Latest on lycopene

What is the latest on lycopene and prostate cancer risk? If lycopene is beneficial, what dose should be taken?
—Gerard K. Nash, DO, Amarillo, Tex.

One of the first articles correlating the consumption of cooked tomatoes with prevention of prostate cancer was published in 1995 (J Natl Cancer Inst. 1995;87:1767-1776). Men who consumed two to four servings of tomato sauce per week had a 35% lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Uncooked tomato products did not carry the same beneficial effect. It has been assumed that the lycopene is providing the benefit.

No study of the chemopreventive effect of lycopene supplements has yet been done. A good review appears in Experimental Biology and Medicine (2002;227:869-880).
—David T. Noyes, MD (121-10)

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