Micronutrients, neutraceutics and functional foodsTomato products and lycopene supplements: mandatory components in nutritional treatment of cancer patients?Müller, Nadine; Alteheld, Birgit; Stehle, PeterAuthor Information Department of Nutrition Science, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany Correspondence to Professor Dr Peter Stehle, Institut für Ernährungswissenschaft, Universität Bonn, Endenicher Allee 11-13, D-53115 Bonn, Germany Tel: +49 228 73 3680; fax: +49 228 73 3217; e-mail: [email protected] Abbreviations IGF-I: insulin-like growth factor I IGFBP-3: insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2003 - Volume 6 - Issue 6 - p 657-660 Buy Abstract Purpose of review This review presents the latest experimental and clinical research focussing on the relationship between the intake of tomato products and lycopene supplementation and carcinogenesis, with the aim of drawing conclusions for concepts of clinical nutritional support. Recent findings Apart from the preventative role of tomato products/lycopene intake there is evidence that oral supplementation of these compounds in cancer patients may also improve the biomarkers of carcinogenesis and reduce tumour growth. New experimental studies in animal models provide insights concerning the potential mechanism(s). Summary Although the first clinical trials are promising, it is too early to make final recommendations for nutritional therapy in cancer patients. Whether the bioactive compound in tomatoes is lycopene or whether other substrates contribute to the beneficial physiological effects is still unclear. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.