The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's evidence-based review for qualified health claims: tomatoes, lycopene, and cancer

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007 Jul 18;99(14):1074-85. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djm037. Epub 2007 Jul 10.


Several studies have reported an inverse association between tomato and/or lycopene intake and the risk of some types of cancer. In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received two petitions for qualified health claims regarding tomatoes, lycopene, and the risk reduction for some forms of cancer. Health claims that characterize the relationship between a food or food component and a disease or health-related condition require premarket approval by FDA to be included on the labels of conventional foods and dietary supplements. Here we describe FDA's review of the scientific data for tomato and/or lycopene intake with respect to risk reduction for certain forms of cancer. The FDA found no credible evidence to support an association between lycopene intake and a reduced risk of prostate, lung, colorectal, gastric, breast, ovarian, endometrial, or pancreatic cancer. The FDA also found no credible evidence for an association between tomato consumption and a reduced risk of lung, colorectal, breast, cervical, or endometrial cancer. The FDA found very limited evidence to support an association between tomato consumption and reduced risks of prostate, ovarian, gastric, and pancreatic cancers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Carotenoids / analysis
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Female
  • Food Labeling
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Risk
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration*


  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene