Lycopene and tomato powder supplementation similarly inhibit high-fat diet induced obesity, inflammatory response, and associated metabolic disorders

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep;61(9). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201601083. Epub 2017 Apr 7.


Scope: Several studies have linked the high intake of lycopene or tomatoes products with lower risk for metabolic diseases. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and to compare the effect of lycopene and tomato powder on obesity-associated disorders.

Methods and results: Male C57BL/J6 mice were assigned into four groups to receive: control diet (CD), high fat diet (HFD), high fat diet supplemented with lycopene or with tomato powder (TP) for 12 weeks. In HFD condition, lycopene and TP supplementation significantly reduced adiposity index, organ, and relative organ weights, serum triglycerides, free fatty acids, 8-iso-prostaglandin GF2α and improved glucose homeostasis, but did not affect total body weight. Lycopene and TP supplementation prevented HFD-induced hepatosteatosis and hypertrophy of adipocytes. Lycopene and TP decreased HFD-induced proinflammatory cytokine mRNA expression in the liver and in the epididymal adipose tissue. The anti-inflammatory effect of lycopene and TP was related to a reduction in the phosphorylation levels of IκB, and p65, and resulted in a decrease of inflammatory proteins in adipose tissue.

Conclusion: These results suggest that lycopene or TP supplementation display similar beneficial health effects that could be particularly relevant in the context of nutritional approaches to fight obesity-associated pathologies.

Keywords: Adipose tissue carotenoids; Inflammation; Insulin sensitivity; Metabolic disease; Obesity; Tomato product; steatosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Carotenoids / pharmacology*
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Metabolic Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • NF-kappa B / physiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Solanum lycopersicum*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • NF-kappa B
  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene