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 substance has potent anti-cancer, anti-stress, and anti-inflammatory properties, and helps prevent muscular injury.
What is Lycopene?
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
In rats, lycopene protects against lung injury (LPS-induced) by reducing inflammation .
In rodents, it protects from depression-like behaviors and brain cell injury by reducing LPS-induced inflammation .
Treatment with lycopene may protect against muscle injury and inflammation in mice .
In rats, lycopene reduced toxin-induced liver damage .
In ferrets, it reduced tobacco-associated non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cancer .
In humans, lycopene supplementation protects skin against harmful UV effects .
In patients with ulcerative colitis, lycopene reduced fecal blood, mucus, and pus .
In rats, lycopene reduced spinal cord injury by promoting the repair of the blood-spinal cord barrier .
A meta-analysis found that Lycopene suppl, when taken at more than 12 mg/day, decrease systolic blood pressure, particularly among Asians or population with higher baseline blood pressure .
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