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Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

All-Trans Lycopene


Lycopene is a compound found in tomato and grapefruit. It has been used as an antioxidant to slow damage to cells. Lycopene has also been used to lower blood pressure and fight off cancer cells. Lycopene can be taken as a pill or powder.


6 to 15 milligrams daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Cardiovascular disease —likely to lower risk A1, A2
  • High blood pressure —likely to lower blood pressure B1
  • High cholesterol —likely to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol C1
  • Ovarian cancer —likely to lower risk E1

Unlikely to Be Effective

  • Preeclampsia —unlikely to prevent preeclampsia F1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Leukoplakia D1
  • Prostate cancer prevention G1-G3

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take lycopene in small doses for a short time, but digestive upset is possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should limit their intake of lycopene.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Cardiovascular Disease

A1. Cheng HM, Koutsidis G, et al. Tomato and lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 2017 Feb;257:100-108. A2. Song B, Liu K, et al. Lycopene and risk of cardiovascular diseases: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Sep;61(9).

B. High Blood Pressure

B1. Li X, Xu J. Lycopene supplement and blood pressure: an updated meta-analysis of intervention trials. Nutrients. 2013;5(9):3696-3712.

C. High Cholesterol

C1. Ried K, Fakler P. Protective effect of lycopene on serum cholesterol and blood pressure: Meta-analyses of intervention trials. Maturitas. 2011 Apr;68(4):299-310.

D. Leukoplakia

D1. Lodi G, Franchini R, et al. Interventions for treating oral leukoplakia to prevent oral cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Jul 29;7:CD001829.

E. Ovarian Cancer

E1. Li X, Xu J. Meta-analysis of the association between dietary lycopene intake and ovarian cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Sci Rep. 2014 May 9;4:4885.

F. Preeclampsia

F1. Tenório MB, Ferreira RC, et al. Oral antioxidant therapy for prevention and treatment of preeclampsia: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018;28(9):865-876.

G. Prostate Cancer Prevention

G1. Ilic D, Forbes KM, et al. Lycopene for the prevention of prostate cancer. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(11):CD008007.

G2. Wang Y, Cui R, et al. Effect of Carotene and Lycopene on the Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 15;10(9):e0137427.

G3. Cataño JG, Trujillo CG, et al. [Efficacy of lycopene intake in primary prevention of prostate cancer: a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis.] Arch Esp Urol. 2018;71(2):187-197.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 6/22/2020