Lycopene – Where it comes from?
Lycopene is a naturally occurring chemical component that provides the red color to fruits and vegetables. Lycopene in chemical form exists as lycopene capsules and in general can be found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, pink guavas with the highest content in tomatoes and tomato products. Other names of Lycopene include- Trans Lycopene, All-Trans Lycopene, Cis-Lycopene, Licopeno, Lycopenes, Psi-Psi-Carotene. In North America, 85% of dietary lycopene comes from tomato products such as tomato juice or paste. One cup or 240 ml of tomato juice contains about 23 mg of lycopene. Processing raw tomatoes in the making of tomato juice, tomato paste or ketchup changes the lycopene in the raw product into a form that is easier for the body to use. The lycopene in supplements is easier for the body to use as compared to lycopene found in raw food.
Lycopene is a red carotene and carotenoid content that mainly plays an important role in preventing various kinds of diseases. This lycopene red capsules benefits in preventing heart disease, “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis), and cancer of the prostate
, bladder, ovaries, colon, pancreas, cataracts and asthma. And some of the other benefits of lycopene were discussed below.
Antioxidant benefits of Lycopene
Lycopene is an antioxidant that helps in repairing the damage done to body cells. Bearing 125 times the quenching action of glutathione i.e. being water soluble, it provides miraculous antioxidant benefits. Lycopene is allegedly a more effective antioxidant than any of its carotenoid cousins which include beta-carotene. Its powerful antioxidant functions effectively help in maintaining the strength, thickness, and fluidity of cell membranes. Cell membranes being the guardians of cells screen the inflow and outflow within the cells. They allow good nutrients in and remove cellular junk and prevent toxins from entering the cells. Thus due to this mechanism of Lycopene of making the cell membranes healthy and strong creates a vital prevention of many diseases by its antioxidant benefits.
Cancer Prevention by Lycopene
Lycopene red capsules benefits for treating and preventing Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection, which is a major cause of uterine cancer. While not well researched for all cancer types, Lycopene extracts have repeatedly been noticed to provide anti-cancer benefits. The track record for tomatoes as a cancer-protective food
is not surprising. The risk for many cancer types
starts out with chronic oxidative stress and chronic unwanted inflammation. Lycopene supplemented food provides strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory support that shows cancer prevention properties.
Along with prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer are the two best-studied areas involving Lycopene supplements.
Whereas for the treatment of prostate cancer, supplemental lycopene didn’t show many benefits. However, other studies have revealed patients taking 15 mg of supplemental lycopene,3 weeks prior to prostate removal surgery, had shown many improvements in cancerous decreases in the PSA score, a blood test for prostate cancer.
Treatment for Male Infertility by Lycopene
Lycopene, the most potential oxygen quencher of all carotenoids has been found to be one of the major treatment options for reducing male infertility due to its antioxidant properties. By reacting and neutralizing free-radicals, lycopene reduces the oxidative stress thereby lessening the damage on spermatozoa. It is well concluded that lycopene also has other beneficial effects via non-oxidative mechanisms in the testis, such as gap junction communication, modulation of gene expression, regulation of the cell cycle and immune-enhancement. Under various lycopene supplementation studies that have been conducted on both humans and animals, it has shown many promising results in alleviating male infertility. Through its ability against lipid peroxidation and decreasing DNA damage it has been found to increase the sperm count and viability, and general immunity. This increases the chances of normal sperm fertilization with the egg. Human trials have reported improvement in sperm parameters and pregnancy rates with supplementation of 4–8 mg of lycopene daily for 3–12 months.
Suggested Intake of Lycopene Capsules
Lycopene administers itself as a pure compound that has been well studied in clinical trials for recommended dosages of 13 to 75 mg/day. Mostly it is available as lycopene capsules form for an opted supplement intake. The common intake dosage of lycopene capsules doses ranges from 2 to 30 milligrams for different age groups. Whereas it’s highly recommended to never use food supplements as a substitute for a varied and a balanced diet
must be maintained for a healthy lifestyle. Daily supplements of up to 120 mg of lycopene have been recommended to be safe for up to one year. The appropriate dose of lycopene also depends on several other factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. Till date, there has not been enough scientific information for determining the appropriate range of doses for lycopene. Before initiating a supplement intake it must be kept in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and correct dosage level of the same are equally important.
One should make sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consultation with the pharmacist or physician or any other healthcare professional prior to usage is always recommended. Lycopene is likely considered safe when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts. One should always avoid exceeding the stated recommended intake.
Above all the other sources, Lycopene has been found to be highly present in tomato, with over 80% of lycopene content. Other common sources of Lycopene are watermelon and pink grapefruit. Incorporating tomato products on a regular basis help in increasing the Lycopene content in the body naturally. Lycopene (C40H56) is red-pigmented unsaturated extract that humans can easily absorb in the body to provide multiple diseases fighting mechanisms. With a healthy diet
being followed on a daily basis, about 10%–30% of lycopene present is already present in our diet. Lycopene is a substance that has many health benefits for the body and shows miraculous effects combating against body malfunctions. Most health agencies encourage individuals to increase their intake of food that has high levels of carotenoids, lycopene included for a healthier living. This red pigmented extract is a central focal point for controlling the overall vitality of our body.