International Journal of Research and Review

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Review Article

Year: 2017 | Month: January | Volume: 4 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 73-86

Lycopene and Cardiovascular Diseases: A Review of the Literature

Towhid Hasan, Marjia Sultana

Institute of Nutrition and Food Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh

Corresponding Author: Towhid Hasan


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading causes of human disability and premature death throughout the world. Diet has a direct link with the development of CVD and so dietary change is the current approach for the prevention of CVD that is to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables as good sources of several antioxidant phytochemicals, e.g. carotenoids. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in tomatoes and tomato products has gained profuse attention in recent years for its health beneficial role, especially those related to its effects as an antioxidant and its protective role against CVD. So, the objective of this review is to assess the effect of lycopene in CVD and/or CVD risk factors studying epidemiological, clinical and biochemical data. Among twenty-three epidemiological studies investigating the association between lycopene and CVD, eight studies have found no association whereas other fifteen studies have indicated an inverse association. In case of in vivo and in vitro cell culture studies, the results are still inconsistent; some provide evidence in favor of lycopeneor tomato supplementation to reduce the prognosis of CVD and others do not support the cardio protective role of lycopene. In contrast, animal studies have provided a more vivid result, most have showna favorable effect of lycopene towards preventing CVD risk. In summary, ignoring the controversies, there lies a demand for more specific and focused research on lycopene, particularly to have a better and comprehensive understanding of lycopene’s role in human health and disease for a better-quality life.

Key words: Carotenoids, lycopene, tomatoes, cardiovascular diseases.

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