30 Apr 2018

Lycopene inhibits Chlamydia? Declining IGG after 30 days in vivo


Hi together,

i would be very interested what the more informed members here say to this research article?
Is that a revolutionary alternative treatment option? Or could this make things worse?

What do you think?


Thanks and best regards


The clinical findings might just be regression to the mean: they selected patients with high IgG to dose with lycopene, and when you select patients with a high anything, you can expect the average value to be lower at followup, just because of randomness.  (No, there was no placebo group.)

As for the in vitro findings, the first thing one has to do in reading a paper like this is to look at the concentrations used.  There are just tons of papers which show some effect of some substance, but only at an impractically high concentration, and where they never state outright that the concentration is impractically high.  In this case they used two different formulations of lycopene, one in DMSO and the other in cyclodextrin.  (Lycopene doesn't dissolve in water, so they needed to use something to get it into solution.  Likewise, when cooking tomatoes, add some oil to get the lycopene out of them.)  The weird thing is that the two concentrations were wildly different from each other: with DMSO, the lycopene was about at a part per million, whereas with the cyclodextrin it was at about a part per thousand.  The two sets of numbers are similar, but one is micrograms/ml and the other is milligrams/ml... and they say not a word about why the one formulation might have been a thousand times more effective than the other.   (In terms of practicality, micrograms/ml can be doable, but milligrams/ml is in "forget about it" territory.)

They argue that their results couldn't be due to toxicity to the host cells, because they did a test for that -- but what that test found was that the level that killed 50% of the host cells was only a factor of three or so larger than the maximum dose they used.  (Or about a factor of ten for the other formulation.)  Sorry, but if dose X kills half the cells, dose X/3 is almost certain to have some toxic effect.

In the spirit of the year, I'm going to label this RUSSIAN FAKE NEWS!  (Yes, the authors are all Rooskis, except for one Brit who works for "Lycotec LTD" and nevertheless has "no conflicts of interest".)

Ok - thanks for your opinion. That’s really weird that  the concentrations they achieve in the test group were max. 250 ng/ml but their in vitro tests with that oil formulated lycopene showed results at 3000ng/ml and the toxicity (50%) were at 10600 ng.

So we don’t know how effective this is in vitro at the concentration of ~ 250 ng/ml and how toxic this is at that concentration... 

Concerning the so called russian fake news, we shouldn't believe anything that is published by US- or british researchers, given that their media told us that they know for sure that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and other lies. So I hope this was just an ironic comment from Norman.

I find the drop of IgG in the study implausible. It is said that IgG has an halftime of 2-3 weeks. So the build up of IgG should have been stopped by the immune system immediately at study begin (given even the lower half time of 2 weeks) that you get a drop from 400 to 100 units in 4 weeks.

But because Lycopene is quite cheap, I ordered a bottle Lyc-o-mato extract some weeks ago and tested my IgG and IgA titer before start. I should test it again in a few weeks after 3 months of treatment, but I don't expect any significant difference.

I tend to believe US or British researchers a lot more readily than I believe US or British politicians, though even with researchers I'll want to look at their evidence and reasoning.  The main problems come when the researchers are kept hidden in a back room and don't publish their evidence, and politicians say "trust us, we have experts working for us".  With Iraq, for instance, they never said what the supposedly suspiciously-tight tolerances on those aluminum tubes were: we had lots of verbiage, but no numbers.  Eventually the numbers got out, and "suspiciously tight" turned out to mean 0.1mm (a tenth of a millimeter) permitted error.  That's an ordinary industrial tolerance.

Anyway, yes, "FAKE NEWS!" was something of a joke.  And good catch on the half-life of IgG.