis (TAC) (Table 1).58

Table 1. Recent Studies - Lycopene and Prostate/Testes
Authors Population Lycopene Dose Results
Aly H et al.56 Wistar rats 4 mg/kg bw, 16-days Significant prevention of - Testes weight reduction - ↓in sperm count, motility, viability and daily sperm production - activation of Caspase-3 and -9
Nouri M et al.58 44 infertile men 25 mg lycopene, 12-weeks Lycopene group significant ↑ total sperm count and concentration (p<0.05)
Within group significant ↑ ejaculate volume, total sperm count, concentration and motility
Significant ↑ TAC (p<0.05)
Tripathy A et al.57 Adult proven-fertile male Wistar rates 1.5 mg/0.5 ml Tween-80/100 g bw/d 30-days Significant recovery in
- Sperm count and motility, HOS tail-coiled spermatozoa (p<0.001)
- Testicular Δ5, 3β-HSD, 17β-HSD activities (p<0.05)
- Catalase (p<0.02 in testis, p<0.05 in sperm)
- SOD (p<0.05 in testis and sperm)
- CD, MDA (p<0.02) )
- Testicular cholesterol (p<0.05)
- Serum testosterone (p<0.05)
- Gene expression of testicular apoptic markers (Bax p<0.02, Bcl-2 & Caspase-3 p<0.05)
-Gene expression of testicular androgenic enzymes ( Δ5 & 3β-HSD p<0.02, 17β-HSD p<0.05)
- SGOT, SGPT (p<0.05)
Xu Q et al.35 Male Wistar rats 4 mg/kg bw, 60-days Inhibited BaP-caused decrease in sperm motility and concentration, increase in head, tail and total abnormal sperm rate ↓ MDA, ROS, TBARS ↑ GPx, GSH/GSSG, CAT, SOD
Beynon RA et al.37 133 human men 50-69-years with elevated PSA 15 mg (capsules, blinded), lycopene-rich foods, unblinded, 6 months ↓ Circulating pyruvate (higher levels linked to higher PCA risk)
Jiang L et al.45 Male mice 0, 1, 5, or 10 mg/kg Significant improvement (p<0.01) in survival rate
Significant ↓ tumor volume (p<0.001) all doses
↓ in serum inflammatory markers (IL1, IL6, IL8, and TNF-α) dose dependents
Lane JA et al.36 133 human men 50-69-years with elevated PSA 15 mg (capsules, blinded), lycopene-rich foods, unblinded, 6-months ↑ mean lycopene 1.28x higher in capsule and 1.42x higher in food than placebo



Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Key risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking. Damage and remodeling of blood vessels can result in blood flow restrictions affecting the heart and central nervous system in CVD, and atherosclerosis is the leading cause of CVD.64

Evidence suggests that Mediterranean countries have lower risks of CVD mortality when compared to other regions of Europe and the United States.65 This effect has been attributed to a diet rich in vegetables, including tomatoes, tomato products and olive oil.66,67 While low plasma levels of lycopene have been reported in hypertension, myocardial infarction, stroke, and atherosclerosis,68,69 dietary intake and high serum concentration of lycopene significantly reduced the risk of major cardiac events.70,71 In addition, epidemiological studies support the role of lycopene in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.72

Oxidative stress plays a significant role in cardiovascular disease64,73,74 and may be a major cause of lycopene depletion in ageing and cardiovascular disease.72 Low carotenoid levels, especially decreased serum lycopene levels, were shown to be strongly predictive of all cause mortality and poor outcomes of CVD.72 Daily lycopene supplementation has been shown to increase se rum lycopene concentration75,77 and reduce oxidative stress markers and improve antioxidant status.78,82

Anti-inflammatory mechanisms of lycopene include the decrease of adhesion molecules and proinflammatory cytokines, inhibition of leukocyte migration and genes involved in inflammation, impaired monocyte-endothelium interaction, T lymphocytes activation, synthesis of advanced glycation products (AGE) and their receptors (RAGE), and downregulation of cyclooxygenase 2.83 Lycopene inhibited the expression of ICAM1, TNFα induced NFkB activation and interaction between monocytes and endothelial cells.84 Serum lycopene was inversely associated with VCAM1 and LDL.85 Kim et al showed lycopene supplementation improved microvascular function, measured by decreased concentrations of sVCAM and sICAM, a reduction in DNA damage, and an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity.86 Lycopene was shown to reduce the synthesis of AGE, own regulating their receptors (RAGE) which contributes to vessel protection.87,88 Lycopene reduced inflammatory markers in various animal models.78,81,89

Lycopene improves endothelial function by increasing the bioavailability of nitric oxide (NO), improving endothelium dependent vasodilation, reducing protein, lipids, DNA and mitochondrial damage and increasing antioxidant potential.81,83,86,90,94 Lycopene supplementation reduced DNA damage,93 upregulat ed mitochondrial gene expression89 and reduced mitochondrial oxidation.23 Footandmouth disease (FMD) was significantly increased by 1.1 points (10.9%) with 4weeks lycopene supplemen tation in adults with coronary vascular disease.75 Blood pressure was reduced with lycopene supplementation in individuals with stage 1 hypertension,95,96 who were otherwise healthy.86

Lycopene impacts blood lipids, where a dose dependent reduction in intracellular cholesterol was seen in human studies, and lycopene and tomato products decreased plasma total cholesterol, lowdensity lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in animal models.97 Lycopene supplementation reduced cholesterol and LDL in healthy postmenopausal women.98 Significant increase in HDL and decrease in total cholesterol (TC), LDL and triglyceride (TG) were observed in lycopenesupplemented rats,99 significant de crease in TG in lycopene supplemented hamsters100 and a reduc tion in oxidized LDL in lycopenesupplemented humans75 and lycopene supplemented rats.78

Intima media thickness (IMT) is an established index of the structural change of an artery101 and IMT, especially that of the carotid, is associated with the presence of cardiovascular risk factors.102,103 Serum carotenoid and lycopene levels are inversely associated with intimamedia thickness.104,107 Lycopene and lutein supplementation (20 mg each) resulted in a decrease in IMT after 12months, where the combination proved more effective compared to lutein alone (Table 2).107

Table 2. Recent Studies - Lycopene and Cardiovascular Health
Authors Population Lycopene Dose Results
Abdel-Daim MM et al.81 56 Swiss albino mice 10 mg, 15-days ↑ GSH, GSH-Px, SOD, CAT ↓ Ck-MB, LHD, cTnT, NO, MDA ↓ caspase-3, Bax- and CK
Brito AK et al.100 30 male hamsters 25, 50 mg lycopene-rich extract, 28-days Significant ↓ TG, MDA-p, MDO
Kumar R et al 99 24 male SD rats 50 mg/kg, 45-days Significant ↑ HDL-C (p<0.05) ↓ TC, LDL-C, very LCL-C, TG><0.05)
↓ TC, LDL-C, very LCL-C, TG
Petyaev IM et al75 142 human adults with coronary vascular disease 7 mg either lactolycopene (Lac) or lycosomeformulated GA lycopene (LYC), 4-weeks LYC ↑ serum lycopene by 2.9- and 4.3-fold after 2 and 4-weeks
Lac by 0.5-fold after 4-weeks
LYC significant ↑FMD 1.1 points (10.7%) and StO2 1.9 points (15.9%) over baseline
LYC ↓ IgG (3×p<0.05), ox-LDL (5×p<0.05) and IOD (3×p<0.05)
Saracoglu G et al 80 Wistar albino STZ rat 4 mg/kg, 28-days ↑ GPx, SOD, CAT
Yilmaz S et al82 42 male Wistar albino rats 5 mg/kg, 15-days ↑ GSH, GST, GSH-Px, SOD, CAT, G6PD
Zeng J et al23 C57/BL6J mice 50 mg/kg, 5-weeks ↑ Inhibited cardiac hypertrophy and improved cardiac dysfunction
↓ mitochondrial ROS, MAPKs
↑ HO-1, SOD1, CAT
Zheng Z et al78 T2DM rats 0, 5, 10, 15 mg/kg Lycopene, 10-weeks Dose dependent ↓ oxidative stress markers (GHb, ox-LDL, and MDA) and inflammatory factors (TNF-α and CRP)
↑ TAC (CAT, SOD, and GPx)



The liver is the largest visceral organ in the abdominal cavity and largest gland in the body, weighting about 1.5 kg in a healthy adult. The liver plays a major role in metabolism, including the production of certain proteins, cholesterol and the conversion of excess glucose to glycogen, and is involved in over 500 vital functions such as drug detoxification, the production of bile and the synthesis of steroid hormones.108,110 Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common form of liver disease, refers to a group of conditions resulting in excess fat in the liver(hepatic steatosis) of people who drink little or no alcohol and involves the development of insulin resistance, lipid peroxidation, oxida tive stress and inflammation.108,110,111 Global and US prevalence of NAFLD are both estimated at 24%.112

As potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, carotenoids can play a role in protecting the liver against oxidative stress, insulin resistance and inflammation.111,113,116 In a prospective study of Chinese adults aged 4075years, higher serum ca rotenoid concentrations were positively associated with NAFLD improvements, specifically in lowering serum RBP4, triglycerides, homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMAIR), and body mass index (BMI).114 Lycopene is one of the most studied carotenoids regarding NAFLD117 due to multiple mechanisms beyond its antioxidant capacity, such as regulation of gene ex pression and gap junctions, antiproliferative capacity, lipid peroxi dation and immune and hormonal modulation.27,118,119

Numerous animal models demonstrated a reduction in hepatic steatosis,119,121 reduced hepatic inflammation116,120,123,127 reduced lipid peroxidation123,127,128 and antioxidant protec tion.116,120,125,127,131 In a study with SpragueDawley rats, lycopene and tomato extract resulted in a significant decrease in cyto chrome P450 2E1, inflammatory foci, and mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL1β, and IL12).123 Ly copene altered the down regulation of the expression of mes senger RNA21 (mRNA21) in mice.122 Tomato powder which contained 218.6 mg/g lycopene was shown to protect the liver against oxidative stress, fatty infiltration and necrosis caused by thermally oxidized tallow in a rat model.132 In a tramadolinduced hepatotoxicity rat model, lycopene reduced fatty acid degenera tion and necrosis, and lipid peroxidation, inhibited DNA frag mentation and apoptosis signaling, and increased antioxidant activity.128 PiñaZentella et al demonstrated protective effects of lycopene against NAFLD in rats.133 Wang et al showed 5 weeks supplementation of 0.03% w/w lycopene added to chow ameliorated lipopolysaccharide (LPS)induced insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction in the mouse brain and liver.125 In a BCO1−/−/BCO2−/− double knockout mouse model, Li et al demonstrated 24weeks of supplementation of 2.3 mg lycopene from tomato powder reduced the severity of hepatic steatosis, increased SIRT1, significantly increased lipogenesis and fatty acid oxidation, and reduced inflammation.127 Lycopene improved re dox imbalance, increased antioxidant enzymes, and decreased inflammation, attenuating the effects of APAPinduced liver injury in mice (Tabel 3).116

Table 3. Recent Studies - Lycopene and Liver
Authors Population Lycopene Dose, Duration Results
Bandeira ACB et al.116 40 C57BL/6 male mice 10 mg/kg, 14-days Improve redox state and antioxidant activity ↓ IL-1β, MMP-2 ↑ CAT, GSH
Karaca A et al.131 Rats 5 mg/kg, 15-days Significantly↓ MDA, aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase ↑ glutathione, antioxidant enzymes
Li C-C et al.127 18 BCO1-/-/BCO2-/- double knockout mice 2.3 mg/g from tomato powder, 24-weeks ↓ Severity of hepatic steatosis
↑ SIRT1 ↑Significantly
↑ lipogenesis (p-AMPK and p-ACC) ↑ fatty acid oxidation (↑PPARα, cpt1, acox1 and↓ cd36, dgat1)
↓ inflammation (TNF-α, il-1β, il-6)
Sadek K et al.128 40 male albino rats 10 mg/kg, 15-days ↓ Fatty acid degeneration, lipid peroxidation and liver necrosis
↑ Antioxidant activity
↓ DNA fragmentation, apoptosis
Shimizu Y et al.126 BALB/c male mice 25 mg/kg, single dose Significant↓ proinflammatory cytokines (AST, ALT, IL-6, IFN-γ, TNF-α) ↑ Cell viability and growth
Wang J et al.125 30 male C57Bl/6J mice 0.03% lycopene w/w mixed into normal chow, 5-weeks ↓ LPS-induced insulin resistance and mitochondrial dysfunction
↓ Neuro and hepatic inflammation
↓ Circulating insulin and proinflammatory mediators ((TNF-α, il-1β, il-6)
Yin Y et al.79 T2DM Srague Dawley rats 10, 20 mg lycopene, 10-weeks ↓ MDA and ↑ SOD and GSH-Px in pancreatic tissue



The skin is the largest organ of the body, accounting for approxi mately 15% of total body weight. The skin protects against exter nal physical, chemical, and biological assailants, prevents excess water loss from the body, and regulates body temperature.134 Pho toaging is a result of chronic DNA photo damage, lipid peroxida tion, and protein crosslinking from ultraviolet (UV)generated ROS, which leads to premature wrinkling and pigmentary chang es, and photoinduced skin cancer. Photoaging can be prevented by sun avoidance or the use of sunscreens, retinoids for collagen support and antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.118,135,138

