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J Oral Pathol Med. 2011 May;40(5):361-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2010.00991.x. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Lycopene: features and potential significance in the oral cancer and precancerous lesions.

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State Key Laboratory of Oral Diseases, West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Data from epidemiological studies have indicated that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are likely to benefit many aspects of the prevention of oral malignancy. Lycopene is a red-coloured carotenoid predominantly accumulated in tomatoes as well as other fruits and vegetables. It has been claimed to alleviate chronic diseases such as cancers and cardiovascular disease. Hence, the aim of this review is to summarize the features and its potential significance of lycopene in the development, prevention and treatment of oral premalignant lesions and oral cancer. Studies showed that lycopene might have beneficial effects in the management of some premalignant lesions in the oral cavity including oral submucous fibrosis and oral leukoplakia and may be an adjunct in the prevention and therapy of oral cancer. However, more mechanistic studies and randomized controlled trials of large sample size are necessary to further confirm these effects and to eventually make lycopene to be used in the community prevention and clinically routine management of these diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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