treats Atherosclerosis, Ovarian cancer, Infertility, Coronary artery disease, High blood pressure associated with pregnancy, Lung function after exercise, Immune stimulation, Gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer prevention, Sun protection, High blood pressure, Lung cancer prevention, Benign prostate hyperplasia, Eye disorders, Kidney disease, Gingivitis, Prostate cancer, Asthma caused by exercise, Cervical cancer prevention, Cancer prevention, Breast cancer prevention, and Antioxidant
Interactions with Drugs
Some drugs that lower cholesterol levels in the blood may also reduce the levels of carotenoids such as lycopene. Examples of cholesterol- lowering drugs include "statin" drugs like lovastatin (Mevacor®) or atorvastatin (Lipitor®), cholestyramine (Questran®, Prevalite®, LoCHOLEST®), or colestipol (Cholestid®). It is unknown if replacing lycopene levels with supplements has any benefit in people using these drugs. Some research suggests that lycopene may add to the cholesterol- lowering effects of statin drugs.
It is proposed that nicotine (cigarette smoking) and alcohol may lower lycopene levels in the body, although this has not been proven.
Based on human study, tomato- based foods may prevent platelet aggregation and thrombosis. Theoretically, lycopene may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants ("blood thinners") such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, anti- platelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and non- steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®).
In theory, lycopene may interact with fertility treatments, but this potential interaction has not been thoroughly studied.
Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Studies report mixed effects of taking lycopene with beta- carotene. Some studies report higher levels of lycopene, while others note no change or decreased levels. Canthaxanthin has been shown to reduce lycopene uptake from dietary sources and its use may result in decreased lycopene levels in the blood.
Laboratory studies suggest possible interactions between lycopene and other vitamins or supplements, although the significance of these interactions in the human body is not known. Examples include increased antioxidant effects when lycopene is combined with lutein or decreased growth of cancer- like cells when used with vitamin D or vitamin E.
Red palm oil may increase blood levels of lycopene.
Based on human study, tomato- based foods may prevent platelet aggregation and thrombosis. Theoretically, lycopene may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba, and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Lycopene may also interact with herbs or supplements taken for cancer, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol and those that alter the body's immune response.
It has been suggested that when lycopene and soy isoflavones are taken together, the potential benefits of both supplements may be negated.
In theory, lycopene may interact with herbs that affect fertility, but this potential interaction has not been thoroughly studied.