Lycopene is a compound found in tomato and grapefruit. It has been used as an antioxidant to slow damage to cells. Lycopene has also been used to lower blood pressure and fight off cancer cells. Lycopene can be taken as a pill or powder.
6 to 15 milligrams daily
What Research Shows
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
It is likely safe to take lycopene in small doses for a short time, but digestive upset is possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit their intake of lycopene.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
A. Cardiovascular Disease
A1. Cheng HM, Koutsidis G, et al. Tomato and lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 2017 Feb;257:100-108. A2. Song B, Liu K, et al. Lycopene and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep;61(9).
B. High Blood Pressure
B1. Li X, Xu J. Lycopene supplement and blood pressure: an updated meta-analysis of intervention trials. Nutrients. 2013;5(9):3696-3712.
C. High Cholesterol
C1. Ried K, Fakler P. Protective effect of lycopene on serum cholesterol and blood pressure: Meta-analyses of intervention trials. Maturitas. 2011 Apr;68(4):299-310.
D1. Lodi G, Franchini R, et al. Interventions for treating oral leukoplakia to prevent oral cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jul 29;7:CD001829.
E. Ovarian Cancer
E1. Li X, Xu J. Meta-analysis of the association between dietary lycopene intake and ovarian cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Sci Rep. 2014 May 9;4:4885.
F1. Tenório MB, Ferreira RC, et al. Oral antioxidant therapy for prevention and treatment of preeclampsia: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;28(9):865-876.
G. Prostate Cancer Prevention
G1. Ilic D, Forbes KM, et al. Lycopene for the prevention of prostate cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(11):CD008007.
G2. Wang Y, Cui R, et al. Effect of Carotene and Lycopene on the Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 15;10(9):e0137427.
G3. Cataño JG, Trujillo CG, et al. [Efficacy of lycopene intake in primary prevention of prostate cancer: a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis.] Arch Esp Urol. 2018;71(2):187-197.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/22/2020
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