Lycopene is found in tomatoes, ketchup, sauces and ingredients with tomato products. Lycopene is also found in watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas. Lycopene is especially effective at quenching a free radical called singlet oxygen (Whfoods.com).
Therefore, it protects cells against damage and increases resistance to disease. It plays a major role as an antioxidant and research have shown it to reduce the development of cancerous tumors (Whfoods.com).
According to Cancer.org, “Some population studies have found that a diet high in lycopene from tomato-based foods was linked with a lower risk of prostate cancer. Other studies, however, found no link between tomato products or other lycopene-rich foods and prostate cancer. A recent study suggested that variation in a particular gene (known as XRCC1) that helps repair damaged DNA influences whether lycopene intake will affect a man’s prostate cancer risk.”
Other benefits include:
- Lower the risk of heart disease
- Lower macular degenerative disease, an age-related illness that can lead to blindness
- Lowers inflammation
- Lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol)
“A high intake of foods containing lycopene is not known to cause any harmful side effects. However, excessive consumption of lycopene can cause a deep orange discoloration of the skin, a harmless condition called lycopenodermia.” (Whfoods.com).
- “Lycopene.” Whole Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 09 July 2012..
- “Lycopene.” Lycopene. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 July 2012..