Serum lycopene concentrations and associations with clinical outcomes in a cohort of maternal-infant dyads

Corrine Hanson, Elizabeth Lyden, Jeremy Furtado, Matthew Van Ormer, Kimberly White, Nina Overby, Ann Anderson-Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress has been associated with adverse neonatal outcomes, and many carotenoids, including lycopene, potentially have antioxidant properties. The objective of this analysis was to explore the associations between serum lycopene concentrations, including lycopene isomers, and maternal-newborn outcomes. Maternal and cord blood samples were collected in 180 mother-infant pairs. Serum of total lycopene as well as the cis- and trans-isomers concentrations were measured using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography). Descriptive statistics were calculated; Spearman coefficients were used to assess correlations between maternal and cord concentrations. The relationship between lycopene concentration and outcomes were evaluated with linear and logistic regression models, with adjustment for relevant confounders. A p ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Maternal and cord serum lycopene concentrations were positively correlated for total lycopene (r = 0.30, p < 0.0001), cis-lycopene (r = 0.29, p = 0.0002); and trans-lycopene (r = 0.32, p < 0.0001). Maternal concentrations of cis-lycopene were significantly lower in mothers whose infants developed respiratory distress syndrome compared to those who did not (0.336 ± 0.171 vs. 0.445 ± 0.238 µmol/L, p = 0.04) and also in mothers whose babies were admitted to the newborn intensive care unit compared to those who were not (0.380 ± 0.202 vs. 0.458 ± 0.244 µmol/L, p = 0.04). Conversely, cord concentrations of trans-lycopene were significantly higher in infants who developed RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) (0.023 ± 0.012 vs. 0.016 ± 0.012, p = 0.007 for RDS vs. no RDS), and a similar pattern was seen NICU admission (0.023 ± 0.016 vs. 0.015 ± 0.009 µmol/L for NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit) admission vs. no NICU admission, p = 0.007). Maternal concentrations of total and cis-lycopene were positively associated with infant birth weight, length and head circumference after adjustment for relevant confounders. As serum carotenoids, including lycopene, are modifiable by diet, future research determining the clinical impact of these compounds is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number204
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 13 2018


  • Carotenoid
  • Lycopene
  • Neonatal growth
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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