Lycopene Protects the Kidney and Heart Cells Against Nephrotoxicity and Cardiotoxicity

By Kyle J. Norton

Nephrotoxicity is toxicity in the kidneys associated with reduced function of the kidney due to toxic chemicals, and medications.

The kidneys are essential bean shape organ of our body, located just below the rib cage, one on each side of your spine.

Kidneys play a critical role in filtering blood with billions of glomeruli by separating the cells of blood from plasma and reabsorb back substances, and secret waste such as urea and ammonium are stored into pelvis then into the ureter to the bladder.
Furthermore, kidneys also process the functions that regulate electrolytes, blood pressure, maintains acid-base balance, produces hormone calcitriol, renin, and erythropoietin, etc. 
In the urinary system, the kidney also reabsorbed back substances into the blood, while others waste, such as urea and ammonium are stored into pelvis then into the ureter to the bladder.
Most common symptoms of nephrotoxicity decreased urine output, fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet, weakness, fatigue, and irregular heartbeat.
In severe cases, patients may also experience symptoms of shortness of breath, and confusion.
Cardiotoxicity, on the other hand, is toxicity in the heart associated with reduced heart muscle capacity in the blood circulation due to toxic chemicals, and medications.

The heart, a four-chambered, hollow muscle and double acting pump that is located in the chest between the lungs is a muscular organ in the human body processed the function that pumps blood through the blood vessels of the circulatory system to nourish the body and assist in the removal of metabolic wastes.

According to the statistic provided by the American Heart Foundation, on average, an American dies of CVD every 38 seconds. In 2016, cardiovascular diseases cause the death of 2,303 deaths each day, in the US.
Compared to nephrotoxicity, patients with cardiotoxicity may have symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath on exertion, worsening to shortness of breath at rest, discomfort lying on your back and welling of the ankles.

Lycopene is a phytochemical in the class of carotenoid, a natural pigment with no vitamin A activity found abundantly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons, and papayas,

Tomatoes provide about 80% of the lycopene in the world diet. In plants, lycopene protects the host against excessive photodamage and perform various functions in photosynthesis.

On finding a potential compound which processes cardio and nephroprotective effects, researchers examined the effects of lycopene against the toxic effects of Aflatoxin B1(AFB1) exposure in kidney and heart of experimental rats.

A total of 42 healthy three-month-old male Wistar-Albino rats were randomly divided into six experimental groups including 7 rats in each as following control group, lycopene (5 mg/kg/day, orally for 15 days) group, AFB1 (0.5 mg/kg/day, orally for 7 days) group, AFB1 (1.5 mg/kg/day, orally for 3 days) group, AFB1 (0.5 mg/kg/day, orally for 7 days) + lycopene (5 mg/kg/day, orally for 15 days) group and AFB1(1.5 mg/kg/day, orally for 3 days) + lycopene (5 mg/kg/day, orally for 15 days) group.

Compared to AFB1 and according to the tested analysis, the elevated levels of malondialdehyde (MDA) levels associated with oxidative stress markers were significantly decreased in the lycopene treatment group.

The reduced levels of antioxidant enzymes in the AFB1 group such as glutathione (GSH), glutathione-S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) activities were increased substantially in kidney and heart tissues upon the injection of lycopene.

Furthermore, the non-enzymatic antioxidant system in AFB treated rats that cause the rise of oxidative stress in the rat kidney and heart were also inhibited by administration of lycopene.
Moreover, lycopene also inhibited the increased urea, creatinine levels, and reduced-sodium concentrations in plasma of AFB1 treated rats.
Based on the findings, researchers said, “There was lycopene showed protection against AF induced nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of osteoporotic fractures, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of lycopene in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Aflatoxin B1 induced renal and cardiac damage in rats: Protective effect of lycopene by Yilmaz S1, Kaya E2, Karaca A2, Karatas O. (PubMed)
(2) Effect of lycopene on doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity: an echocardiographic, histological and morphometrical assessment by Anjos Ferreira AL1, Russell RM, Rocha N, Placido Ladeira MS, Favero Salvadori DM, Oliveira Nascimento MC, Matsui M, Carvalho FA, Tang G, Matsubara LS, Matsubara BB. (PubMed)