Effect of 12-Week Daily Intake of the High-Lycopene Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum), a Variety Named “PR-7”, on Lipid Metabolism: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study
Department of Medical Management and Informatics, Hokkaido Information University, Ebetsu, Hokkaido 069-8585, Japan
Plant Breeding & Experiment Station, Takii & Co., Ltd., Konan, Shiga 520-3231, Japan
Functional Food Factor Laboratory, Food Function Division, National Food Research Institute, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8517, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051177
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 22 May 2019 / Published: 25 May 2019
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a rich source of lycopene, a carotenoid that confers various positive biological effects such as improved lipid metabolism. Here, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group comparative study to investigate the effects of regular and continuous intake of a new high-lycopene tomato, a variety named PR-7, for 12 weeks, based on 74 healthy Japanese subjects with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels ≥120 to <160 mg/dL. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the high-lycopene tomato or placebo (lycopene-free tomato) group. Each subject in the high-lycopene group ingested 50 g of semidried PR-7 (lycopene, 22.0–27.8 mg/day) each day for 12 weeks, while subjects in the placebo group ingested placebo semidried tomato. Medical interviews were conducted, vital signs were monitored, body composition was determined, and blood and saliva samples were taken at weeks 0 (baseline), 4, 8, and 12. The primary outcome assessed was LDL-C. The intake of high-lycopene tomato increased lycopene levels in this group compared to levels in the placebo group (p < 0.001). In addition, high-lycopene tomato intake improved LDL-C (p = 0.027). The intake of high-lycopene tomato, PR-7, reduced LDL-C and was confirmed to be safe.