Lycopene is a form of carotene with antioxidant properties. It is present in food, specially tomato and in most products with a red or pink color, like many fruits and vegetables.
Currently, lycopene is being studied due to its antioxidant properties. In fact, the researchers are considering its use for treating and preventing chronic diseases caused by the free radicals. Moreover, it improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system while protecting the skin and prostate.
Properties of lycopene
It is the antioxidant responsible for the red pigmentation of some fruits and vegetables. For instance, tomato is one of the foods with the highest content. On its own, the body cannot produce lycopene, that is why we always need to get it from the food we eat or supplementation.
- Anti-aging properties
- Protecting the prostate
- Lowering the risk of suffering several types of cancer
- Protecting the skin against UV rays
Benefits of lycopene
- Providing support when it comes to preventing cancer affecting the prostate, lung, stomach, bladder and uterus.
- Delaying the signs of aging.
- Keeping low LDL cholesterol levels.
- Preventing cardiovascular diseases.
- Helping to combat the free radicals, which are the main triggers of cell damage.
- Preventing the macular degeneration syndrome and cataracts.
- Producing an anti-inflammatory effect.
For the skin
Regarding the skin, it provides anti-aging support. The free radicals are responsible for the damaged cells, which affect the DNA and cause chronic diseases. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can lower the risk of osteoporosis, a disease that reduces the bone density.
The carotenoid lycopene prevents the free radicals from affecting the natural balance of the body. Above all, it slows down the bone loss and the age-related bone deformation.
Moreover, it also improves the health of the teeth and gums due to its natural antibacterial properties. In fact, many studies have also proven the fact that it contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system.
Quite often, the coronary disease is the result of following a diet with unhealthy products apart from the aging process. By taking more lycopene capsules, we will improve our heart health since it will regulate the blood pressure.
Some researchers found out that a diet rich in lycopene from tomato can be closely linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. Moreover, a review of eight studies about lycopene and prostate cancer showed lower levels of prostate-specific antigen. Those who suffer prostate cancer tend to have high levels of this protein.
Taking lycopene can support our lung health. A study analyzed the data from 124207 adults who were monitored from 10 to 12 years. The researchers found out that the risk of lung cancer was significantly lower among those who followed a diet rich in carotenoids. These are a type of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and alpha-lycopene, as well as lycopene.
Following a diet rich in lycopene can lower the lipid oxidation considerably, and particularly LDL (which transport bad cholesterol). These results seem to be relevant when it comes to lowering the risk of suffering a coronary disease.
A small study revealed how lycopene can benefit those who suffer asthma. The participants took 30mg of a lycopene supplement for a week every day. In the end, 11 out of the 20 participants experienced a significant increase in the protection against exercise-induced asthma.
Lycopene is one of the main defenses against skin aging, helping it to look healthy and beautiful. Moreover, this powerful pigment can be good against the macular degeneration syndrome. This problem is actually the main cause of blindness over the age of 65 and if we suffer from cataracts.
Sources of lycopene
It is naturally available in many fruits. For instance, you can take from watermelon, grapefruit, papaya and apricots. The research has revealed that processing products rich in lycopene increases its bioavailability.
Tomatoes and products thereof (such as tomato sauce) are regarded as the main dietary sources of lycopene.
Up until now, there are no reported side effects. However, it is always better to take the recommended dose and make sure that the supplement does not contain other ingredients that can trigger side effects. In strange cases, lycopene can trigger allergic reactions.
Since lycopene is a lipid, it means that its benefits for health will increase when we take along with olive oil. Although lycopene does not have side effects, some dietary supplements also contain wheat, sugar, soy, yeast, whey, gluten, nuts or seafood.
Therefore, we need to examine the prospect of all the ingredients carefully. Specially if we are allergic to any of these substances.
Supplements (capsules) and recommended dose
As we have already seen, our body cannot synthesize lycopene, but we can obtain it from different vegetables and fruit. Nevertheless, there are also different lycopene supplements that can help us get the recommended dose very easily. Actually, most of them are available in capsule format.
When it comes to the optimal amount of lycopene, there are no rules. But there are some approximate doses that suggest a supply of 4 to 6.5mg daily
To illustrate this point, a portion of 60 grams of tomato puree from a meal or sauce will provide around 10mg of lycopene.
According to the specialist, the minimal daily dose would be 6mg in order to protect us against cancer.
In cases of exercise-induced asthma, the recommended dose would be 30mg a day. Finally, to support a treatment against prostate cancer, it is advisable to get at least 15mg a day.
Don’t miss the chance of purchasing the best lycopene supplements in the HSN online store, always at the best price
- Hong J, Park SH, Kim S, Kim SW, Hahn JS. Efficient production of lycopene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by enzyme engineering and increasing membrane flexibility and NAPDH production. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2018 Oct 20. doi: 10.1007/s00253-018-9449-8.
- Hedayati N, Naeini MB, Nezami A, Hosseinzadeh H, Wallace Hayes A, Hosseini S, Imenshahidi M, Karimi G. Protective effect of lycopene against chemical and natural toxins: A review. Biofactors. 2018 Oct 19. doi: 10.1002/biof.1458.
- Beynon R, Richmond RC, Santos Ferreira DL, Ness AR, May M, Davey Smith G, Vincent EE, Adams C, Ala-Korpela M, Würtz P, Soidinsalo S, Metcalfe C, Donovan JL; ProtecT Study Group, The PRACTICAL consortium, Lane AJ, Martin RM. Investigating the effects of lycopene and green tea on the metabolome of men at risk of prostate cancer: The ProDiet randomised controlled trial. Int J Cancer. 2018 Oct 16. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31929.
- Ames BN. Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Oct 15. pii: 201809045. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1809045115.