lycopene prevents osteoporosis and hip fracture

A powerful antioxidant better known for fighting cancer may also be powerful for fighting osteoporosis.

Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found abundantly in tomatoes that is best known for fighting cancer, perhaps especially prostate cancer.

But newly published research is suggesting a role for lycopene in fighting bone loss in menopausal women.

Studies have shown that carotenes can help maintain bone, including the very powerful carotene known as lycopene. A recent review of the existing literature has concluded that lycopene protects against bone loss.

The review found that the majority of epidemiological studies of either lycopene or tomato have found that lycopene prevents bone loss. One study found an association between getting more lycopene and less bone loss in the spine of older women. Another found protection against hip fractures. Studies have also shown that postmenopausal women with osteoporosis have lower levels of lycopene than postmenopausal women with healthy bones. But the role of lycopene starts even earlier: premenopausal women who get more lycopene already have greater bone mineral density.

Different models of studies suggest that lycopene may partially work by reducing osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone, and increasing osteoblast, the cells that build new bone.

This review of the research suggests that lycopene may play a valuable role in preserving bone health in later life and could help fight osteoporosis and help prevent fractures.


Int J Mol Sci 2020;21(19):7119


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