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Lycopene sources, health benefits and uses

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by

Lycopene is the most colorful child of the carotenoid family. It exhibits the longest structure, consisting of multiple conjugated double bonds. This is reflective of the compound’s inherent stability and potential in reducing oxidative damage caused by free radical damage.

You can easily detect lycopene in food items as it is the red pigment that gives fruits such as the tomato, guava, pink grapefruit, and watermelon their distinctive color.

Lycopene is a phytonutrient (organic compounds that act as both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents) which is not manufactured by the body. Due to this, people need to supplement their diet with foods that are rich in this carotenoid.  

Medicinal uses for lycopene

This is one of the more efficient antioxidants that you will find today. Lycopene neutralizes the oxygen derived from free radicals. This reduces the risk of many degenerative diseases such as premature aging, various forms of cancer, and cataracts. Lycopene has been noted to provide for the health of cells and prevent debilitating conditions. Numerous in-vitro studies consistently show that lycopene has anti-cancer properties and is particularly useful in preventing the prostate, stomach, lung, colon, and skin varieties.

Medical reviews on the compound have found that lycopene is quite similar in structure to its older brother, beta-carotene, but has stronger antioxidant activity. An implication of this is that cells treated with lycopene are better protected from DNA damage and lipid peroxidation.

Lycopene contains antibacterial and antifungal properties. As such, they can be used to fight infections like Candida albicans.

Diabetic patients can supplement their diet with lycopene-rich foods to prevent complications such as vascular disease, diabetic neuropathies, or infection. Lycopene improves the immune response and prevents the onset of cardiovascular disease.

Lycopene is also typically prescribed to inhibit platelet aggregation, which means that it can be useful in preventing arteriosclerosis.

Laboratory studies have shown lycopene to be effective in removing harmful toxins such as aflatoxin, cyclosporine, and cadmium.

Body systems supported by lycopene

Lycopene is used for overall health. All body systems benefit from an ample intake of the antioxidant.

Where to learn more


Lycopene is the red pigment found in many food items such as tomatoes and pink grapefruit. It is a highly efficient and well-recognized antioxidant that proves to be excessively effective in the treatment and prevention of cancer.

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