Effects of olive oil and tomato lycopene combination on serum lycopene, lipid profile, and lipid oxidation

Nutrition. 2006 Mar;22(3):259-65. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2005.07.015. Epub 2006 Jan 18.


Objective: We compared the effect of two diets (a diet high in olive oil and a diet high in carbohydrate and low in olive oil) with high lycopene content and other controlled carotenoids on serum lycopene, lipids, and in vitro oxidation.

Methods: This was a randomized crossover dietary intervention study carried out in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia in healthy free-living individuals. Twenty-one healthy subjects who were 22 to 70 y old were recruited by advertisements in newspapers and a university newsletter. A randomized dietary intervention was done with two diets of 10 d each. One diet was high in olive oil and the other was high in carbohydrate and low in olive oil; the two diets contained the same basic foods and a controlled carotenoid content high in lycopene.

Results: Significant increases (P<0.001) in serum lycopene concentration on both diets were to similar final concentrations. Higher serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P<0.01), lower ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (P<0.01), and lower triacylglycerols (P<0.05) occurred after the olive oil diet compared with the high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet. There was no difference in total antioxidant status and susceptibility of serum lipids to oxidation.

Conclusions: Serum lycopene level changes with dietary lycopene intake irrespective of the amount of fat intake. However, a diet high in olive oil and rich in lycopene may decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by improving the serum lipid profile compared with a high-carbohydrate, low-fat, lycopene-rich diet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olive Oil
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plant Oils* / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils* / chemistry
  • Plant Oils* / pharmacology
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry
  • Tasmania
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Olive Oil
  • Plant Oils
  • Triglycerides
  • Carotenoids
  • Cholesterol
  • Lycopene