Insufficient Lycopene Intake Is Associated With High Risk of Prostate Cancer: A Cross-Sectional Study From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2010)

You Lu, Xavier University of Louisiana
Andrea Edwards, Xavier University of Louisiana
Zhong Chen, Xavier University of Louisiana
Tung Sung Tseng, LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans
Mirandy Li, LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans
Gabrielle V. Gonzalez, LSU Health Sciences Center- New Orleans
Kun Zhang, Xavier University of Louisiana


Although lycopene intake and risk of prostate cancer have been explored for decades, recent studies show that Non-Hispanic Black Prostate Cancer (PCa) patients benefit less than Non-Hispanic White patients from a lycopene intake intervention program. This study examined whether a lycopene intake-related racial disparity exists in reducing the risk of PCa in healthy adults. Data on healthy, cancer-free Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) men (n = 159) and Non-Hispanic White (NHW) men (n = 478) from the 2003 to 2010 NHANES dataset were analyzed. Total lycopene intake from daily diet, age, living status, race/ethnicity, education level, poverty income ratio, body mass index, and smoking status were studied as independent variables. The combination of total Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) level and the ratio of free PSA was set as criteria for evaluating the risk of PCa. Multivariable logistic regression was used in race-stratified analyses to compute odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) comparing high PCa risk with low PCa risk. We found, in the whole population, race/ethnicity was the only factor that influenced lycopene intake from the daily diet. NHB men consumed less lycopene than NHW men (3,716 vs. 6,487 (mcg), p = 0.01). Sufficient lycopene intake could reduce the risk of PCa (OR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.18–0.85, p = 0.02). Men aged between 66 and 70 had high PCa risk (OR: 3.32, 95% CI: 1.12–9.85, p = 0.03). Obesity served as a protective factor against the high risk of PCa (OR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.12–0.54, p = 0.001). NHW men aged between 66 and 70 had a high risk of PCa (OR: 4.01, 95% CI: 1.02–15.73, p = 0.05). Obese NHW men also had lower risk of PCa (OR: 0.18, 95% CI: 0.07–0.47 p = 0.001). NHB men had a high risk of PCa compared to NHW men (OR: 2.27, 95% CI: 1.35–3.81 p = 0.004). NHB men who were living without partners experienced an even higher risk of PCa (OR: 3.35, 95% CI: 1.01–11.19 p = 0.07). Sufficient lycopene intake from daily food could serve as a protector against PCa. Such an association was only observed in NHW men. Further studies are needed to explore the dose-response relationship between lycopene intake and the association of PCa risk in NHB men.