FDA questions if effect is from lycopene alone or tomato juice; Japanese concur
The tomato-lycopene link is made even more interesting because late last year the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave permission for some tomato products to carry highly-qualified labeling claims linking men's eating tomato products with a reduced incidence of prostate cancer. In reaching its decision, the FDA noted that it's unclear whether lycopene alone is responsible for the tomato products' effect.
Similarly, the Japanese researchers noted: "Since mice were given tomato juice instead of pure lycopene preparation, we can not exclude the possibility that other ingredients contained in tomato juice affected the results."
Model for further study of pathophysiology and therapeutic intervention
Kuniaki Seyama, coauthor and project leader for the study, said: "The study demonstrated that the SAMP1 strain is a useful model for cigarette-smoke induced emphysema and a valuable tool to explore both pathophysiologic mechanisms and the effect of therapeutic intervention on smoke-induced emphysema."
Seyama, who is an assistant professor at Juntendo, said the researchers started out to find a good animal model for studying smoking, which is a major health problem in Japan as well as globally. "The basic concept was to establish a mouse model. We looked at the senescence-accelerated mouse (SAM) because it reaches old age after normal development and maturation, and we believe that aging itself is an important component in emphysema."
Lycopene used because it's a naturally-occurring oxidant in food
Next, the researchers considered "what was the most important contributing factor in emphysema and we wanted to concentrate on oxidative stress for two reasons," Seyama said. "First is
Contact: Mayer Resnick
American Physiological Society