Lycopene and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A meta-analysis of observational studies

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep;61(9). doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201601009. Epub 2017 Apr 27.


Scope: The aim of current meta-analysis was to investigate the relation between lycopene and risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Methods and results: Studies concerning about the association between lycopene and risk of CVD were searched on Pubmed, Embase, and Web of Science from inception to October 2016. A total of 14 eligible studies were identified. A significantly inverse association with a pooled risk ratio (RR) of 0.83 (95% CI: 0.76-0.90) was shown between lycopene exposure and risk of CVD. Findings were similar restricting to dietary studies (RR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.79-0.96) and biomarker studies (RR = 0.74, 95% CI = 0. 62-0.87).Dietary lycopene intake was statistically significant for coronary heart disease (CHD) (RR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.76-0.98) and stroke (RR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.69-0.96).The pooled risk estimate was generally similar for lycopene biomarker concentrations, but the association was only statistically significant for stroke (RR: 0.65; 95% CI: 0.42-0.87). Subgroup analyses showed that retrospective and low quality studies were statistically significant sources of heterogeneity.

Conclusion: Higher lycopene exposure is inversely associated with a lower risk of CVD. Further well-designed randomized clinical trials are required to assess the role of lycopene on CVD.

Keywords: Coronary heart disease; Epidemiologic study; Lycopene; Meta-analysis; Stroke.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lycopene
  • Male
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Publication Bias
  • Risk


  • Carotenoids
  • Lycopene