Effect of 4-Week Ingestion of Tomato-Based Carotenoids on Exercise-Induced Inflammation, Muscle Damage, and Oxidative Stress in Endurance Runners

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 May 1;28(3):266-273. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0272. Epub 2018 May 3.


This double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial determined if ingestion of a supplement containing a tomato complex with lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene (T-LPP) and other compounds for 4 weeks would attenuate inflammation, muscle damage, and oxidative stress postexercise and during recovery from a 2-hr running bout that included 30 min of -10% downhill running. Study participants ingested the T-LPP supplement or placebo with the evening meal for 4 weeks prior to running 2 hr at high intensity. Blood samples and delayed onset muscle soreness ratings were taken pre- and post-4-week supplementation, and immediately following the 2-hr run, and then 1-hr, 24-hr, and 48-hr postrun. After a 2-week washout period, participants crossed over to the opposite treatment and repeated all procedures. Plasma lycopene, phytoene, and phytofluene increased significantly in T-LPP compared with placebo (p < .001 for each). Significant time effects were shown for serum creatine kinase, delayed onset muscle soreness, C-reactive protein, myoglobin, 9- and 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids, ferric reducing ability of plasma, and six plasma cytokines (p < .001 for each). The pattern of increase for serum myoglobin differed between T-LPP and placebo (interaction effect, p = .016, with lower levels in T-LPP), but not for creatine kinase, delayed onset muscle soreness, C-reactive protein, the six cytokines, 9- and 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids, and ferric reducing ability of plasma. No significant time or interaction effects were measured for plasma-oxidized low-density lipoprotein or serum 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. In summary, supplementation with T-LPP over a 4-week period increased plasma carotenoid levels 73% and attenuated postexercise increases in the muscle damage biomarker myoglobin, but not inflammation and oxidative stress.

Keywords: cytokines; lycopene; myoglobin; phytoene; phytofluene; running.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage*
  • Carotenoids / blood
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation*
  • Linoleic Acids / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood
  • Lycopene
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myalgia*
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Running / physiology*
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Young Adult


  • 9-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid
  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Linoleic Acids
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Myoglobin
  • oxidized low density lipoprotein
  • Carotenoids
  • 13-hydroxy-9,11-octadecadienoic acid
  • phytofluene
  • (all-E) phytoene
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Lycopene