[Lycopene--a natural antioxidant]

Orv Hetil. 2005 Jul 31;146(31):1621-4.
[Article in Hungarian]


Lycopene is a carotenoid found predominantly in tomatoes and tomato products. In contrast to beta-carotene it is not a precursor of vitamin A in humans. Lycopene is not destroyed during food processing, moreover its bioavailability improves. Lycopene is the most powerful antioxidant amongst carotenoids. Beside the antioxidant effect it influences the expression of various proteins (enzymes of biotransformation, cyclin D1, connexins). According to epidemiologic studies tomato lycopene may reduce the risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Positive effects are also hypothesized in case of other diseases such as osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases and hypertension. Neither adverse effects upon lycopene supplementation nor lycopene toxicity have been reported. Therefore, several arguments support the consumption of natural lycopene, whilst there are no contraindications according to the present knowledge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / chemistry
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants* / chemistry
  • Antioxidants* / pharmacology
  • Biological Availability
  • Carotenoids* / chemistry
  • Carotenoids* / pharmacology
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Erythema / prevention & control
  • Food Handling
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Skin / drug effects
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene