Tomato powder is more effective than lycopene to alleviate exercise-induced lipid peroxidation in well-trained male athletes: randomized, double-blinded cross-over study

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Feb 27;18(1):17. doi: 10.1186/s12970-021-00415-7.


Background: Consumption of nutritional supplements to optimize recovery is gaining popularity among athletes. Tomatoes contain micronutrients and various bioactive components with antioxidant properties. Many of the health benefits of tomatoes have been attributed to lycopene encouraging athletes to consume pure lycopene supplements. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of tomato powder and lycopene supplement on lipid peroxidation induced by exhaustive exercise in well-trained male athletes.

Methods: Eleven well-trained male athletes participated in a randomized, double-blinded, crossover study. Each subject underwent three exhaustive exercise tests after 1-week supplementation of tomato powder (each serving contained 30 mg lycopene, 5.38 mg beta-carotene, 22.32 mg phytoene, 9.84 mg phytofluene), manufactured lycopene supplement (30 mg lycopene), or placebo. Three blood samples (baseline, post-ingestion and post-exercise) were collected to assess total anti-oxidant capacity (TAC) and variables of lipid peroxidation including malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-isoprostane. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures of ANOVA at P < 0.05.

Results: Tomato powder enhanced total antioxidant capacity (12% increase, P = 0.04). Exhaustive exercise, regardless of supplement/ placebo, elevated MDA and 8-isoprostane levels (P < 0.001). The elevation of 8-isoprostane following exhaustive exercise was lower in the tomato powder treatment compared to the placebo (9% versus 24%, p = 0.01). Furthermore, following exhaustive exercise MDA elevated to a lower extent in tomatoe powder treatment compared to the placebo (20% versus 51%, p = 0.009). However, such differences were not indicated between lycopene and placebo treatments (p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Beneficial effects of tomato powder on antioxidant capacity and exercise-induced lipid peroxidation may be brought about by a synergistic interaction of lycopene with other bioactive nutrients rather than single lycopene.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Isoprostanes; Lipid peroxidation; Malondialdehyde; Oxidative stress; Tomatoes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants
  • Athletes*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dinoprost / analogs & derivatives
  • Dinoprost / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Lycopene / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Powders / pharmacology*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Biomarkers
  • Powders
  • 8-epi-prostaglandin F2alpha
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Dinoprost
  • Lycopene