What Is Lycopene?
Lycopene is a cartenoid that is found primarily in tomatoes. Lycopene is not produced in the body and therefore must be supplemented through our diets. We get lycopene when we eat tomatoes and tomato puree products such as salsa and red spagetti sauce.
Lycopene supplements contain antioxidants that help neutralise free radicals that cause damage in the body. Lycopene is the pigment that gives fruits such as tomatoes, pink grapefruits and watermelons their red colour.
The History Of Lycopene
Research has linked lycopene to possibly helping prevent prostate cancer and lung cancer. Studies showed that men who had approximately 6.5mg of lycopene per day showed a 21% decreased risk of prostate cancer.
Constant research is ongoing and it has also been reported that lycopene can also help reduce and prevent other types of cancers including stomach cancer, cancer of the lungs, bladder cancer and cancer of the cervix.
Benefits Of Lycopene
Lycopene is a cartenoid and antioxidant that has been proven to help reduce the risk of prostate cancer and other cancers. Lycopene can also help to lower the risk of heart disease and boost immune function.
Lycopene supplements help protect out body cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and help to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
Lycopene has also been used to benefit such conditions as asthma, preeclampsia, and prostate cancer. Lycopene can also be used to prevent atherosclerosis, reduce the risk of cancers such as cancer of the lungs, bladder, cervix and skin.
Lycopene can also help to prevent macular degeneration which is a chronic eye condition where the light sensing cells of the retina stop functioning.
Research has also suggested that men who suffer with fertility problems might benefit from increased amounts of lycopene as it might improve sperm concentration and motility.
Maintaining an adequate amount of lycopene in our daily diet can help prevent cancer and heart disease in healthy individuals.
Side effects of Lycopene
A high intake of tomatoes and foods containing lycopene is not known to have any harmful side effects however, an orange discolouration of the skin can occur if one was to get carried away.
Cigarette smoke can cause lycopene to behave like a free radical and cause cellular damage and research findings have indeed found that cigarette smokers who take lycopene or carotenoids supplements may have an increased risk of cancer and heart disease.
If you smoke, don’t take lycopene. Quit smoking.
A deficiency in lycopene over a period of years can set the stage for the development of several chronic health problems.
Lycopene supplements are available in individual products, and in mixed carotenoids formulas. Tomatoes are of course an excellent source or lycopene as are apricots, papaya, watermelons and pink grapefruits.
To date there have been no recommended dietary intake levels established and people have been encouraged to maintain a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables which in turn should help maintain an adequate supply of lycopene.
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We take Total Balance here at Quality-Nutritional-Supplements, along with their pure fish oil and other products with excellent results. Highly recommended.