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Lycopene: A Natural Arsenal in the War against ill effects of smoking on lungs and cvd (heart issues)

My interest in Lycopene arose when I found it improves the lung functioning of smoking people and is essentially a dietary intake.

“Emerging evidence suggests that tomato carotenoid, lycopene, can prevent smoke-promoted COPD and lung cancer. Lycopene is among six most abundant carotenoids present in human plasma. Smokers have lower levels of lycopene, which makes this carotenoid additionally interesting as intervention strategy against smoke-related diseases. Pulmonary cholesterol overload, due to altered reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), has been recognized as one of the critical pathways in chronic inflammation, leading to COPD and lung cancer.”

“Lycopene suppresses smoke-promoted COPD and lung cancer by restoring RCT”


Smoking causes two kinds of long-term damage to the lungs: emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Together, these are known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In emphysema, the tiny air sacs that exchange oxygen are destroyed. In chronic bronchitis, there is inflammation of the airways that lead to the air sacs. “Once the air sacs are destroyed, they can’t be replaced,” Norman Edelman says. “Though some of the swelling and inflammation from bronchitis can go away, the structural damage will remain.”

 And it's accepted smoking direct or second hand is big reason for the lung damage across globe.

Concluding remarks

We summarized the association between circulating lycopene and chronic lung diseases in a comprehensive manner. To accomplish this task, we first have screened both in vitro reports and in vivo animal models to delineate lycopene’s role in chronic lung diseases including asthma, COPD, emphysema, acute lung injury, pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer. Dietary lycopene intervention could potentially decrease the infiltration of pro-inflammatory cytokines in ovalbumin-induced airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma [3738]. Lycopene was also found to inhibit smoke-induced bronchitis and emphysema through reverse cholesterol transport in the COPD model in ferrets [41]. In a murine model (C57BL/6 mice) for emphysema, lycopene administration lessened the detrimental effects of chronic cigarette smoke exposure [42]. Lycopene treatment was found to ease LPS-induced acute lung injury (ALI) in murine animal models [46], BALB/c mice, and LPS-induced ALI in a rat model [47]. Lycopene extracted from tomatoes could reduce the burden of lung fibrosis’s pathological effects in a rodent study [52]. In terms of lung cancer, lycopene could decrease the extent of squamous metaplasia in a ferret model using the conventional method of induction of lung cancer by cigarette smoke [64]. Alternative models using carcinogenic agents were not definitive in showing its chemoprevention capabilities [626364656667].

Next, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to reveal the link between lycopene concentration and lung diseases in clinical trials using multiple electronic databases. While several case–control studies reported markedly lower lycopene concentration in asthma patients [76777879], others found that asthma progression was not related to lycopene in the circulation [747577808182], suggesting that the association between asthma and lycopene concentrations in humans was not conclusive. We came across several epidemiological studies, including case–control, cross-sectional, and prospective studies, to demonstrate the association between lycopene concentration in the circulation and COPD in our meta-analysis. These trials reported similar lycopene concentrations in healthy subjects vs. COPD patients [75778192]. Finally, we found that dietary lycopene is inversely associated with lung cancer risk, particularly in subjects with low lycopene in their circulation [93102104]. Furthermore, circulating lycopene displayed a significant association between advanced lung cancer patients and early-stage patients [99].” (

Another 10-year study ( concluded the same proposition.


Lycopene is a non-provitamin A carotenoid that is responsible for the red to pink colors seen in tomatoes, pink grapefruit, and other foods. Processed tomato products are the primary dietary lycopene source in the United States. Unlike many other natural compounds, lycopene is generally stable to processing when present in the plant tissue matrix. 

The issue is availability per tomato is very low and it will require around 5-6 large sized tomatoes for normal wear /tear and for efficient use will involve large quantities. And since its in skin of it using full tomatoes also deliver by result of calcification of stones in kidneys. Extracts are better option. Extracts have their own problems powder, extract with range of 1 to 10 % lycopene are easily interchangeable from few hundred rs/kg to upto 20,000 rs kg price range –if one does not know subject one is certain to feel cheated.

Great food for oxidative stress and cardiovascular disease:

CVDs are the leading cause of illness and death around the world. High blood pressure, cholesterol, and smoking are all major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Damage and remodeling of blood vessels impede blood flow, and atherosclerosis is the most prevalent cause of CVDs, which affect the heart and brain.  Epidemiological studies strongly advocate the preventive role of lycopene in CVDs. Low blood lycopene levels have been linked to all-cause mortality and poor cardiovascular disease outcomes. Lycopene supplementation has been shown to increase blood lycopene levels, reduce oxidative stress markers, and improve antioxidant status Reduction in the pro-inflammatory cytokines, adhesion molecules, inhibition of leukocyte migration and inflammation-related genes, problems in the interaction of monocyte with endothelium, activation of T-lymphocytes, and cyclooxygenase-2 downregulation are all anti-inflammatory mechanisms. Lycopene inhibited TNF-induced NF-kB activation and monocyte-endothelial cell interaction. VCAM-1 and LDL were found inversely linked to serum lycopene. Supplementation with lycopene can improve microvascular function by lowering sVCAM and sICAM concentrations, reducing DNA damage, and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Advanced glycation end products (AGE) include a diverse group of adducts generated by the glycoxidation or glycation of DNA or protein molecules by reducing sugars. Interaction of AGEs with their corresponding receptors RAGEs is the major cause of several disorders. AGE and RAGE interaction initiates oxidative stress via several pathways, such as activation of NF-kB, upregulation of gene expression for cytokines, and stimulation of NOX enzymes. Oxidative stress causes several diseases, including renal failure. The reduction in NO production, impairment of endothelium, increased rate of mRNA degradation, neurodegenerative diseases, damage to blood vessels, and diabetes are some other subsequent effects of oxidative stress. In this context, the natural or synthesized molecules with the potential to inhibit or reduce the production or interaction of AGEs and RAGEs have a great significance in current biomedical research. According to research reports, lycopene can reduce the production of AGE and RAGE, which aids in vessel protection. The use of lycopene can promote the function of endothelial cells, as indicated by preclinical studies. Lycopene can improve the NO bioavailability, endothelium-regulated vasodilation, reduce the damage to proteins, DNA, and lipids, and improve mitochondrial functioning, through its antioxidant activity. Lycopene supplementation boosted mitochondrial gene expression and lowered mitochondrial dysfunction. Lycopene and tomato products were found to decrease the total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in clinical investigations. In healthy postmenopausal women, lycopene supplementation can decrease total and LDL cholesterol. In rats given lycopene supplements, HDL was increased significantly and LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol were decreased. A significant decrease in TG in lycopene-supplemented hamsters and a reduction in oxidized LDL in lycopene-supplemented rats have also been reported. IMT is a well-established biomarker of arterial structural change, and it has been associated to the presence of cardiovascular risk factors, notably in the carotid artery. The thickness of the intima-media is inversely linked to serum lycopene levels. The combination of lutein and lycopene (20 mg each) therapy resulted in a decrease in IMT after 12 months, with the combination showing to be more helpful than lutein alone.



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