Lycopene is a form of carotene, with antioxidant qualities that we can obtain through food, especially tomatoes, and also in most foods that are red or pink, such as many fruits and vegetables.
Currently, there are many studies focused on learning more about the antioxidant properties of lycopene, in order to use them in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases caused by free radicals. Lycopene also promotes the functioning of the cardiovascular system and protects the skin and prostate.
Lycopene is an antioxidant responsible for giving the red pigmentation that some fruits and vegetables that contain it have. This substance can be found in particularly high concentrations in tomatoes. Our body is not capable of producing lycopene by itself, and that is why it must always be obtained through food or food supplements.
· It has anti-aging properties.
· Protects the prostate.
· It reduces the risk of suffering from various types of cancer.
· Protects the skin from UV rays.
· Due to its antioxidant properties, it can be of great help in preventing prostate, lung, stomach, bladder and cervical cancer.
· Delays the signs of aging.
· Keeps LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) levels low.
· It prevents cardiovascular diseases.
· It is an antioxidant source. Helps fight free radicals, which are the main cause of cell damage.
· It also prevents macular degeneration and cataracts.
· It has anti-inflammatory properties.
Beneficial for skin health
Lycopene helps prevent skin damage caused by UV rays. This is very important as UV radiation can cause various damages to the skin, such as wrinkles, blemishes, discoloration and degeneration of its structure that eventually cause premature aging of the skin.
Powerful anti-aging agent
When it comes to the skin, lycopene is an excellent promoter of the body's anti-aging. Free radicals are believed to be responsible for cell damage, affecting DNA and causing chronic disease. Due to its antioxidant properties, it can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the disease that causes loss of bone density.
Lycopene is a form of carotenoid that prevents free radicals from damaging the body's natural balance, decreasing bone density loss and age-related bone deformation.
It also promotes good tooth and gum health due to its natural antibacterial properties, which help maintain oral health. In addition, many clinical studies have also shown that it contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system.
Coronary heart disease is often the result of eating an unhealthy food diet and the aging process. Taking more lycopene in capsule form, which contains the same substance found in tomatoes, can promote heart health and help keep blood pressure at optimal levels.
In a series of studies, researchers found that a diet rich in tomato-based foods may be linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. In addition, analyzing data obtained from eight studies on lycopene and prostate cancer, researchers found that the intake of lycopene is related to a reduction in the levels of prostate-specific antigens (a protein that often appears at high levels in patients with prostate cancer).
Reduces the risks of lung cancer
Intake of lycopene can promote lung health. In a study that analyzed data obtained from 124,207 adults, who were observed for 10-12 years, researchers found that the risk of lung cancer was significantly lower among those who had a diet rich in varieties of carotenoids (a class of antioxidants that includes beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, in addition to lycopene).
Preventive against heart disease
Eating a diet rich in lycopene can significantly reduce the oxidation of lipids and, in particular, of LDL (which carries bad cholesterol). These results may be relevant for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.
Beneficial against asthma
A small study has revealed that lycopene can benefit people with asthma. After a week of taking 30 mg of lycopene as a daily supplement, 11 of the 20 participants experienced a significant increase in protection against asthma caused by physical activity.
Lycopene in eye care
The lycopene can be considered as the primary defense against aging skin as it promotes a healthy and beautiful appearance. In addition, this powerful substance can be very useful against macular degeneration syndrome, the main cause of blindness from 65 years of age, and also in case of cataracts.
Food as a source of lycopene
Lycopene occurs naturally in many fruits. It is present in watermelon, grapefruit, papaya and apricots. Research shows that processing lycopene-rich foods increases the bioavailability of their lycopene content.
Tomatoes and tomato products (such as ketchup) are considered the main food sources of lycopene.
As a result, tomato-based products, such as tomato sauce, soup, and juice, are absorbed more quickly and assimilated better than raw tomato-based products.
Side effects of lycopene
So far, no side effects are known. However, it is always better to take it in the recommended doses and check that the supplements do not contain other additional ingredients that can cause side effects. In very rare cases, lycopene can trigger allergic reactions.
Since lycopene is a lipid, the benefits it offers can be increased when combined with the use of olive oil. Although lycopene has no side effects, some of your supplements may contain wheat, sugar, soy, yeast, gluten, nuts, or traces of dried fruit.
For this reason, it is necessary to evaluate all the ingredients in a general way, especially in the case of people who have an allergy to this substance.
Supplements (capsules) and recommended doses
As we already know, the body cannot produce lycopene independently, but has to receive it from different sources such as fruits or vegetables. However, there are also various lycopene supplements with which the recommended amount can be obtained in a simple way. The vast majority of these supplements come in capsule form.
There are really no set standards as to the optimal amount of lycopene, however there are approximate ranges that suggest a daily intake of 4 to 6.5 mg.
To give you an idea, a serving of 60 grams of tomato puree, which can be part of a meal or sauce that goes with a dish, can provide approximately 10 mg of lycopene.
According to information from specialists, for effective protection against cancer, it is better to take a minimum daily dose of 6 mg.
In the case of stress-induced asthma, the recommended dose is 30 mg per day. To increase prostate care, a minimum dose of 15 mg per day is required.
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