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Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana

versión impresa ISSN 0325-2957


VITALE, Arturo Alberto; BERNATENE, Eduardo Alberto  y  POMILIO, Alicia Beatriz. Carotenoids in chemoprevention: Lycopene. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.2, pp. 195-238. ISSN 0325-2957.

Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of carotenoids, which provide health benefits reducing the risk of several diseases, including certain cancers, cardiovascular and eye diseases, supported by extensive epidemiologic observation. Carotenoids that have been studied in this regard are b-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. The rapid and large amount of experimental evidence has established that a diet containing tomato or products based on tomato results in a decrease of several types of cancer. This fact has stimulated extensive laboratory and clinical research as well as much commercial and public enthusiasm. However, evidence is controversial. The work of these authors on antioxidant compounds, especially in structural and bioactivity terms, has led to analyse whether the beneficial effects of lycopene are primarily due to its antioxidant properties or other possible mechanisms may be involved, such as the modulation of gap junctional intercellular communications, hormonal and immune systems, and metabolic pathways. In this paper, structural points of view, the antioxidant activity of lycopene, its content in tomatoes, other bioactive components, the possible mechanisms of action and their impact on prostate, colon, breast and endometrium cancer are discussed, according to case-control, cohort and epidemiological studies.

Palabras clave : Carotenoids; Lycopene; Antioxidants; Chemoprevention; Tomato.

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