Effects of lycopene supplementation on oxidative stress and markers of endothelial function in healthy men

Atherosclerosis. 2011 Mar;215(1):189-95. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2010.11.036. Epub 2010 Dec 9.


Objective: The objective was to determine the effects of lycopene supplementation on endothelial function assessed by reactive hyperemia peripheral arterial tonometry (RH-PAT) and oxidative stress.

Methods: Healthy men (n=126) were randomized to receive placebo (n=38), 6 mg (n=41), or 15 mg (n=37) lycopene daily for 8-week.

Results: Serum lycopene increased in a dose-dependent manner after 8-week supplementation (P<0.001). The 15 mg/day group had greater increase in plasma SOD activity (P=0.014) and reduction in lymphocyte DNA comet tail length (P=0.042) than the placebo group. Intragroup comparison revealed a 23% increase in RH-PAT index from baseline (1.45±0.09 vs. 1.79±0.12; P=0.032) in the 15 mg/day group after 8-week. hs-CRP, systolic blood pressure, sICAM-1 and sVCAM-1 significantly decreased, and β-carotene and LDL-particle size significantly increased only in the 15 mg/day group. Interestingly, the beneficial effect of lycopene supplementation on endothelial function (i.e., RH-PAT and sVCAM-1) were remarkable in subjects with relatively impaired endothelial cell function at initial level. Changes in RH-PAT index correlated with SOD activity (r=0.234, P=0.017) especially in the 15 mg lycopene/day group (r=0.485, P=0.003), lymphocyte DNA comet tail moment (r=-0.318, P=0.001), and hs-CRP (r=-0.238, P=0.011). In addition, changes in lycopene correlated with hs-CRP (r=-0.230, P=0.016) and SOD activity (r=0.205, P=0.037).

Conclusion: An increase in serum lycopene after supplementation can reduce oxidative stress which may play a role in endothelial function.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / physiopathology
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Manometry
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Particle Size
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 / blood
  • beta Carotene / metabolism


  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1
  • beta Carotene
  • Carotenoids
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Lycopene