Objective: Scientific evidence suggests that lycopene and antioxidant vitamins have significant antioxidant and protective effects.
Methods: This case-control study included 96 subjects (40 asthmatics, 56 healthy control subjects). Baseline blood samples, pulmonary function tests, and clinical and alimentary histories were collected. All subjects were grouped by age, sex, cigarette smoking habit, body mass index, alimentary intake, and atopic status.
Results: Serum lycopene concentration was significantly lower in asthmatic subjects than in healthy control subjects (0.10+/-0.7 micromoL/L vs. 0.16+/-0.8 micromoL/L--p<0.001). Serum vitamin A concentration was significantly lower in asthmatics (2.38+/-0.37 micromoL/L) in respect to control subjects (3.06+/-0.56 micromoL/L) (p<0.01). Plasma serum concentration of vitamin E and beta-carotene were not found to be different in the two groups.
Conclusions: Dietary supplementation or adequate intake of lycopene and vitamin A rich foods may be beneficial in asthmatic subjects.