Carotenoids accumulate in the skin and can protect against UV generated ROS.139,140 Multiple factors impact their skin concentration. Dietary supplementation can increase skin carotenoid concentration, and oxidative stress, for example from cigarette smoking or exposure to UV rays, can decrease their con centration.141 Lycopene skin and plasma concentration was shown to be comparable or higher than that of βcarotene.142 Lycopene supplementation increases both skin and plasma lycopene con centration,75,76 and a correlation between lycopene skin and plasma concentration has been demonstrated.75,76,143 Ribaya Mercado et al found Lycopene to be the most quickly depleted antioxidant in skin upon solar radiation exposure, and suggest lycopene plays a role in mitigating photooxidative damage in tissues through protection against UVradiation.142 A significant correlation between skin roughness and lycopene skin concentration has been seen.144

Consumption of lycopene and lycopene rich products protects the skin against sunburn by increasing the basal defense against UV light mediated damage.119 Studies have demonstrated supplementation with lycopene or lycopene rich products, or lycopene mixed with other carotenoids or antioxidants reduce UV induced erythema and increase minimal erythema dose (MED).77,145148 Forty percent (40%) reduction in erythema result ed after 10 weeks daily consumption of 40 g tomato paste, equivalent to 16 mg lycopene.145 Twelve weeks daily supplementation of 8 mg each of lycopene, lutein and β-carotenea meliorates UV induced erythema.147 An increase in MED and reduction in UV induced erythema was observed after 7weeks daily supplementation of an antioxidant complex including lycopene, βcarotene, αtocopherol and selenium.146 Lycopene enriched tomato extract suppressed skin tumorigenesis in BALB/c mice, inhibited cell proliferation, decreased expression of angiogenic genes and in creased expression of transmembrane proteins.149

Lycopene protects the skin against photoaging by its antioxidative capacity, anti-inflammatory effects, impact on gene expression, and protection against lipid peroxidation.139,140,150152

Supplementation with lycopene-rich TNC and lutein containing capsules resulted in a significant reduction of UV induced mRNA expression of HO1, MMP1 and ICAM1.139 Lycopene, βcarotene, αtocopherol, and selenium supplementation showed a reduction of UV induced p53 expression, sun burn cells (SBCs) and lipoperoxide levels.146 Lycopene from tomato extract protected against upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines.77 Supple mentation of a lycopene, βcarotene and antioxidant combination inhibited the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (Table 4).148

Table 4. Recent Studies  Lycopene and Skin
Authors Population Lycopene Dose, Duration Results
GretherBeck S et al.152 65 healthy human adults 10 mg daily, 12 weeks Inhibited mRNA expression of HO1, MMP1 and ICAM1
Groten K et al.77 149 healthy human adults 15 mg lycopene, 5.8 mg phytoene and phytofluene, 0.8 mg betacarotene, 5.6 mg tocopherols from tomato extract and 4 m carnosic acid from rosemary or placebo Protected against UVBinduced erythema Significantly ↓ UVBinduced IL6 and TNFα ↑ plasma carotenoid levels
Koul A et al 149 60 male Balb/c mice 5 mg/kg bw lycopeneen riched tomato extract ↓ tumor incidence, size, number, burden and volume
↓ mRNA and protein expression of VEGF, Ang2, bFGF ↑ Cx32, Cx43
petaev I et al.75 32 healthy human adults 7 mg daily, 4 weeks Significant ↑ serum concentration 2.6 & 3.4x over control after 2 & 4 wks, respectively Stepwise ↑ in IF staining of skin corneocytes and sebum
Petaev I et al.76 120 healthy human adults; subgroup for supplementation 15 healthy human adults 7 mg daily, 4 weeks ↑ Skin and serum lycopene concentration
Significant ↑ in desquamated corneocytes lycopene concentration during whole supplementation period
↑ in sebum lycopene concentration during first 2 weeks of supplementation

Lycopene, one of the six most predominant carotenoids found in the human diet and plasma, is the most potent singlet oxygen quenching carotenoid and a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Aging and major health problems today deal with the accumulation of ROS, including inflammation and irregular lipid metabolism. Due to its antioxidative and anti-inflammatory effects, and other mechanisms demonstrated in the research, for example lipid metabolism and cellular communication and differentiation, lycopene can play a protective role in aging and be a key component in strategies to tackle lifestyle metabolic and chronic health issues.

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