Aim: Menopause is a pro-atherogenic state with a sharp rise in the incidence of coronary artery disease. This pilot study was designed as an equivalence randomized clinical trial to explore the potential of LycoRed (containing 2000 microg lycopene) as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the prevention of coronary artery disease in postmenopausal women.
Methods: Forty-one healthy postmenopausal women were randomly allocated to receive either continuous combined HRT (n = 21) or LycoRed (n = 20) for six months. Serum lipid profile, marker of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde), and the level of endogenous antioxidant (glutathione) were measured at the baseline, and 3 and 6 months after the intervention in both groups.
Results: At 6 months, HRT resulted in a significant decrease in total cholesterol (TC) level by 23.5%, low-density lipoproteins (LDL) by 19.6%, and an increase in high-density lipoproteins (HDL) by 38.9%. The LycoRed group showed similar changes in TC (-24.2%), LDL (-14.9%) and HDL (+26.1%). Triglyceride levels showed a smaller though significant increase at 6 months, but not at 3 months, in both groups. There was no significant change in the very LDL (VLDL) level in either group. Malondialdehyde levels decreased significantly by 16.3% and 13.3%, whereas glutathione levels increased significantly by 5.9% and 12.5% in HRT and LycoRed groups, respectively.
Conclusion: Both HRT and LycoRed had a favorable effect on serum lipids and oxidative stress markers which were comparable. LycoRed can be used as an alternative to HRT to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women.