Consumption of tomato products is associated with a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer, and lycopene, the red carotenoid in the tomato, is a potent antioxidant that might contribute to this chemoprevention activity. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 105 African American men veterans, recommended for prostate biopsy to detect cancer, was carried out to investigate whether oral administration of lycopene increases lycopene levels in blood and prostate tissue and lowers markers of oxidative stress. Urology patients were randomly assigned to receive 30 mg/d of lycopene as a tomato oleoresin or placebo for 21 days prior to prostate biopsy for possible diagnosis of prostate cancer. A total of 47 men had a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and 58 men had a diagnosis of benign prostate hyperplasia. Diet, smoking, and drinking habits were assessed. For the men receiving lycopene, the mean lycopene concentration increased from 0.74 ± 0.39 to 1.43 ± 0.61 μmol/L in plasma (P < 0.0001) and from 0.45 ± 0.53 to 0.59 ± 0.47 pmol/mg in prostate tissue (P = 0.005). No significant changes in the DNA oxidation product 8-oxo-deoxyguanosine and the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde were observed in prostate tissue and plasma, respectively, as a result of lycopene administration.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00416390.