Can a lycopene-rich diet improve symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Lycopene is an important nutrient. According to a study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, pairing it with a healthy diet results in greater recuperation from the symptoms of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

  • The authors of the study grouped rats into two. For four weeks, one group followed a normal diet while the other was given a high-fat diet to induce NAFLD.
  • After the four-week period, the NAFLD group was then further divided into two groups:
    • A normal diet (ND)
    • A normal diet and lycopene
  • After four weeks, the rats with NAFLD were examined for changes. Both groups – the one that received lycopene and that one that didn’t – partially reverted in terms of liver weight, serum low-density lipoproteins (LDL), hepatic total cholesterol (TC), and catalytic activity of hepatic superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, as well as macroscopic and microscopic images of livers.
  • However, the ones in the lycopene group showed more significant recuperation in liver weight, hepatic TC, serum LDL, and, in some instances, macroscopic and microscopic images of livers.

The researchers concluded that lycopene, when taken together with a healthy diet, can protect the liver from NAFLD, but they admitted that further studies are needed to support their finding.

Learn how lycopene benefits the body at

Journal Reference:

Piña-Zentella RM, Rosado JL, Gallegos-Corona MA, Madrigal-Pérez LA, García OP, Ramos-Gomez M. LYCOPENE IMPROVES DIET-MEDIATED RECUPERATION IN RAT MODEL OF NONALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER DISEASE. Journal of Medicinal Food. 7 June 2016;19(6):607–614. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0123

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