Potential Role of Lycopene in the Prevention of Postmenopausal Bone Loss: Evidence from Molecular to Clinical Studies

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Sep 27;21(19):7119. doi: 10.3390/ijms21197119.


Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by reduced bone mineral density, which affects the quality of life of the aging population. Furthermore, disruption of bone microarchitecture and the alteration of non-collagenous protein in bones lead to higher fracture risk. This is most common in postmenopausal women. Certain medications are being used for the treatment of osteoporosis; however, these may be accompanied by undesirable side effects. Phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables are a source of micronutrients for the maintenance of bone health. Among them, lycopene has recently been shown to have a potential protective effect against bone loss. Lycopene is a lipid-soluble carotenoid that exists in both all-trans and cis-configurations in nature. Tomato and tomato products are rich sources of lycopene. Several human epidemiological studies, supplemented by in vivo and in vitro studies, have shown decreased bone loss following the consumption of lycopene/tomato. However, there are still limited studies that have evaluated the effect of lycopene on the prevention of bone loss in postmenopausal women. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize the relevant literature on the potential impact of lycopene on postmenopausal bone loss with molecular and clinical evidence, including an overview of bone biology and the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.

Keywords: bone; lycopene; osteoporosis; postmenopause; tomato.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Lycopene / chemistry
  • Lycopene / therapeutic use*
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / chemistry*
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / metabolism
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / pathology
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / prevention & control*
  • Quality of Life*


  • Lycopene