Lycopene inhibits disease progression in patients with benign prostate hyperplasia

Author(s): Schwarz S,Obermüller-Jevic UC, Hellmis E, Koch W, Jacobi G, et al.

Abstract

Lycopene is a promising nutritional component for chemoprevention of prostate cancer (PCa). A possibly beneficial role of lycopene in patients diagnosed with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH), who are at increased risk of developing PCa, has been suggested, although clinical data are lacking. Therefore, this pilot study aimed to investigate the effects of lycopene supplementation in elderly men diagnosed with BPH. A total of 40 patients with histologically proven BPH free of PCa were randomized to receive either lycopene at a dose of 15 mg/d or placebo for 6 mo. The effects of the intervention on carotenoid status, clinical diagnostic markers of prostate proliferation, and symptoms of the disease were assessed. The primary endpoint of the study was the inhibition or reduction of increased serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. The 6-mo lycopene supplementation decreased PSA levels in men (P < 0.05), whereas there was no change in the placebo group. The plasma lycopene concentration increased in the group taking lycopene (P < 0.0001) but other plasma carotenoids were not affected. Whereas progression of prostate enlargement occurred in the placebo group as assessed by trans-rectal ultrasonography (P < 0.05) and digital rectal examination (P < 0.01), the prostate did not enlarge in the lycopene group. Symptoms of the disease, as assessed via the International Prostate Symptom Score questionnaire, were improved in both groups with a significantly greater effect in men taking lycopene supplements. In conclusion, lycopene inhibited progression of BPH.

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