The tomato carotenoid lycopene and cancer Academic Article uri icon


  • The results of many epidemiological studies clearly indicate that there is inverse correlation between the consumption of fruits and vegetables and the incidence of various degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Carotenoids were often mentioned as active plant compounds and in recent years there has been a growing interest in the ability of carotenoid pigments to act as cancer-preventive agents. The main emphasis has been on β-carotene and this research has yielded hundreds of reports. Several recent publications shifted the interest to other carotenoids as active anticancer agents. This manuscript aims to review the literature on lycopene, the major tomato carotenoid, with a special emphasis on the most recent observations which may point to its special potency, among other carotenoids, as an anticancer agent.

publication date

  • January 1, 1997