• Antiatherosclerotic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antitumor
  • Cardioprotective
  • Gastroprotective
  • Heptoprotective
  • Neuroprotective
  • Immunity
Lycopene is a naturally occurring carotenoid found abundantly in red fruits and vegetables, especially tomatoes. It has potent antioxidant activity and has protective effects against cardiovascular diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, neurological disorders, and cancer. Because of its numerous health benefits, there has been an increased interest in lycopene in the medical field.

There has been a large amount of research conducted on the effects of adding lycopene to the diet of chickens, quail, and ducks. Lycopene’s anticancer properties may be of benefit for reducing tumor size in hens with ovarian cancer. Lycopene’s hepatoprotective (liver protection) properties are beneficial for reversing the harmful effects of aflatoxicosis in chickens and ducklings and fatty liver disease in hens. Lycopene was also helpful for chickens suffering from heat stress, enhancing fertility in roosters, and ascites syndrome in broilers.

Ovarian cancer: In laying hens, supplementation (200 to 400 mg lycopene/kg diet) significantly reduced ovarian tumor occurrence, and also the tumors’ size and number. In another study, lycopene consumption markedly decreased the metastatic load in a tumor-bearing rat model of ovarian carcinoma.

Lipid metabolism: Adding 100-400 mg/kg of lycopene to the diet of broilers helped alleviate abdominal fat deposition and decrease serum lipids levels, possibly through activating the AMPK signaling pathway, thereby regulating lipid metabolism such as lipogenesis. 20-80 mg/kg lycopene in the diet of laying hens helped regulate fat metabolism.

Liver protection: Adding 100-400 mg/kg of lycopene to the diet of ducks and broilers helped reverse the harmful effects of aflatoxins on hepatic and kidney tissue.

Heat stress: The addition of tomato powder (especially at 5% inclusion) in the diet of heat-stressed broiler chickens showed benefit for improving health by lowering serum cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in their bodies.

Fertility enhancement: Adding lycopene (5.0 g/L) to the drinking water of roosters helped improved their fertility by enhancing the semen volume as well as the live sperm content and viability.

Poultry Specific Studies

TypePlant PartDosageSpecific useResultsRef
Hens65-650 mg/kg dietegg qualitycan be incorporated into egg yolks, and at these dietary concentrations, -tocopherol and lycopene may not affect the immune system of the laying hen.J Olson et al., 2008
Hens200 to 400 mg/kg diet (26 to 52 mg/day/hen)antitumor, ovarian cancerSignificantly reduced the overall ovarian tumor incidence as well as the number and the size of the tumors. Significantly decreased the rate of adenocarcinoma, including serous and mucinous subtypes.K Sahin et al., 2018
Chickens5.0 g/L drinking waterfertility enhancementImproved the fertility of roosters by enhancing the semen volume as well as the live sperm content and viability Mangiagalli et al., 2010
Chickensheat stressMaintains oxidative balance in birds through various ways including serving as a free radical scavenger, inhibiting signalling pathways and activating host antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and catalase (CAT).M Arain et al., 2017
Hensantioxidant, ovary protectionEffectively ameliorated the oxidative stress in aging hen ovaries via the activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway.X Liu et al., 2018
Quail32.46 g/kg antioxidantshowed a significant increase in glucose (in T2, T3 and T4) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) levels in the supplement treatments as compared to the control and T2. Serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c) and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol (VLDL-c) levels were decreased significantly in all the treatments compared to the control. Additionally, the activity of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as well as malondialdehyde acid (MDA) concentration were decreased in all the treatments compared to the control. R Abbas et al., 2020
Hens20-80 mg/kg of diethepatoprotectiveAffected the expression of related genes, and this may be one of the reasons that lycopene can regulate fat metabolism.H Tian et al., 2020
Rodentshepatoprotective, Fatty liver diseaseAlleviated excessive hepatic lipid accumulation and enhanced lipolysis, decreased the proportion of M1-type macrophages/Kupffer cells, and activated stellate cells to improve hepatic inflammation and fibrosis, and subsequently reduced the recruitment of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the liver. Importantly, lycopene reversed insulin resistance, as well as hepatic inflammation and fibrosis.N Yinhua et al., 2020
Broilers100-400 mg/kg of diethepatoprotective, aflatoxicosisExhibited promising effects to overcome the deleterious effects of aflatoxins.M Sarker et al., 2021
Ducklings100 mg/kgantioxidant, aflatoxicosisCan be used to reverse the harmful effects of aflatoxins on hepatic and kidney tissue. S El-Sheshtawy et al., 2021
Rodents10 to 25 mg/kg bwneuroprotectiveProvided adequate protection against the neurotoxic effects on rat brain tissue function and structure through modulations of oxidative and antioxidant activities.S Farouk et al., 2021
Rodents10 mg/kghepatoprotectiveSignificantly decreased the EE-induced rise in the serum levels of total bile acid and total bilirubin as well as the activities of alanine aminotransaminase, aspartate aminotransaminase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transaminase. Moreover, lycopene reduced the hepatic levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and tumor necrosis factor- as well as the hepatic activity of myeloperoxidase that were markedly elevated by EE. Lycopene increased the hepatic levels of total protein and albumin and reduced glutathione. In addition, lycopene improved the hepatic histopathological changes induced by EE. These protective effects of lycopene were comparable to that of silymarinW Wadie et al., 2021
Broilers100-400 mg/kg of dietlipid metabolism, ascitesAlleviateed abdominal fat deposition and decrease serum lipids levels, possibly through activating the AMPK signaling pathway, thereby regulating lipid metabolism such as lipogenesis. X Wan et al., 2021
Broilers200-400 mg/kg dietantioxidant, cold-induced ascitesRestored the performance to levels of the positive control, lowered the index of right ventricles/total ventricles and ascites mortality. Birds reared under CT had lower serum activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and higher malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration than birds reared under the NT environment. With lycopene supplementation, serum MDA level significantly decreased and the activity of SOD and GPx increased. Blood concentration of haematocrit, haemoglobin and red blood cells were decreased by the highest lycopene supplementation to a level comparable to NT. Moreover, increasing dietary lycopene level suppressed serum concentrations of cholesterol and enhanced high-density lipoproteins levels in blood. In conclusion, lycopene supplementation alleviates adverse effects of cold stress on performance through modulating activity of antioxidant enzymes in broiler chickens.M Fathi et al., 2022
Broilerstomato powder5% of dietheat stressbeneficial for improved growth, health, and production cost with no adverse effect.O Olugbenga et al., 2022
Rodents100-200 mg/kg of dietovarian torsionReduced ovarian IR damage. Antioxidant activity was found to increase in a dose-dependent manner. Lycopene treatment may be conservative approach for ovarian torsion patients after the detorsion procedure to prevent IR damage.E Yilmaz et al., 2020