News

Lycopene linked to healthier blood vessels

August 3, 2009

Higher levels of lycopene in the blood are associated with lower stiffness in the arteries, a South Korean study reports.

According to the study results, women with the highest average lycopene blood levels had the lowest arterial stiffness values compared to people with the lowest average lycopene blood levels (1). Furthermore, these women also had lower oxidized low-density lipoprotein ( LDL ) levels, as well as larger LDL particles.

Oxidation of LDLs is thought to play an important role in the development of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Increasing LDL's resistance to oxidation is thought to possibly delay the progression of the disease. The study finding suggests that high blood serum concentrations of lycopene may play an important role in preventing the development of atherosclerosis, supporting the heart health benefits of the carotenoid.

References

  1. Yoe H. Y. et al. Independent inverse relationship between serum lycopene concentration and arterial stiffness. Atherosclerosis, 2009.