Tomato Lycopene And Prostate Health

As men get older the risk of prostate disease increases. This can range from benign prostate enlargement to aggressive prostate cancer. While prostate enlargement is common in men aged over 50. It is not a cancer and it is not normally a serious threat to health. Do not worry that having an enlarged prostate means you have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. – the risk of getting prostate cancer is probably no more for men with an enlarged prostate than it is for men without this problem.

If you have a close male relative, such as your father or brother, with prostate cancer you are at a higher risk. So, your son/s are also at a somewhat higher risk. One of the most common tests for this problem is a blood PSA test (Protein-Specific Antigen) – though this test can be unreliable (a high PSA level is not necessarily due to prostate cancer).

LYCOPENE (the red colour in tomatoes) is known to accumulate in the prostate and there is evidence that tomato lycopene can help either those established prostate disease or those at a higher risk. A trial at Kings College Hospital, London, used Lycoplus (10mg tomato, bio-available, Lycopene per day), all the men on the trial had established prostate cancer, average age 70, average PSA 23ng/ml PSA counts were monitored during and at the end of the trial.

The Trial Results (published in the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases): Showed 70% of those on the trial had a significant reduction in the PSA rate or an actual fall – the urologists running the trial reported ‘Our clinical study lends weight to the probability that dietary supplementation from Lycopene [from Lycoplus] slows disease progression in men with prostate cancer’. The reason why 7 out of 10 men showed an improvement and 3 showed no improvement is not explained in this work. We believe that some men are unable to take up sufficient and so a higher dose may well have increased the number who would have benefited. This is one of the reasons why we have increased to dose of lycopene in Lycoplus capsules, since this trial, from 10mg to 15mg/capsule. 

Another trial comes from America – Omer Kucuk (Professor of Oncology, Detroit, USA) studied men with existing prostate cancer who were to have radical prostatectomy. The Trial Results, (published in The American Institute of Cancer Research) showed of those who took lycopene ⅔ had the cancer confined to the prostate and 80% had tumour volumes of about 4 ml. While for those who did not, less than half had the cancer confined to the prostate and about half had tumours of volume over 4 ml. These results suggest the tumours in the patients who took lycopene showed signs of regression and decreased malignancy. Professor Kucuk said ‘Lycopene from tomato extract may not only prevent prostate cancer but may also be useful to treat prostate cancer’.

So. what about those currently free of the disease but possibly at higher risk? Here, we believe the results of a large, on-going, trial from the USA is important. Professor Edward Giovannucci, (Harvard Medical School), started a trial in 1986 to follow the progression of 50,000 men, investigating the relationship between the incidence of prostate cancer and lycopene intake. In a recent paper (published in The Journal of National Cancer Institute – published by Oxford University Press), he concludes: ‘Dietary intake of lycopene was associated with reduced risk of prostate cancer, especially lethal prostate cancer’.

We could stop there or include what follows, on balance I think I would include it if only to ‘balance’ the huge sections on other diseases:
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY: As well as medical/scientific evidence there are frequent articles in major newspapers on the benefits of tomato lycopene – Typically:

Tomato feast may keep prostate tumours away – THE TIMES


Tomato pills that could fight prostate cancer – DAILY MAIL (on line)


Tomato pill to save your life – a cancer-fighting extract found in tomatoes – DAILY TELEGRAPH


Lycopene’s effect on preventing cancer of the prostate is near miraculous – THE TIMES:

WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY: Of course, we cannot divulge the names and addresses of customers. However, we get dozens and dozens of letters, e mails and phone calls telling us of the success of Lycoplus. Often these tell us of a rising PSA value being stabilised or sometimes actually falling.

While the small trials indicate the benefits of tomato lycopene for those men with established prostate cancer more research and trials would be worthwhile. But, many are not waiting but are taking lycopene-rich tomato extracts such as Lycoplus to reduce the risk of prostate disease and, we believe, mitigating the disease if it is already present.

Nevertheless, many men not waiting for the full scientific explanation are taking lycopene-rich tomato extracts such as LYCOPLUS in the fight against prostate cancer.