Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photodamage in humans in vivo: A randomized controlled trial

Dermatological Sciences, Epithelial Sciences Research Group, The University of Manchester and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester M6 8HD, UK.
British Journal of Dermatology (Impact Factor: 4.28). 01/2011; 164(1):154-62. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10057.x
Source: PubMed


Previous epidemiological, animal and human data report that lycopene has a protective effect against ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-induced erythema.
We examined whether tomato paste--rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant--can protect human skin against UVR-induced effects partially mediated by oxidative stress, i.e. erythema, matrix changes and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage.
In a randomized controlled study, 20 healthy women (median age 33 years, range 21-47; phototype I/II) ingested 55 g tomato paste (16 mg lycopene) in olive oil, or olive oil alone, daily for 12 weeks. Pre- and postsupplementation, UVR erythemal sensitivity was assessed visually as the minimal erythema dose (MED) and quantified with a reflectance instrument. Biopsies were taken from unexposed and UVR-exposed (3 × MED 24 h earlier) buttock skin pre- and postsupplementation, and analysed immunohistochemically for procollagen (pC) I, fibrillin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, and by quantitative polymerase chain reaction for mtDNA 3895-bp deletion.
Mean ± SD erythemal D(30) was significantly higher following tomato paste vs. control (baseline, 26·5 ± 7·5 mJ cm(-2); control, 23 ± 6·6 mJ cm(-2); tomato paste, 36·6 ± 14·7 mJ cm(-2); P = 0·03), while the MED was not significantly different between groups (baseline, 35·1 ± 9·9 mJ cm(-2); control, 32·6 ± 9·6 mJ cm(-2); tomato paste, 42·2 ± 11·3 mJ cm(-2)). Presupplementation, UVR induced an increase in MMP-1 (P = 0·01) and a reduction in fibrillin-1 (P = 0·03). Postsupplementation, UVR-induced MMP-1 was reduced in the tomato paste vs. control group (P = 0·04), while the UVR-induced reduction in fibrillin-1 was similarly abrogated in both groups, and an increase in pCI deposition was seen following tomato paste (P = 0·05). mtDNA 3895-bp deletion following 3 × MED UVR was significantly reduced postsupplementation with tomato paste (P = 0·01).
Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer-term aspects of photodamage.

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    • "It is up to 10-fold more efficient at quenching singlet oxygen than -tocopherol or carotene [122]. This antioxidant protects skin against acute and potentially longer-term photodamage [123]. Development of topical formulations for lycopene is very challenging due to its extremely high lipophilicity (log P=15), which makes it insoluble in water and several oils [124]. "
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    • "Supplementation of tomato products, containing lycopene, has been assessed to have similar effects on health than consuming tomato. Indeed, such products supplementation lower biomarkers of oxidative stress and carcinogenesis [62] and protect the skin against UVR-induced effects (i.e., erythema) [63,64]. Moreover, tomato extract has been shown to ameliorate tissue damage, to decrease the risk of many chronic diseases including several types of cancer (i.e., prostate cancer) [65,66]. "
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