Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical found
predominantly on tomatoes and other red fruits. It is the most potent of
You can obtain Lycopene from a tomato species classification, Solanum
lycopersicum. Ironically, the uppermost concentrations of lycopene are not
in tomatoes but actually in watermelons. Almost all-dietary lycopene comes
Lycopene can help protect humans from certain health disorders. There is
proof in the claim that regular intake of lycopene reduces the risk of
prostrate cancer in men.
The color of lycopene is due to its many conjugated carbon double bonds.
Each double bond reduces the energy required for electrons to transition to
higher energy states, allowing the molecule to absorb visible lights of
progressively shorter wave lengths. Most of the visible spectrum is absorbed
by lycopene, therefore it appears red.
There are numerous studies and research conducted regarding the health
benefits of lycopene. Lycopene gives vegetables and fruits, such as the
tomatoes, the color pink and grapefruit and watermelon, the color red.
Studies prove that continuous intake of fruits and vegetables rich in
lycopene can lower the risk of having prostrate cancer and other
In the year 1995, Harvard University made a study with 47,894 men, wherein
researchers found out that eating at least 10 or more serving a week of
tomato products reduced risk of prostrate cancer by as much as 34 percent.
Upon examining the prostrate tissue of the men subject for study, they found
that there was less notable growth of cancer cells.
The shielding upshot of antioxidants on heart disease was recognized. In
current studies conducted, they declared that men who have the highest
amount of lycopene in their body do not have as much possibility to suffer a
heart attack as those with less lycopene in their body.
Getting lycopene for our body is by means of eating foods rich in lycopene
or drinking supplements high in lycopene. The vegetables and fruits rich in
lycopene are tomato products such as spaghetti sauce, tomato juice, ketchup,
pizza sauce and more. Other fruits such as grapefruit and watermelon also
The body absorbs lycopene better when it is consumed in processed tomato
products, rather than fresh tomatoes.
In another study conducted, it shows that lycopene from tomato paste was
absorbed 2.5 times better than those from fresh tomatoes. Conversely,
cooking tomato with just a little oil will result to a greater amount of
For those planning to take dietary supplements for lycopene, though, please
are informed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration do not sternly
advocate herbs and dietary supplements. This is for the reason that taking
these supplements would not guarantee you of the efficiency, cleanliness and
safety that it promises.
If you are planning to take supplements, your decision might as well need a
deeper thought. For people taking other medicines, you should primarily
consult a doctor regarding the matter.
Lycopene supplements possess antioxidant properties. In addition, lycopene
with a combination of other carotenoids may in fact help reduce sunburn.
Researchers have found out taking supplements for 12 weeks with 24
milligrams per day of a combination of carotenoids improve ultraviolent-
induced sunburn and is comparable to the treatment with 24 milligrams per
day of beta-carotene. One more thing, taking lycopene orally may shrink the
possibility of exercise-induced asthma. However, studies say that it cannot
actually enhance the function of the immune system.
Taking lycopene from dietary supplements reflects no negative side effects.
Nonetheless, pregnant and breast feeding women are not advised to take these
supplements since there are no sufficient evidence to say whether it has an
adverse effect to a developing infant.
Read the indications provided in the dietary supplements you are taking. If
necessary, inform your doctor of your doses.