Submitted to: Nutrition Reviews
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Mein, J.R., Lian, F., Wang, X. 2008. Biologic Activity of Lycopene Metabolites: Implications for Cancer Prevention. Nutrition Reviews. 66(12): 667-683. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: While early studies focused on the potential roles in health and disease of provitamin A carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, research over the past decade has provided a framework for our understanding of the functions of non-provitamin A carotenoids such as lycopene, especially in regards to its association with a reduced risk of a number chronic disease, including cancers. Significant progress in understanding the mechanisms of lycopenes mutifaceted actions against cancer development has been made. Recent data implicates that lycopene metabolites may possess specific biological activities on several important cellular signaling pathways and molecular targets. These new data lead us to believe that the functions of lycopene are mediated by its biological metabolites. This notion has been reinforced by the observation of benefical and detrimental effects of carotenoid metabolites in cancer prevention. Carotenoid metabolites may have more important biological roles than their parent compounds in human health and disease.