This study was performed to understand the characteristics and biological activities of phenolics in tomatoes and to examine the effect of tomato on the regulation of blood lipids. Tomatoes of both big and small sizes were used fresh, after blanching, or after blanching and heating. Moreover, a human clinical trial was conducted to examine plasma antioxidation, status of blood lipids, and phenolic responses after ingestion of fresh tomato, tomato juice, and a lycopene drink. The contents of tomato phenolics were increased by 34% for small tomato and by 23% for big tomato after treatment by blanching and heating at 100 degrees C for 30 min. Tomato phenolics showed fair antioxidant activity (57-71%) and also synergistically promoted the antioxidation (81-100%) of tomato carotenoids. In the human clinical study, total antioxidant capacity and phenolic contents in plasma were increased after administration of fresh tomato and tomato juice, but no significant difference was found for lycopene drink consumption. Triglyceride levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol were decreased after administration of fresh tomato and tomato juice, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was increased.