[Tomatoes and lycopene in prevention and therapy--is there an evidence for prostate diseases?]

Aktuelle Urol. 2009 Jan;40(1):37-43. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1077031. Epub 2009 Jan 28.
[Article in German]


Tomatoes are discussed to have an important role in the prevention of and therapy for prostate cancer (PCA). Whether or not they are also useful in the primary and secondary prevention of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) is not clear. This review summarises the results of original contributions with a focus on interventional studies. Whereas epidemiological studies on BPH prevention provide no evidence for a preventive potential of tomatoes and tomato products, the majority of interventional trials points to an increased DNA resistance against oxidative-induced damage. Even though their effect on a surrogate marker of the IGF pathway cannot be evaluated so far due to insufficient data, the consumption of tomatoes and tomato products may probably protect from PCA--at least when considering low-grade PCA. Thus, regular consumption of these foods can be recommended for the prevention of PCA. Tomato products might also be useful in the therapy for BPH and PCA. The intake of isolated lycopene does not protect from the development of PCA. However, in the doses achieved by consumption of tomato products, lycopene ingestion might also be effective in PCA therapy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / blood
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Solanum lycopersicum*
  • Time Factors
  • beta Carotene / administration & dosage


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Lycopene