Lycopene is a pigment that helps give red fruits and vegetables their color. It has attracted scientific attention due to its effects as a natural antioxidant. Studies have shown that this pigment has potent anti-cancer properties, reduces stress, and helps prevent muscular injury and inflammation.
- Health Benefits of Lycopene
- 1) Lycopene Is an Anti-inflammatory and Protects Against Injury
- 2) Lycopene Prevents Liver Damage
- 3) Lycopene Helps Prevent Stress
- 4) Lycopene Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth
- 5) Lycopene May Help Protect the Skin
- 6) Lycopene Reduces Intestinal Damage
- 7) Lycopene Is Neuroprotective
- 8) Lycopene Helps Restore Vitamin A Deficiency
Lycopene is a common carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables.
Carotenoids are compounds that give fruits and vegetables their red, orange, and/or yellow color.
They are commonly found in tomatoes, apricots, cranberries, grapes, grapefruits, guava, papayas, peaches, and watermelons.
Lycopenes are not essential for humans but are usually incorporated into the diet.
It has antioxidant properties and has claimed anti-cancer properties.
It is often taken as a supplement, but too much lycopene can lead to skin discoloration.
Health Benefits of Lycopene
1) Lycopene Is an Anti-inflammatory and Protects Against Injury
Treatment with lycopene may protect against muscle injury and inflammation in mice (R).
2) Lycopene Prevents Liver Damage
In male rats, it may reverse hyperhomocysteinemia, a blood disorder, which demonstrates an ability to help protect the liver (R).
3) Lycopene Helps Prevent Stress
4) Lycopene Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth
In human head and neck squamous cell carcinoma lines, lycopene prevented rapid cell growth and cellular invasion (R).
5) Lycopene May Help Protect the Skin
In humans, lycopene supplementation protects skin against harmful UV effects (R).
6) Lycopene Reduces Intestinal Damage
7) Lycopene Is Neuroprotective
In rats, lycopene reduced spinal cord injury by promoting the repair of the blood-spinal cord barrier (R).
It also reduced learning and memory impairments in rats, and prevented dendritic spine density reduction caused by high-fat diets (R).
8) Lycopene Helps Restore Vitamin A Deficiency
- In patients with ulcerative colitis, lycopene did not reduce abdominal pain (R).
- In an analysis of three studies, lycopene did not prevent prostate cancer as previously claimed and was not associated with colorectal cancer risk (R, R2).
- Lycopene may cause low blood pressure, increase the risk of bleeding, and interfere with estrogen/hormone therapies and chemotherapy medications (R, R2).
- It may also cause anorexia, chest pain, diarrhea, stomach pressure, gas, indigestion, nausea, skin discoloration, and vomiting (R).