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Tomato paste rich in lycopene protects against cutaneous photoda

Background:  We examined whether tomato paste - rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant – can protect human skin against UVR-induced effects partially mediated by oxidative stress, i.e. erythema, matrix changes and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage.

Methods:  In a randomised controlled study, 20 healthy females (mean 33 yrs, range 21–47; phototype I/II) ingested 55g tomato paste (16mg lycopene) in olive oil, or olive oil alone, daily for 12 weeks. Pre- and post-supplementation, UVR-erythemal sensitivity was assessed visually as the minimal erythema dose (MED) and quantified with a reflectance instrument. Biopsies were taken from unexposed and UVR-exposed (3xMED 24h earlier) buttock skin pre- and post-supplementation, and analysed immunohistochemically for procollagen (pC)-1, fibrillin-1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, and for mtDNA 3895bp deletion by qPCR.

Results:  Mean erythemal D0.03 was significantly higher following tomato paste versus control (baseline, 26.5±7.5 mJ/cm2; control, 23±6.6 mJ/cm2; tomato paste, 36.6±14.7 mJ/cm2; p=0.03), while the MED was not significantly different between groups (baseline, 35.1±9.9 mJ/cm2; control, 32.6±9.6 mJ/cm2; tomato paste, 42.2±11.3 mJ/cm2). Pre-supplementation, UVR induced an increase in MMP-1 (p=0.01) and a reduction in fibrillin-1 (p=0.03). Post-supplementation, UVR-induced MMP-1 was reduced in the tomato paste versus control group (p=0.04), while the UVR-induced reduction in fibrillin-1 was similarly abrogated in both groups, and an increase in pCI deposition was seen following tomato paste (p=0.05). MtDNA 3895bp deletion following 3xMED UVR was significantly reduced post-supplementation with tomato paste (p=0.01).

Conclusions:  Tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer term aspects of photodamage.

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This article was published on Tuesday October 05, 2010.
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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.10057.x/citedby