Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Influence of lycopene and vitamin C from tomato juice on biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation

  • Karin Jacob (a1), María J. Periago (a1), Volker Böhm (a2) and Gaspar Ros Berruezo (a1)

A human study was carried out to investigate whether tomato juice, rich in natural lycopene and fortified with vitamin C, is able to reduce several biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation and whether the effect can be attributed to lycopene, vitamin C or any other micronutrient. Following a 2-week depletion phase, volunteers were assigned randomly to ingest either tomato juice with (LC) or without (L) vitamin C fortification for 2 weeks (daily dose 20·6 mg lycopene and 45·5/435 mg vitamin C). Plasma and urine were analysed for carotenoids and vitamin C, lipid status, antioxidant capacity, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and 8-epi-PGF, protein carbonyls, cytokines IL-1β and TNFα and C-reactive protein (CRP). The consumption of tomato juice led to a reduction in total cholesterol levels (L: 157·6 v. 153·2 mg/dl, P = 0·008; LC: 153·4 v. 147·4 mg/dl, P = 0·002) and that of CRP (L: 315·6 v. 262·3 μg/l, P = 0·017; LC: 319·2 v. 247·1 μg/l, P = 0·001) in both groups. The vitamin C-fortified juice slightly raised the antioxidant capacity in urine and decreased TBARS in plasma and urine. All other markers were affected to a lesser extent or remained unchanged. Cholesterol reduction was correlated with lycopene uptake (P = 0·003), whereas the other effects could not be related with particular micronutrients. Any beneficial effects of tomato consumption for human health cannot be attributed only to lycopene and, as the additional supplementation with ascorbic acid indicates, a variety of antioxidants might be needed to optimize protection against chronic diseases.

Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr M.J. Periago, fax +34 968 361447, email
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1AV Rao & LG Rao (2007) Carotenoids and human health. Pharmacol Res 55, 207216.

2S Agarwal & AV Rao (1998) Tomato lycopene and low density lipoprotein oxidation: a human dietary intervention study. Lipids 33, 981984.

4N Sakuma , T Hibino , T Sato , N Ohte , S Akita , N Tamai , K Sasai , T Yoshimata & T Fujinami (1997) Levels of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance in plasma from coronary artery disease patients. Clin Biochem 30, 505507.

5MF Walter , RF Jacob , B Jeffers , MM Ghadanfar , GM Preston , J Buch & RP Mason (2004) Serum levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances predict cardiovascular events in patients with stable coronary artery disease: A longitudinal analysis of the PREVENT study. J Am Coll Cardio 44, 19962002.

6A Salvi , PA Carrupt , JP Tillement & B Testa (2001) Structural damage to proteins caused by free radicals: assessment, protection by antioxidants, and influence of protein binding. Biochem Pharmacol 61, 12371242.

7I Dalle-Donne , D Giustarini , R Colombo , R Rossi & A Milzani (2003) Protein carbonylation in human diseases. Trends Mol Med 9, 169176.

10PM Ridker , CH Hennekens , JE Buring & N Rifai (2000) C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in women. N Engl J Med 342, 836842.

12C Sánchez-Moreno , MP Cano , B De Ancos , L Plaza , B Olmedilla , F Granado & A Martin (2006) Mediterranean vegetable soup consumption increases plasma vitamin C and decreases F2-isoprostanes, prostaglandin E2 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 in healthy humans. J Nutr Biochem 17, 183189.

15Y Klopotek , K Otto & V Böhm (2005) Processing strawberries to different products alters contents of vitamin C, total phenolics, total anthocyanins and antioxidant capacity. J Agric Food Chem 53, 56405646.

17V Böhm (2001) Use of column temperature to optimise carotenoid isomer separation by C30 high performance liquid chromatography. J Sep Sci 24, 955959.

18C Seybold , K Fröhlich , R Bitsch , K Otto & V Böhm (2004) Changes in contents of carotenoids and vitamin E during tomato processing. J Agric Food Chem 52, 70057010.

19S Gahler , K Otto & V Böhm (2003) Alterations of vitamin C, total phenolics, and antioxidant capacity as affected by processing tomatoes to different products. J Agric Food Chem 51, 79627968.

22AW Wahlefeld (1974) Triglycerides determination after enzymatic hydrolysis. In Method of Enzymatic Analysis, pp. 18311833 [AW Wahlefeld and HU Bergmeyer , editors]. New York: Academic Press.

23R Re , N Pellegrini , A Proteggente , A Pannala , M Yang & C Rice-Evans (1999) Antioxidant activity applying an improved ABTS radical cation decolorization assay. Free Radic Biol Med 26, 12311237.

24K Schlesier , M Harwat , V Böhm & R Bitsch (2002) Assessment of antioxidant activity by using different in vitro methods. Free Radic Res 36, 177187.

25GF Domagk & HH Schlicke (1968) A colourimetric method using uricase and peroxidase for the determination of uric acid. Anal Biochem 22, 219224.

27RL Levine , D Garland , CN Oliver , A Amici , I Climent , AG Lenz , BW Ahn , S Shaltiel & ER Stadtman (1990) Determination of carbonyl content in oxidatively modified proteins. Meths Enzymol 186, 464478.

28AZ Reznick & L Packer (1994) Oxidative damage to proteins: Spectroscopic method for carbonyl assay. Meth Enzymiol 233, 357363.

29JA Buege & SD Aust (1978) Microsomal lipid peroxidation. Meths Enzymol. 52, 302310.

30J Nourooz-Zadeh , J Tajaddini-Sarmadi & SP Wolf (1994) Measurement of plasma hydroperoxide concentrations by the ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange assay in conjunction with triphenilphosphine. Anal Biochem 220, 403409.

31B Beutler , D Greenwald , JD Hulmes , . (1985) Identity of tumor necrosis factor and the macrophage-secreted factor cachectin. Nature 316, 552554.

32J Grassi , CJ Roberge , Y Frobert , . (1991) Determination of ILα, IL1βand IL2 in biological media using specific enzyme immunometric assays. Immunol Rev 119, 125142.

34LJ Roberts II & JD Morrow (2000) Measurement of F2-isoprostanes as an index of oxidative stress in vivo. Free Radic Biol Med 28, 505513.

35S Georgé , P Bart , P Alter & MJ Amiot (2005) Rapid determination of polyphenols and vitamin C in plant-derived products. J Agric Food Chem 53, 13701373.

40AV Rao & H Shen (2002) Effect of low dose lycopene intake on lycopene bioavailability and oxidative stress. Nutr Res 22, 11251131.

42RB Van Breemen , X Xu , MA Viana , L Chen , M Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis , C Duncan , PE Bowen & R Sharifi (2002) Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of cis- and all-trans-lycopene in human serum and prostate tissue after dietary supplementation with tomato sauce. J Agric Food Chem 50, 22142219.

46B Fuhrman , A Elis & M Aviram (1997) Hypocholesterolemic effect of lycopene and β-carotene is related to suppression of cholesterol synthesis and augmentation of LDL receptor activity in macrophages. Biochem Biophys Res Comm 233, 658662.

47JK Willcox , GL Catignani & S Lazarus (2003) Tomatoes and cardiovascular health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 43, 118.

48N Pellegrini , P Riso & M Porrini (2000) Tomato consumption does not affect the total antioxidant capacity of plasma. Nutr 16, 268271.

49B Kirschbaum (2001) Total urine antioxidant capacity. Clin Chim Acta 305, 167173.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *