Lycopene Protects the Lung Against Chronic Obstructive Lung Diseases (COPD)

By Kyle J. Norton

The lungs are a pair of organs located on either side of the chest (thorax) with a function to bring fresh oxygen into the body and remove the carbon dioxide and other waste gases from the body.

According to the statistics provided by the Lung Association over 3 million Canadians are affected by one of five serious respiratory diseases – asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, tuberculosis (TB), and cystic fibrosis.

In 2017, 28,600 Canadians were diagnosed with lung cancer, represented 14% of all new cancer cases. Lung cancer caused the death of 21,100 Canadians in the same year.

The exact causes of lung disease are not identified. However, epidemiological studies suggested
being overweight, smoking, family history, smoking are some of the most prevalent factors associated with the onset of the disease.

Most common lung diseases in North America including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, pulmonary hypertension, and cystic fibrosis.

Symptoms of lung disease are totally depending on the type of disease.

Most common diseases associated with allergic airway inflammation are
* Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the airway of the lung with recurring symptoms, such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The disease affects people of all ages, and mostly starts during childhood.

*Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the third leading cause of death in the US can be classified into
** Emphysema casued by damage to tissues of the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)associated with a long term and progressive condition cause of shortness of breath but depending to the stage of lung function.

** Chronic bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the lung’s bronchi that causes the increased production of mucus in the lung induced symptoms of difficulty breathing.

Lycopene is a phytochemical found in tomato 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 for the treatment of asthma researchers examined the effects of ascorbic acid (AA), carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, β-cryptoxanthin, α-carotene, β-carotene, and lycopene), retinol and α-tocopherol levels in Japanese patients with chronic obstructive lung diseases (COPD).

Based on the tested analysis, comapred to other phytochemicals, plasma AA level was significantly lower in of COPD subjects than that of healthy elderly people. 

Levels of plasma lycopene and total carotenoid levels associated with levels of antioxidant enzymes such as GSH content produced the host were significantly lower in COPD subjects comapred to those of healthy elderly people without affecting the redox markers such as GSSG, GSH/GSSG ratio associated with the oxidative stress in the lung tissues.

Lycopene and total carotenoid levels did not lower the marker of the levels of urinary 8-OHdG detected in COPD subjects compared to healthy elderly people.

In other words, increased the levels of lycopene and total carotenoid levels in the body may have a strong impact in reducing the risk of COPD

Based on the findings, researchers said, “COPD of Japanese patients may develop partly because of oxidative stress derived from a shortage of antioxidant nutrients, especially of AA and lycopene”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered a remedy for the prevention of COPD, 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) Antioxidant nutrients in plasma of Japanese patients with chronic obstructivepulmonary disease, asthma-COPD overlap syndrome and bronchial asthma by Kodama Y1, Kishimoto Y2, Muramatsu Y3, Tatebe J4, Yamamoto Y5, Hirota N3, Itoigawa Y1, Atsuta R1, Koike K1, Sato T1, Aizawa K5, Takahashi K1, Morita T4, Homma S3, Seyama K1, Ishigami A. (PubMed)