Monday, September 12, 2011

Phytochemicals: 12 Health Benefits of Lycopene

Lycotene is a phytochemical compound and bright red pigment belonging to group of carotene in the family of carotenoids found mostly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. It best known for its inverse correlation between consumption of tomatoes and cancer risk. It has been studied by many researches as a potential compound for prevention and treatment for certain cancers, including prostate and liver cancer.

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1. Inflammation
According to the study of `Inhibitory mechanism of lycopene on cytokine expression in experimental pancreatitis.`by Kim H. (Source from Department of Food and Nutrition, Brain Korea 21 Project, College of Human Ecology, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea., posted in PubMed, researchers found that in pancreatic acinar cells, which is mediated by the activation of NADPH oxidase. Lycopene functions as a very potent antioxidant to suppress the induction of inflammatory cytokines, in pancreatic acinar cells stimulated with cerulein. In this review, the possible beneficial effect of lycopene on experimental pancreatitis shall be discussed based on its antioxidant activity.

2. Prostate cancer

In the study of `Lower prostate cancer risk in men with elevated plasma lycopene levels: results of a prospective analysis.`by Gann PH, Ma J, Giovannucci E, Willett W, Sacks FM, Hennekens CH, Stampfer MJ. (Source from Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA., posted in PubMed, researchers found that the ORs for all prostate cancers declined slightly with increasing quintile of plasma lycopene (5th quintile OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.54-1.06; P, trend = 0.12); there was a stronger inverse association for aggressive prostate cancers (5th quintile OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.34-0.91; P, trend = 0.05). In the placebo group, plasma lycopene was very strongly related to lower prostate cancer risk (5th quintile OR = 0.40; P, trend = 0.006 for aggressive cancer), whereas there was no evidence for a trend among those assigned to beta-carotene supplements and concluded that These data provide further evidence that increased consumption of tomato products and other lycopene-containing foods might reduce the occurrence or progression of prostate cancer.

3. Oxidative DNA damage
In study of `Oxidative DNA damage in prostate cancer patients consuming tomato sauce-based entrees as a whole-food intervention.`by Chen L, Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis M, Duncan C, Sharifi R, Ghosh L, van Breemen R, Ashton D, Bowen PE. (Source from Department of Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Chicago, 60612, USA.), posted in PubMed, researchers found that After the dietary intervention, serum and prostate lycopene concentrations were statistically significantly increased, from 638 nM (95% confidence interval [CI] = 512 to 764 nM) to 1258 nM (95% CI = 1061 to 1455 nM) (P<.001) and from 0.28 nmol/g (95% CI = 0.18 to 0.37 nmol/g) to 0.82 nmol/g (95% CI = 0.57 to 1.11 nmol/g) (P <.001), respectively. Compared with preintervention levels, leukocyte oxidative DNA damage was statistically significantly reduced after the intervention, from 0.61 8-OHdG/10(5) dG (95% CI = 0.45 to 0.77 8-OHdG/10(5) dG) to 0.48 8-OHdG/ 10(5) dG (95% CI = 0.41 to 0.56 8-OHdG/10(5) dG) (P =.005). Furthermore, prostate tissue oxidative DNA damage was also statistically significantly lower in men who had the intervention (0.76 8-OHdG/10(5) dG [95% CI = 0.55 to 0.96 8-OHdG/10(5) dG]) than in the randomly selected patients (1.06 8-OHdG/10(5) dG [95% CI = 0.62 to 1.51 8-OHdG/10(5) dG]; P =.03). Serum PSA levels decreased after the intervention, from 10.9 ng/mL (95% CI = 8.7 to 13.2 ng/mL) to 8.7 ng/mL (95% CI = 6.8 to 10.6 ng/mL) (P<.001).

4. Chronic diseases
in a study of `Role of antioxidant lycopene in cancer and heart disease` by Rao AV, Agarwal S. (Source from Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada., posted in PubMed, researchers found that Dietary intakes of tomatoes and tomato products containing lycopene have been shown to be associated with decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases in several recent studies. Serum and tissue lycopene levels have also been inversely related with the chronic disease risk. Although the antioxidant properties of lycopene are thought to be primarily responsible for its beneficial properties, evidence is accumulating to suggest other mechanisms such as modulation of intercellular gap junction communication, hormonal and immune system and metabolic pathways may also be involved. This review summarizes the background information about lycopene and presents the most current knowledge with respect to its role in human health and disease.

5. Cancers
According to the study of `Can the consumption of tomatoes or lycopene reduce cancer risk?` by
Hwang ES, Bowen PE. (Source fromDepartment of Human Nutrition (M/C 517), 1919 W. Taylor Street, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.) posted in PubMed, researchers indicated that Data suggest lycopene may account for or contribute to chemoprevention, but this hypothesis requires further study. Numerous other potentially beneficial compounds are present in tomatoes and complex interactions among multiple components may contribute to the anticancer properties of tomatoes.

6. Heart disease and Cholesterol
In the article of `Tomato pill 'beats heart disease`posted in BBC News, the author wrote that Preliminary trials involving around 150 people with heart disease indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks, a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society will be told at Ateronon's launch on Monday.....Neuroscientist Peter Kirkpatrick, who will lead a further research project at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge on behalf of Cambridge Theranostics Ltd, said the supplement could be much more effective than statin drugs that are currently used by doctors to treat high cholesterol.

