Data from 30 twentysomethings revealed that a daily glass of 280 mL of tomato juice containing 32.5 mg of lycopene was associated with an average reduction in waist circumference of 1.6 cm and a 0.5 kg reduction in body weight.
The tomato juice supplements were associated with a 22% decrease in levels of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), a potent marker of inflammation, and a 25% increase in adiponectin levels, according to findings published in Nutrition. Adiponectin is a hormone released from fat cells, which plays an important role in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and energy.
Lycopene is an antioxidant that is present in red- and pink-colored fruits and vegetables. As well as being used as a food coloring, it is also used in supplements. The role of lycopene in heart health and in reducing the risk of metabolic diseases and certain cancers is supported by a body of research.
“In this study, we showed that, in young healthy Taiwanese women, tomato juice supplementation resulted in a decrease not only in adiposity indices, peroxidative stress, and serum cholesterol levels, but also in levels of the inflammatory adipokine MCP-1, and an increase in levels of the anti-inflammatory adipokine adiponectin,” wrote the researchers from the China Medical University in Taiwan.
The researchers recruited 30 young generally healthy women and assigned them all to receive a daily glass of tomato juice for eight weeks. There was no control or placebo group, and the women were told to continue their normal diet and exercise schedule. Twenty-five women completed the study.
Results showed that, despite no changes in overall food intakes, the women displayed significant reductions in body weight, body fat, waist circumference, and BMI. Reductions in cholesterol and MCP-1 levels were also observed, while significant increases in levels of adiponectin, triglyceride, and lycopene were observed for the women.
“Chronic inflammation of adipose tissue is frequently observed in obesity and is alleviated by body fat reduction, while MCP-1 secretion by adipose tissue stimulates macrophage infiltration and increases inflammation,” wrote the researchers.
“Lycopene has been shown to modulate adipokine expression and secretion in animals and cell culture. In line with this notion, this dietary intervention trial demonstrated that tomato juice supplementation shifts circulating adipokine levels towards an anti-inflammatory profile. Moreover, this response was independent of the tomato juice-induced anti-adiposity effect.”
The researchers noted that a lack of placebo group is a weakness of the study, and added that because the women were of normal/healthy weight it is not possible to extend the findings to overweight and obese individuals.
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.11.008
“Tomato juice supplementation in young women reduces inflammatory adipokine levels independently of body fat reduction”
Authors: Y-F. Li, Y-Y. Chang, H-C. Hunag, Y-C. Wu, M-D. Yang, P-M. Chao