To evaluate and compare the hypoglycemic, antioxidant and hypolipidemic effect of lycopene with atorvastatin in hyperlipidemic New Zealand white rabbits

Sarita Mulkalwar, Bhalchandra Rane, Niranjan Munjal, Pravin Golande, Lopamudra Behera


Background: During recent years, the carotenoid lycopene has attracted much attention for its potentially beneficial cardiovascular effects, which is located mainly in tomato peels. The antioxidant properties of tomatoes has been extensively studied for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, but the beneficial effects of pure lycopene supplement is still debatable. Therefore, this study was planned to evaluate and compare the hypoglycemic, hypolipidemic and antioxidant effects of pure lycopene powder and to compare it with that of atorvastatin in hyperlipidemic New Zealand white rabbits.

Methods: Adult male New Zealand white rabbits (1.5-2.5 kg) were divided into three groups of six animals each. Group I - High fat diet (HFD) (5 ml/kg). Group II - HFD (5 ml/kg) + lycopene (10 mg/kg) orally. Group III - HFD (5 ml/kg) + atorvastatin (5 mg/kg) orally. Blood samples were taken from all 18 rabbits for baseline estimation of blood sugar levels (BSL), lipid levels and blood superoxide dismutase levels. Same tests were performed in all groups after 6 weeks.

Results: The lipid lowering activity of atorvastatin 5 mg/kg was better than that of lycopene while the antioxidant activity of lycopene was better than that of atorvastatin. Both the results were statistically significant. There was no significant difference in fasting BSLs in both the groups.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that lycopene may have considerable therapeutic benefit as an antioxidant and hypolipidemic agent, but may not be effective as a hypoglycemic agent.


Antioxidant, Superoxide dismutase, High fat diet

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