By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Feb 2021
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What is Lycopene?

  • Lycopene is a plant nutrient that has antioxidant properties. It is the pigment that gives the color of red and pink fruits, such as tomatoes, melons, and pink grapefruit. Lycopene has been linked to health benefits ranging from heart health to sunburn protection and certain types of cancer.
  • Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical that gives a red color to fruit and vegetables. It's one of a number of pigments called carotenoids. Lycopene is mostly found in tomatoes, red oranges,melons, pink grapefruit, apricots, rosehips, and guava. In North America, 85% of dietary lycopene comes from tomato products such as ketchup, tomato juice, sauce, or paste.Fresh tomatoes have between 4 mg and 10 mg of lycopene, while a cup (240 mL) of tomato juice provides approximately 20 mg of lycopene. Processing raw tomatoes with heat (when making tomato juice, tomato paste or tomato ketchup) actually changes the lycopene in the raw product into a form that is easier for the body to use.
    1. Lycopene Side effects
    2. Lycopene precautions
    3. Lycopene Vs Astaxanthin
    4. Frequently Asked Questions
    5. Citations

    Strong Antioxidant Property:

  • Lycopene is an antioxidant in the family of carotenoids. Antioxidants protect your body against damage caused by compounds known as free radicals. When free radical levels exceed an antioxidant level, oxidative stress can be created in your body. This stress is linked to certain chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Research shows that the antioxidant properties of lycopene can help maintain free radical levels in balance and protect your body against some of these conditions. In addition, test tubes and animal studies show that lycopene can protect your body from pesticides, herbicides, monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  • May protect against some types of cancers:

  • The strong antioxidant action of lycopene may prevent or slow down the progression of some types of cancer. Test-tube studies, for example, show that nutrients can slow breast and prostate cancer growth by limiting tumor growth. Animal studies also report that it may prevent the growth of cancer cells in the kidneys. In humans, observational studies link high intakes of carotenoids, including lycopene, to a 32–50% lower risk of lung and prostate cancer.
  • Men who consumed at least two servings of lycopene-rich tomato sauce per week were 30% less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ate less than one serving of tomato sauce per month. However, a recent review of 26 studies has found more moderate results. Researchers linked high lycopene intakes to a 9 percent lower probability of developing prostate cancer. Daily intakes of 9–21 mg per day appeared to be most beneficial.
  • May Promote Heart Health:

  • Lycopene may also help lower your risk of developing or dying prematurely from heart disease. This is partly because it may reduce the risk factors for heart disease. More specifically, it can reduce free radical damage, total and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels, and increase "good" HDL cholesterol levels.
  • Over a 10-year period, researchers noted that individuals with the metabolic disease who had the highest blood lycopene levels had up to a 39% lower risk of dying prematurely.In another study, diets rich in this nutrient were associated with a 17-26% lower risk of heart disease. A recent review also combines high blood levels of lycopene with a 31 percent lower risk of stroke. Lycopene protective effects appear to be particularly beneficial to those with low levels of blood antioxidants or high levels of oxidative stress. This includes elderly adults and people who smoke or have diabetes or heart disease.
  • Other potential advantages:

  • Lycopene may also offer a range of other health benefits—the most researched include:
  • May help your eyesight
  • Lycopene may prevent cataract formation and reduce your risk of macular degeneration, the most leading cause of blindness in older adults.
  • May reduce pain
  • Lycopene may help reduce neuropathic pain, nerve pain, and tissue damage.
  • May protect your brain
  • Lycopene has antioxidant properties that can help prevent seizures and memory loss experienced in age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's.
  • May contribute to stronger bones
  • The antioxidant action of lycopene may slow the death of bone cells, strengthen bone architecture, and help to keep bones strong and healthy.
  • Lycopene Side Effects:

  • Lycopene is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate quantities. Daily supplements containing up to 120 mg lycopene have been used safely for up to one year.No such side effects have been reported.
  • Precautions:

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Lycopene is LIKELY SAFE during pregnancy and breastfeeding when taken in amounts commonly found in food. However, lycopene is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used as a supplement during pregnancy. In one research, using a specific lycopene supplement of 2 mg daily, starting on 12 to 20 weeks of pregnancy and continuing until delivery, the rate of premature births and low birth weight infants increased. But these problems were not seen in another study using the same lycopene supplement. The safety of lycopene supplements during breast-feeding is not well known. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, avoid using lycopene in quantities greater than those typically found in foods.
  • Surgery: Lycopene may slow down blood clotting. It might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using lycopene supplements at least 2 weeks before surgery is scheduled.
  • Food sources:

  • In general, all-natural foods with a rich pink to red color contain some lycopene. Tomatoes are the largest food source, and the riper the tomato, the more lycopene it contains. But you can also find this nutrient in a variety of other foods. Here is a list of foods containing the most lycopene per 100 grams (33):
    • Sun-dried tomato: 45.9 mg
    • Puree tomato: 21.8 mg
    • Guava: 5.2 mg
    • Fresh tomato: 3.0 mg
    • Canned tomatoes: 2.7 mg
    • Papaya: 1.8 mg
    • Grapefruit Pink: 1.1 mg
    • Cooked sweet red pepper: 0.5 mg
  • There is currently no recommended daily intake of lycopene. However, intakes between 8–21 mg per day appear to be most beneficial in current studies.
  • Lycopene Vs Astaxanthin:

    Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid.
    Formula: C40H56 Formula: C40H52O4
    Is antioxidant Known as terpenes
    Molar mass: 536.873 g/mol Molar mass: 596.841 g/mol

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Lycopene suggested uses include cancer, prevention of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, cataracts, asthma, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory drugs.
    When consumed in food, lycopene is safe for everyone to eat. Eating excessive amounts of lycopene may lead to a condition called lycopenemia, which is orange or red skin discoloration. The condition itself is harmless and goes away by eating a lower lycopene diet.
    Lycopene and vitamin C have been shown to have an influence on oxidative stress and inflammation biomarkers. Low plasma levels of lycopene and analgesic intake may increase the risk of CKD.
    Lycopene makes tomatoes red and gives color to other orange fruits and vegetables. Processed tomatoes have the highest lycopene content, but watermelon, pink grapefruit and fresh tomatoes are also good sources.
    Tomatoes contain a potent antioxidant called lycopene. It may help prevent cancer of the prostate as well as reduce tumor growth among people with prostate cancer.
    Evidence suggested that tomato or lycopene intake may modulate testosterone production, serum concentrations, and metabolism, and may affect gene expression in human prostate cancer cells, normal rat prostate, and established xenografts of prostate cancer (7–10).
    Some research suggested that taking a specific lycopene supplement twice daily from weeks 16 to 20 of pregnancy and continuing until delivery reduces blood pressure and reduces associated complications. However, some studies and research suggested that lycopene does not affect blood pressure during pregnancy.
    When consumed in food, lycopene is safe for everyone to eat. Eating excessive amounts of lycopene may lead to a condition called lycopenemia, which is orange or red skin discoloration. The condition itself is harmless and goes away by eating a lower lycopene diet.
    Lycopene is an antioxidant with many health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health, and a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Although it can be found as a supplement, it may be most effective when consumed with lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes and other red or pink fruits.
    Many researches have shown that taking lycopene daily for 8 weeks may reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. However, lycopene does not appear to help people with borderline high blood pressure. Cancer of the lung. Research on how lycopene affects the risk of lung cancer is inconsistent.


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