tomatoLycoRed Ltd., Beer Sheva, Israel, released results of a USDA-funded study investigating the role of carotenoids and, particularly, tomato lycopene benefits in preventing osteoporosis.

In a study published in the online edition of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, researchers from Tufts University, Hebrew SeniorLife and Boston University followed subjects who had participated in the Framingham Osteoporosis Study more than 15 years ago.

The study subjects, 370 men and 576 women, completed a food-frequency questionnaire in 1988 to 1989 and were followed for hip fracture until 2005 and for non-vertebral fracture until 2003. Subjects with higher lycopene intake had lower risk of both hip fracture and non-vertebral fracture, leading the researchers to believe that lycopene may be protective against fractures in this population of elderly Caucasian men and women.

The author of the research claimed: “We found protective associations of total carotenoid and lycopene intake with hip fracture and non-vertebral osteoporotic fracture over 17 years of follow-up. We found those consuming greater than 4.4 servings per week of lycopene had significantly lower fractures.”

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research Published online ahead of print.