Tomato Lycopene May Affect the IGF-System

Results of a study published in the November 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that supplementing the diet with tomato lycopene may interfere with the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system and thereby possibly decrease cancer risk.

This eight week double-blind study, funded by the Dutch Cancer Society, investigated the effect of supplementation with 30 mg/day of tomato lycopene on serum concentrations of IGF-I and -II which are associated with increased prostate, premenopausal breast, and colorectal cancer risk, and on their binding proteins (IGFBP-1, -2, and -3).  Seventy-six men and women at greater risk of colorectal cancer participated in this trial using tomato lycopene capsules supplied by LycoRed Ltd., Israel.

“This is the first study known to show that lycopene supplementation may increase circulating IGFBP-1 and IGFBP-2 concentrations, thereby potentially decreasing IGF-I bioavailability.” stated researcher Alina Vrieling of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. “Thus, it may provide a means of ultimately reducing colorectal cancer risk, and potentially the risks of other major cancers such as prostate and premenopausal breast cancer”.  These results would be particularly relevant for those at greatest risk of cancer.

Commenting on the role of tomato lycopene in cancer preventive health care, Vrieling stated “This research is interesting, and we hope to see the results confirmed in larger randomised intervention studies.”

For more information please contact: LycoRed Ltd. www.lycored.com.

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