Respect for your privacy is our priority

The cookie is a small information file stored in your browser each time you visit our web page.

Cookies are useful because they record the history of your activity on our web page. Thus, when you return to the page, it identifies you and configures its content based on your browsing habits, your identity and your preferences.

You may accept cookies or refuse, block or delete cookies, at your convenience. To do this, you can choose from one of the options available on this window or even and if necessary, by configuring your browser.

If you refuse cookies, we can not guarantee the proper functioning of the various features of our web page.

For more information, please read the COOKIES INFORMATION section on our web page.


French research team investigates lycopene

04/07/2019 - François-Xavier Branthôme
Compound found in tomato skins might ward off diabetes

Research funded by the French government has shown that lycopene fights the inflammatory process that causes the condition. Now a Euro 500,000 (USD 568,000) research project is being planned to produce a modified lycopene pill to be used in human trials. 

 The French team led by Dr. Jean-Francois Landrier, director of the French National Health Research Institute’s cardiovascular and nutritional health division at Marseille University, has shown that lycopene dampens down this inflammatory process and slows the development of resistance to insulin signalling. “We know that inflammation in fat cells called adipocytes, is strongly linked to insulin resistance,” he said. “After we found that lycopene activates an anti-inflammatory effect in adipocytes, we thought it could probably have an effect on insulin resistance – and it does. [...] We were one of the first groups to show this effect, and it has now been backed up by a number of other studies,” added Landrier.
His group is now identifying which lycopene compound is most effective and most easily absorbed by the body with a view to setting up large-scale human studies using diabetic patients.

The most common type 2 form of the disease develops as a result of an inflammatory reaction which occurs in the fatty tissue of people who are overweight. This leads to a breakdown in the insulin signaling mechanism designed to prevent a toxic build-up of glucose in the blood, which can have fatal consequences.

An NHS England report which was published in April stated that treating diabetes and its complications costs £10 billion a year. At least four million Brits – and 1 in 10 of those over the age of 40 – suffer from diabetes, which leads to heart disease, blindness, limb amputation and premature death. That’s why Dr. Miriam Ferrer, who is an in-house scientist for FutureYou Cambridge, a UK company which has already developed a lycopene supplement called “Ateronon”, said this most recent discovery is “exciting”.
From research with Cambridge and Harvard Universities, we are aware of the anti-inflammatory properties of our lycopene or ‘tomato pill’, as it is generally known, could be beneficial in treating diabetes which is one of the biggest drains on NHS resources,” she said.
All the lycopene work so far has been in cells or pre-clinical settings,” she added. “The prospect of now moving on to human trials is very exciting.”

Georg Lietz, professor of international nutrition at Newcastle University, said much more work is needed to prove that a lycopene supplement really can produce benefits, but it will be an exciting new body of research for diabetes treatments.
It does potentially have an anti-inflammatory effect, there’s some evidence it can have an impact on the development of obesity and there is a clear link with its benefits in reducing the damage of cardiovascular disease,” said Lietz. “At the moment we don’t have much understanding of its impact on adipose [fat] tissue, and this research will be interesting.”






Supporting partners
Featured company
RojinTaak Agro Industries Co.
Most popular news
Featured event
14th World Processing Tomato Congress & 16th ISHS Symposium on the Processing Tomato
Our supporting partners