Natural antioxidant
Lycopene & Resveratrol

Lycopene Prevents Against Cardiovascular Disease


Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the world; contributed around 35% of overall deadly diseases. As known, the high consumption of vegetables and fruits may reduce the incidences rate of cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, the cause was unveiled. 20 years ago, medical science realized that the major factor for cardiovascular disease is the oxidation of lipoprotein, thus carotenoids as the antioxidant may be beneficial in prevention cardiovascular disease. The epidemiological studies have been focusing on this area ever since. The earliest relevant report was in 1993 and within few years, there were many research articles related to the association with carotenoids and cardiovascular disease.


  • ★ Kardinaal AF, et al. Antioxidants in adipose tissue and risk of myocardial infarction: the EURAMIC Study. Lancet 1993;342:1379–1384.
  • Gaziano JM, et al. A prospective study of consumption of carotenoids in fruits and vegetables and decreased cardiovascular mortality in the elderly. Ann Epidemiol 1995;5:255–260.( )
  • ★ Price JE, Fowkes FG. Antioxidant vitamins in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. The epidemiological evidence. Eur Heart J 1997;18:719–727.
  • ★ Kristenson M, et al. Antioxidant state and mortality from coronary heart disease in Lithuanian and Swedish men: concomitant cross sectional study of men aged 50. Br Med J 1997;314:629–633.


Initially, β-Carotene was considered as the functioning compound in the dietary food. With the development of research, in 1996 two scientific papers published in New English Journal of Medicine indicated that long-term supplementation with β-Carotene neither beneficial in prevention of cancer nor cardiovascular disease, conversely, it may cause the side effects. Afterward, lycopene attracted our attention.


  • ★ Hennekens CH, et al. Lack of effect of long-term supplementation with beta carotene on the incidence of malignant neoplasms and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 1996;334:1145-1149. (
  • ★ Omenn GS, et al. Effects of a combination of beta carotene and vitamin A on lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. N Engl J Med 1996; 334: 150-1155.(


Shortly, in 1997 it was reported that lycopene could reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Kohlmeier et al. conducted a multicenter case-control study to investigate incidence cases and frequency matched controls of 1379 European men from 10 European countries to evaluate the relations between antioxidant status and acute myocardial infarction. They found that lycopene concentration in subcutaneous adipose tissue was highly correlated to reduce incidence rate of myocardial infarction.


  • ★ Kohlmeier L, et al. Lycopene and myocardial infarction risk in the EURAMIC Study. Am J Epidemiol 1997;146:618–626.( )
  • ★ Rissanen T, et al. Low plasma lycopene concentration is associated with increased intimamedia thickness of the carotid artery wall. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2000; 20:2677–2681. ( )
  • ★ Klipstein-Grobusch K., et al. Serum carotenoids and atherosclerosis. The Rotterdam Study. Atherosclerosis 2000; 148: 49-56. ( )
  • ★ Rissanen T, et al. Low serum lycopene concentration is associated with an excess incidence of acute coronary events and stroke: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Br J Nutr 2001; 85:743–754. ( )


Fuhrman et al. reported that lycopene may act as moderate hypocholesterolemic agent in cholesterol metabolism. In vitro observations, the cellular cholesterol synthesis in macrophage cell line was suppressed by cell incubation with lycopene. Small clinical trial showed that dietary supplementation of tomoato’s lycopene (60mg/day) administered to 6 males for a 3 months period resulted in 14% reduction in their plasma LDL cholesterol concentrations.


  • ★ Fuhrman B, et al. Hypocholesterolemic effect of lycopene and beta-carotene is related to suppression of cholesterol synthesis and augmentation of LDL receptor activity in macrophages. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997; 233:658-62.(

The result is clear according to the previous research accumulated that lycopene plays the critical role in preventing the atherosclerosis while β-Carotene does not serve such function.


  • ★ Arab L & Steck S. Lycopene and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2000; 71(suppl): 1691S–1695S. ( )
  • ★ Rao AV. Lycopene, tomatoes, and the prevention of coronary heart disease. Exp Biol Med 2002; 227: 908-913. ( )
  • ★ Rissanen T, et al. Lycopene, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease. Exp Biol Med. 2002; 277: 900-907. ( )
  • ★ Howard D, et al. Dietary lycopene, tomato-based food products and cardiovascular disease in women. J. Nutr. 2003; 133: 2336-2341. ( )