Lycopene-Rich Tomato Paste Shows Skin Health Benefits

September 28, 2010

New research published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggests that lycopene could protect the skin from UV damage.

New research published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggests that lycopene could protect the skin from UV damage.

Researchers in England assigned 20 healthy women to either 55 g of tomato paste (16 mg lycopene) in olive oil or olive oil alone daily for 12 weeks. Before and after supplementation, biopsies were conducted on skin exposed to ultra-violet (UV) rays and unexposed. Skin health biomarkers that were measured included fibrillin-1 and procollagen-1, which help to form skin elasticity; matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), which degrades collagen; and 3895bp DNA, which has been shown to decrease after UV exposure.

Upon UV exposure, MMP-1 increased while fibrillin-1 decreased; but after supplementation with the tomato paste, MMP-1 decreased and fibrillin increased.

Supplementation with the lycopene-rich treatment also reduced the DNA depletion while increasing procollagen, compared to placebo.

These results brought the researchers to conclude that “Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer-term aspects of photodamage.”

To view the study abstract, click here.