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22-06-2010 | Bone health | Article

Lycopene supplementation may help reduce osteoporosis risk


Free abstract

MedWire News: Lycopene supplementation, given in capsule or juice form, may decrease the risk for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women by decreasing oxidative stress and bone resorption, Canadian researchers report.

Leticia Rao (St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario) and colleagues have previously shown in vitro and in vivo that lycopene from tomato is associated with a protective effect on bone, but lycopene intervention studies have not been reported, they say.

Rao and team therefore carried out a randomized-controlled intervention study to determine whether lycopene would act as an antioxidant to decrease oxidative stress parameters.

Following a 1-month washout period without lycopene consumption, 60 postmenopausal women consumed either regular tomato juice, lycopene-rich tomato juice, tomato Lyc-O-Mato lycopene capsules (Nutra-Life Health and Fitness, Auckland, New Zealand), or placebo capsules (n=15 per group), twice daily for 4 months. This gave total lycopene intakes of 30, 70, 30, and 0 mg/day, respectively.

Serum collected after the washout and after 2 and 4 months of supplementation was tested for cross-linked aminoterminal N-telopeptide (NTx), carotenoid content, total antioxidant capacity (TAC), lipid, and protein oxidation.

Overall, the total lycopene absorption for the study duration was not significantly different among the three sources of lycopene, therefore participants who consumed juice or lycopene capsules were analyzed in one “lycopene-supplemented” group.

The researchers report that total serum lycopene increased significantly after 2 and 4 months in the lycopene-supplemented group compared with the placebo group.

Serum analyses revealed that 4 months of lycopene-supplementation resulted in significantly increased TAC, and significantly decreased lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and NTx concentrations compared with baseline.

In contrast, consumption of placebo capsules did not have any significant affect on TAC, lipid peroxidation, and protein oxidation, while serum NTx increased significantly compared with baseline.

“Our novel study suggests that lycopene may be used as a natural complementary or alternative supplement for the reduction of the bone resorption marker NTx in postmenopausal women by decreasing oxidative stress parameters, which may therefore reduce the risk of osteoporosis,” conclude Rao and co-authors in the journal Osteoporosis International.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Laura Dean

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