Lycopene May Protect Against Asthma

From Dr. Mercola

Lycopene, a carotenoid found in red-hued fruits and vegetables including tomatoes and others (see table below), seems to reduce the risk of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in some patients, Israeli researchers report.

Researchers studied 20 patients with EIA

* Patients were randomly assigned to receive a once-daily treatment of 30 mg of a lycopene supplement or an inactive placebo

* After one week of treatment, 55% of the patients given lycopene showed significant protection against EIA

* Patients taking the lycopene supplements had elevated blood levels of lycopene compared to the placebo group, and no changes were found in levels of other carotenoids or other antioxidants such as retinol (vitamin A) or tocopherols (vitamin E)

The researchers note that there is some evidence that dietary antioxidants protect against EIA and lycopene has been shown to be a potent antioxidant.

Researchers conclude “Our results indicate that a daily dose of lycopene exerts a protective effect against EIA in some patients, most probably through an in vivo antioxidative effect.”

Allergy, December, 2000; 55: 1184-1189