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What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a natural compound found in fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit. Lycopene is a carotenoid (yellow, orange or red plant pigments).


What are the main dietary sources of lycopene?

Tomatoes are the primary source of lycopene. In general, larger amounts of lycopene are also found in processed (cooked) tomato products. In addition, lycopene is soluble in fats, which means that it is absorbed in the body when it is consumed together with them.
Consuming a moderate amount of fat (10-15 grams) together with foods rich in lycopene increases the amount of lycopene that is absorbed. For example, olive oil can be added to tomato salad or sauces for this purpose.


What are the benefits and uses of lycopene?

One of the biggest benefits of lycopene is its antioxidant effect. It protects the body from oxidative stress that can damage DNA and other cellular structures.

  • Infertility
Various studies on lycopene supplementation have shown promising results in male infertility - lipid peroxidation and DNA damage were reduced, while sperm count and viability increased, as well as general immunity.

  • Bone health
There is increasing evidence that lycopene has the ability to help maintain bone strength. The authors of some clinical studies discovered that lycopene changed the activity of several genes that support bone density, which provides bone strength.

  • Cancer
Lycopene is an antioxidant. Theoretically, antioxidants could protect against cancer, preventing damage to DNA and cellular structures.

  • Cardiovascular health
Higher lycopene intake correlates with a reduced risk of stroke.
A good management of blood pressure and cholesterol is also essential to support optimal cardiovascular health.

  • Other uses
Lycopene is also being studied for use in:

- Oral leukoplasia (mouth lesions)
- Metabolic syndrome



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