Lycopene and green tea consumption have been observationally associated with reduced prostate cancer risk, but the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. We investigated the effect of factorial randomisation to a 6-month lycopene and green tea dietary advice or supplementation intervention on 159 serum metabolite measures in 128 men with raised PSA levels (but prostate cancer-free), analysed by intention-to-treat. The causal effects of metabolites modified by the intervention on prostate cancer risk were then assessed by Mendelian randomisation, using summary statistics from 44,825 prostate cancer cases and 27,904 controls. The systemic effects of lycopene and green tea supplementation on serum metabolic profile were comparable to the effects of the respective dietary advice interventions (R2 = 0.65 and 0.76 for lycopene and green tea respectively). Metabolites which were altered in response to lycopene supplementation were acetate [β (standard deviation difference vs. placebo): 0.69; 95% CI = 0.24, 1.15; p = 0.003], valine (β: -0.62; -1.03, -0.02; p = 0.004), pyruvate (β: -0.56; -0.95, -0.16; p = 0.006) and docosahexaenoic acid (β: -0.50; -085, -0.14; p = 0.006). Valine and diacylglycerol were lower in the lycopene dietary advice group (β: -0.65; -1.04, -0.26; p = 0.001 and β: -0.59; -1.01, -0.18; p = 0.006). A genetically instrumented SD increase in pyruvate increased the odds of prostate cancer by 1.29 (1.03, 1.62; p = 0.027). An intervention to increase lycopene intake altered the serum metabolome of men at risk of prostate cancer. Lycopene lowered levels of pyruvate, which our Mendelian randomisation analysis suggests may be causally related to reduced prostate cancer risk.
Keywords: Mendelian randomisation; dietary intervention; green tea; lycopene; prostate cancer.
© 2018 The Authors. International Journal of Cancer published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of UICC.