Updated 14 February 2013

Lycopene protects the prostate

Clinical studies show that lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by a phenomenal 45%, and that it is very effective in the treatment of the disease too.


Clinical studies show that lycopene can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by a phenomenal 45%, and that it is very effective in the treatment of the disease too.

In the first clinical study conducted in the early 1990s, by a team of Harvard Medical School researchers, it was found that men who ate 10 or more servings of tomatoes (or tomato-based foods) per week had a 45% lower risk of prostate cancer.

Scientists attributed this significantly lowered cancer risk to lycopene.

Another ground-breaking study revealed the supplements’ success at reducing the size of tumours and regressing and decreasing malignance.

"This suggests that lycopene results in decreased tumour size and makes cancer less aggressive," said Dr Kucuk from the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan.

'Significant results'

"These results are significant," said Dr Frank Rauscher of the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. "It's remarkable that lycopene may have both therapeutic and preventative value."

In fact, lycopene and beta-carotene, taken along with vitamins C and E, may help protect the body against the effects of chemotherapy or radiation.

Lycopene is a pigment that gives vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, their red colour. Research has shown that its antioxidant capabilities are double that of beta-carotene, making it a powerful protector against heart disease and prostate cancer.

It is also effective in the prevention and treatment of a multitude of cancers such as breast, cervical, stomach, liver, ovarian, colon, lung, bladder and skin cancer.

A potent heart disease fighter

Lycopene is also beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, ocular disease, exercise-induced asthma, arthrosclerosis, and associated coronary artery disease.

It also reduces the risk of age-related macular degenerative disease, skin wrinkling and even the ageing process itself.

Interestingly enough, lycopene also helps protect skin from sun damage, adding a sun-protection factor of 2-4.

Utilising antioxidants

The healthy organism is equipped with a built-in defence system designed to neutralise harmful free radicals that attack our tissues and cell components.

This system utilises antioxidants and free radical quenchers (neutralisers), which we obtain from the food and dietary supplements we eat.

Lycopene is considered by scientists to be the most effective free-radical quencher and antioxidant out there. Therefore, it should form an important part of the diet.

Press release by Activated Lycopene

- (Health24, updated October 2011)

Read more:

Lycopene: anti-cancer agent
Tomatoes can lower your cholesterol


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

How loud is too loud? »

Heal your hearing Pain relievers linked to hearing loss in women FDA approves balloon device to clear Eustachian tube

SEE: Interesting facts about hearing loss

Our ears perform quite a complex job – not only are they responsible for helping us hear, they also assist with balance.