Lycopene is a carotenoid antioxidant that is found in plants, primarily tomatoes. It provides the red pigment in certain fruits and vegetables, and is therefore also present in foods such as watermelons, papayas, and grapefruit.
The main function of antioxidants is to remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are formed during natural metabolic processes, but can also be acquired from environmental sources such as air pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke. Since free radicals cause damage to cells, they are partly responsible for the natural aging process, and may play a role in diseases such as Alzheimer’s or cancer.
As a strong antioxidant, lycopene is beneficial in protecting heart health and cognitive decline by ridding the body of the free radicals that damage cells. It is also used to prevent macular degeneration, cataracts, and atherosclerosis. As with most antioxidants, preliminary research also suggests that lycopene may have the ability to help prevent cancer and tumor growth.
Other benefits of lycopene that are less well-known include prevention of sunburn, reducing risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women, and reducing exercise-induced asthma attacks. While research in these areas is still in the preliminary stages, the antioxidant properties of lycopene show promising initial results in these areas.
Helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts
Promotes cardiovascular health
Reduces risk of preeclampsia
Can enhance treatment of gingivitis
May help prevent certain cancers
May reduce symptoms of exercise-induced asthma
May prevent sunburn
Things To Know About Lycopene
Lycopene Is Also Known As
Things To Note About Lycopene
Some antioxidants in the carotenoid family such as beta-carotene are a precursor to vitamin A. Lycopene is NOT a precursor to vitamin A, and therefore should not be used as a supplement to increase daily dosage of this nutrient.
Lycopene absorption appears to be better when taken with fats.
How To Take Lycopene
Recommended Lycopene Dosage, Active Amounts, Other Details
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