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Front Pharmacol. 2018 May 23;9:521. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00521. eCollection 2018.

Lycopene and Vascular Health.

Author information

1
Department of Functional Sciences, "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timiṣoara, Romania.
2
Center for Translational Research and Systems Medicine, "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timiṣoara, Romania.
3
2nd Department of Internal Medicine, "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timiṣoara, Romania.
4
1st Department of Internal Medicine, "Victor Babes" University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timiṣoara, Romania.
5
Independent Researcher, Vienna, Austria.
6
Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Magdalenka, Poland.
7
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Lycopene is a lipophilic, unsaturated carotenoid, found in red-colored fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, red grapefruits, and guava. The present work provides an up to date overview of mechanisms linking lycopene in the human diet and vascular changes, considering epidemiological data, clinical studies, and experimental data. Lycopene may improve vascular function and contributes to the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disorders. The main activity profile of lycopene includes antiatherosclerotic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antiplatelet, anti-apoptotic, and protective endothelial effects, the ability to improve the metabolic profile, and reduce arterial stiffness. In this context, lycopene has been shown in numerous studies to exert a favorable effect in patients with subclinical atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, stroke and several other cardiovascular disorders, although the obtained results are sometimes inconsistent, which warrants further studies focusing on its bioactivity.

KEYWORDS:

arterial stiffness; cardiovascular risk; endothelial function; intima-media thickness; lycopene

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