Phytochemical Lycopene Detoxes the Liver Against Toxicity

By Kyle J. Norton

Human toxicity is a general term refers to any substance which causes harm to human health if inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Liver toxicity is a process that causes liver damage by reducing the function of the liver. 
Liver oxidative stress caused by a toxic substance such as an overdose of the supplement has been found to constitute most cases of acute liver damage.

The liver is the largest internal organ which not only filters the blood from the digestive system before passing them to other parts of the body but also plays a critical role in the production cholesterol, a waxy substance which aids digestion, builds cell membranes and produces vitamin D and steroid hormones.

Liver stress is a condition in which the function of the liver is partly reduced. Hepatic stress can be observed by the levels of liver stress-makers, including transaminases aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT).

Abnormal high levels of transaminases aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) are early indications of liver damage or injury.

Epidemiologically, drugs that induce liver injury are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anti-infective drugs (anti-tubercular drugs), anti-cancer drugs, hormonal drugs, immunosuppressive agents, sedative and neuropsychiatric drugs.

Acetaminophen according to study is the most form of medication that implicates drug-induced liver injury

However,  antibiotics are the class of drugs  that cause liver toxicity most commonly

Conventionally, treatment of liver toxicity is totally depending on the types of inducers, including
* Management of drug-induced liver injury by discontinuing the suspected drug.

Acetaminophen poisoning is treated by antidote N-acetylcysteine.

* Glucocorticoids are used for the treatment of the immune-mediated drug-induced liver injury.
And,
* Intravenous N- acetylcysteine is used for the treatment of non-acetaminophen-related acute liver failure

Lycopene is a phytochemical in the class of carotenoid, a natural pigment with no vitamin A activity found abundantly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons, and papayas,

Tomatoes provide about 80% of the lycopene in the world diet. In plants, lycopene protects the host against excessive photodamage and perform various functions in photosynthesis.

On finding a potential compound for the prevention of liver injury, researchers investigated the potential oxidative damage of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in hepatic microsomal fractions in an animal model.

The study included rat liver microsomes that were divided into four groups.
* Group I served as a control and is incubated with vehicle (toluene). 

* Groups II and IV incubated with 20 ┬ÁM lycopene for 1 h before further incubating; and

* Groups III and IV with 15 nM of TCDD for further 1 h.

Based on the tested analysis, groups treated by TCDD showed a significant increase in liver oxidative stress observed by increasing levels of Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production, lipid peroxidation (LPO), 

Protein carbonyl content and activities of uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronyltransferase (UDPGT) and P450 associated with liver damage also increased substantially in the TCDD treament groups.

Furthermore, the activity of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, glutathione-S-transferase, and glutathione reductase and the microsomal thiol content produced by the rat liver microsomes were significantly decreased in the TCDD treament groups.

Lycopene treatment group IV not only normalized the activities of the enzymes, thiol and carbonyl content but also significantly reduced LPO and H2O2 production.

These results suggested that TCDD  induced liver toxicity by increasing the levels of free radicals and decreasing the antioxidant activity in rat liver microsomes.
Based on the findings, researchers concluded, “TCDD induces significant oxidative stress in liver microsomes as manifested by increased LPO, H2O2 production, protein carbonyl content and activities of UDPGT and P450 and decreased antioxidant enzymes activities and thiol content”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of liver toxicity, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of lycopene in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Disilgold.com Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

Sources
(1) Lycopene: Hepatoprotective and Antioxidant Effects toward Bisphenol A-Induced Toxicity in Female Wistar Rats by Abdel-Rahman HG1, Abdelrazek HMA2, Zeidan DW3, Mohamed RM4, Abdelazim AM. (PubMed)
(2) Ameliorative effect of lycopene against 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin-induced rat liver microsomal toxicity: an in vitro study by Aly HA1, El-Shitany NA2, El-Beshbishy HA3, Ashour OM. (PubMed)
(3) Liver Toxicity by Anam Bashir, and Dhruv Mehta. (NCBI)