Potential Role of Lycopene in the Prevention of Postmenopausal Bone Loss: Evidence from Molecular to Clinical Studies

Umani S. Walallawita, Frances M. Wolber, Ayelet Ziv-Gal, Marlena C. Kruger, Julian A. Heyes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Osteoporosis is a metabolic bone disease characterized by reduced bone mineral density, which affects the quality of life of the aging population. Furthermore, disruption of bone microarchitecture and the alteration of non-collagenous protein in bones lead to higher fracture risk. This is most common in postmenopausal women. Certain medications are being used for the treatment of osteoporosis; however, these may be accompanied by undesirable side effects. Phytochemicals from fruits and vegetables are a source of micronutrients for the maintenance of bone health. Among them, lycopene has recently been shown to have a potential protective effect against bone loss. Lycopene is a lipid-soluble carotenoid that exists in both all-trans and cis-configurations in nature. Tomato and tomato products are rich sources of lycopene. Several human epidemiological studies, supplemented by in vivo and in vitro studies, have shown decreased bone loss following the consumption of lycopene/tomato. However, there are still limited studies that have evaluated the effect of lycopene on the prevention of bone loss in postmenopausal women. Therefore, the aim of this review is to summarize the relevant literature on the potential impact of lycopene on postmenopausal bone loss with molecular and clinical evidence, including an overview of bone biology and the pathophysiology of osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7119
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number19
StatePublished - Sep 27 2020


  • Bone
  • Lycopene
  • Osteoporosis
  • Postmenopause
  • Tomato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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