7. Antioxidants
In the study of `Comparison of lycopene and tomato effects on biomarkers of oxidative stress in vitamin E deficient rats` by Delphine Gitenay, Bernard Lyan, Mathieu Rambeau, Andrzej Mazur and Edmond Rock. (Source from European Journal of Nutrition Volume 46, Number 8, 468-475, DOI: 10.1007/s00394-007-0687-2), posted in, researchers found that Our study showed for the first time that tomatoes, containing or not containing lycopene, have a higher potential than lycopene to attenuate and or to reverse oxidative stress-related parameters in a mild oxidative stress context.

8. Plasma carotenoids
In a study of ` Effect of carotenoid supplementation on plasma carotenoids, inflammation and visual development in preterm infants.`by Rubin LP, Chan GM, Barrett-Reis BM, Fulton AB, Hansen RM, Ashmeade TL, Oliver JS, Mackey AD, Dimmit RA, Hartmann EE, Adamkin DH. (Source from Department of Pediatrics, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that this randomized controlled multicenter trial compared plasma carotenoid levels among preterm infants (n=203, <33 weeks gestational age) fed diets with and without added lutein, lycopene and β-carotene with human milk (HM)-fed term infants, the result indicated that Carotenoid supplementation for preterm infants raises plasma concentrations to those observed in HM-fed term infants. Carotenoid supplementation may decrease inflammation. Our results point to protective effects of lutein on preterm retina health and maturation.Journal of Perinatology advance online publication, 14 July 2011; doi:10.1038/jp.2011.87.

9. Colon cancer
According to the study of `Consumption of lycopene inhibits the growth and progression of colon cancer in a mouse xenograft model.`by Tang FY, Pai MH, Wang XD. (Source from Biomedical Science Laboratory, Department of Nutrition, China Medical University , Taichung 40402, Taiwan.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that Bioluminescence imaging, histopathological, immunofluorescence (IFC), and immunohistochemical (IHC) staining results indicated that lycopene could effectively suppress the growth and progression of colon cancer in tumor-bearing mice. The results demonstrated that lycopene significantly suppressed the nuclear expression of PCNA and β-catenin proteins in tumor tissues. Consumption of lycopene could also augment the E-cadherin adherent molecule and nuclear levels of cell cycle inhibitor p21(CIP1/WAF1) protein. The chemopreventive effects of lycopene were associated with suppression of COX-2, PGE(2), and phosphorylated ERK1/2 proteins. Furthermore, the inhibitory effects of lycopene were inversely correlated with the plasma levels of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) in tumor-bearing mice. These results suggested that lycopene could act as a chemopreventive agent against the growth and progression of colorectal cancer in a mouse xenograft model.

10. Testicular cancer
In a study of `Attenuating effect of lycopene and ellagic acid on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced spermiotoxicity and testicular apoptosis.`by Sönmez M, Türk G, Ceribaşı AO, Sakin F, Ateşşahin A. (Source from Department of Reproduction and Artificial Insemination, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Fırat University , Elazığ , Turkey.) posted in PubMed, researchers found that combined treatment with LC or EA, in addition to TCDD, prevented the development of TCDD-induced damages in sperm quality, testicular histology, and LPO. Improvements in testicular apoptosis after the administration of LC (lycopene ) and EA (ellagic acid) to TCDD-treated rats were minimal, but not statistically significant. TCDD-induced lipid peroxidation leads to functional and structural damages, as well as apoptosis, in spermatogenic cells of rats. Both LC and EA protected against the development of these effects.

11. Reproductive dysfunction
According to the study of `Modulatory effects of lycopene and ellagic acid on reproductive dysfunction induced by polychlorinated biphenyl (Aroclor 1254) in male rats.`by Ateşşahin A, Türk G, Yilmaz S, Sönmez M, Sakin F, Ceribasi AO. (Source from Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Firat University, Elaziğ, Turkey., posted in PubMed, researchers found that the AR-induced histopathological damages were totally or partially recovered by LP or EA administrations respectively. AR damages the testicular tissue and spermatozoa by impairing the oxidant/antioxidant balance and by increasing the apoptotic spermatogenic cell rates. However, both LP and EA have modulator effects on AR-induced reproductive dysfunction in male rats.

12. Gastric Cancer
According to the study of `Lycopene Enhances Antioxidant Enzyme Activities and Immunity Function in N-Methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine-Induced Gastric Cancer Rats.`by Luo C, Wu XG. (Source from Chemotherapy Department, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, 310022, China; E-Mail: posted in PubMed, researchers found that In the presence of MNNG, MDA and immunity levels were significantly increased, whereas enzymatic (SOD, CAT, and GPx) antioxidant activities were decreased in the treated rats compared with normal control rats. Administration of lycopene to gastric carcinoma-induced rats largely up-regulated the redox status and immunity activities to decrease the risk of cancer compared to group II. We conclude that up-regulation of antioxidants and immunity by lycopene treatment might be responsible for the anticancer effect in gastric carcinoma.

13. Etc.

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