Listed in Issue 245


BERNAL and COLLEAGUES,  (1)Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology B and Immunology, Faculty of Chemistry, Spain evaluated the effect of lycopene consumption from tomato juice on liver metabolism in rats.


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common liver disorders, covering steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Dietary factors may modulate its evolution, and antioxidants have been proposed as therapeutic agents. Among them, lycopene has been demonstrated to prevent the development of steatohepatitis and even to inhibit NASH-promoted early hepatocarcinogenesis induced by a high-fat diet in rats. These conclusions have been related to its antioxidant activity; however, NAFLD is more complex than a simple redox imbalance state since it disturbs several metabolic systems in the liver. In consequence, there is a lack of information related to the action of lycopene beyond antioxidant biomarkers.


In this work, NAFLD was induced in rats using a hypercholesterolemic and high-fat diet to evaluate the effect of lycopene consumption from tomato juice on liver metabolism. Several classical antioxidant biomarkers related to NAFLD were measured to check the state of this disease after 7 weeks of the controlled diet. Moreover, a metabolomics platform was applied to measure more than 70 metabolites.


Results showed clear differences in the classical antioxidant biomarkers as well as in the metabolic pattern, attending not only to the diet but also to the intake of lycopene from tomato juice. Interestingly, tomato juice administration partially reverted the metabolic pattern from a high-fat diet to a normal diet even in metabolites not related to the redox state, which could lead to new targets for therapeutic agents against NAFLD and to achieving a better understanding of the role of lycopene in liver metabolism.



Bernal C(1), Martín-Pozuelo G, Lozano AB, Sevilla A, García-Alonso J, Canovas M,  Periago MJ. Lipid biomarkers and metabolic effects of lycopene from tomato juice on liver of  rats with induced hepatic steatosis. J Nutr Biochem. 24(11):1870-81. Nov 2013. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2013.05.003. Epub Aug 21 2013.  


The above study indicate that lycopene from tomato juice was able to partially revert the metabolic pattern in rats from a high-fat diet to a normal diet, suggesting this could lead to new approaches to Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

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