The Effects of Chronic Lycopene Supplementation on Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress and Glucose Homeostasis

CM McClean, R McGovern, A Shafat, L Lynch, J McEneny, GW Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lycopene can exert antioxidant effects against peripheral and cellular oxidative stress and may be associated with reduced diabetic risk. Conversely, exercise-induced free radicals are thought to underpin many of the desirable whole-body adaptations following training and the use of antioxidants within the exercise model remains debatable. PURPOSE: To investigate the effect of lycopene supplementation on oxidative stress and glucose homeostasis following acute aerobic exercise. METHOD: Twenty-eight (n=28) apparently healthy male volunteers were recruited (age 24 ± 4 years; weight 78 ± 10 kg; height 178 ± 8 cm; 2max 40 ± 7 ml·kg-1 ·min-1 ) in a randomised, single blind, placebo-controlled study. Participants were required to attend the Laboratory on two occasions: prior to and following 6 weeks of supplementation of either 10mg lycopene (LG; n=15) or placebo (PG; n=13) followed by a bout of acute exercise for one hour at 65% 2max. Exogenous glucose oxidation was then measured on a isotope ratio mass spectrometer in a sub-group of participants (n=14) following exercise, by administration of a standard oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 75g glucose). Venous blood samples were drawn for measurement of oxidative stress parameters, plasma glucose and insulin. RESULTS: Plasma lycopene increased in LG only (0.01 ± 0.004 vs.0.02 ± 0.007 µmol/L; P 0.05, respectively). A main effect for an increase in insulin was observed two hours post OGTT in the sub-groups (Pooled data, P 0.05) and an 11% decrease for PG (2.17 ± 1.06 vs. 1.94 ± 1.53; P >0.05). No change in plasma glucose was detected at any point, or after the OGTT (P >0.05). CONCLUSION: In healthy males, lycopene supplementation had no effect on post exercise levels of ROS or markers of lipid peroxidation, despite an increase in plasma lycopene. However, lycopene supplementation may affect post exercise insulin sensitivity in response to glucose consumption, but further parallel research is required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number5S
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 29 May 2014


  • Exercise
  • Free Radicals
  • Antioxidants
  • Stable Isotope


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