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Properties of lycopene

What is lycopene?

Lycopene is a pigment that is red and breaks down fats. Is mainly found in tomatoes. Lycopene belongs to the family of pigments that are called carotenoids. In turn, the carotenoid is a natural pigment responsible for the brightly colored autumn leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables. The color of vegetables and fruit ranging from bright yellow (some varieties of pumpkin), orange (pumpkin and carrots), and red (tomatoes and peppers).

Lycopene — antioxidant

Modern researchers have pretty thoroughly examined the lycopene. Lycopene has antioxidant properties. As many studies have shown that a diet which includes foods that contain lycopene, can reduce the possibility of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

At the University of Harvard in the mid-1990s, studies were conducted which found that of the 50,000 men who took food tomatoes 10 or more times a week (it was in tomato high lycopene content) the risk of prostate cancer decreased in some cases by 34%. Antioxidants help fight cancer, protect cells from damage by free radicals, thereby slowing the aging process.

Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are formed in a time when our cells metabolize oxygen for energy. Antioxidants keep the immune system healthy, thus reducing the risk of certain forms of cancer and other diseases. Vitamins such as vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and lycopene, some vitamins are effective antioxidants.

In addition, the observed beneficial effect of antioxidants on heart disease. As shown by recent studies, in men, in the body which contained a high concentration of lycopene, the risk of heart attack was reduced by 50%, in contrast to those who have this level were low. As the researchers suggest, the content of lycopene in the body depends on its quantity in the diet.

The recommended daily requirement of lycopene is 5-7. 5 mg.

Properties of lycopene

Lycopene helps to normalize cholesterol metabolism, activates the process of digestion. Lycopene normalizes appetite, suppresses pathogenic intestinal microflora, prevents the development of atherosclerosis, containsthe acid–alkaline balance, facilitates weight loss. Has antibacterial and antifungal properties, strengthens the walls of blood vessels and capillaries, a beneficial effect on the skin, nourishes and rejuvenates, especially dry, wrinkled and pigmented skin. As a prophylactic against various disorders of the liver.

Because lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, it is able to destroy free radicals are reactive molecules that destroy cell membranes, attack DNA, and thus, vyzyvayushie various diseases. Studies have shown that patients with HIV infection, from colds and a high level of cholesterol (with and without treatment to reduce fat levels) can have low levels of lycopene in the blood. The content of lycopene in the blood are not always reduced due to Smoking and alcohol consumption, in contrast to other carotenoids. It affects the aging process.

Some studies have shown that likopina diet reduces the risk of certain chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular, cancer, and age-related macular degeneration. As an antioxidant, lycopene prevents oxidation of low-level lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, it leads to atherosclerosis (reduction of patency of the arteries) and coronary artery disease.

With increasing levels of lycopene reduced the level of oxidized lipoprotein, protein and DNA components, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease. Hence, we can conclude that people with high levels of lycopene, the risk of heart disease less than half the people with low levels of lycopene. Again, noticed a direct link between lycopene and reduced risk of cancer of the prostate and stomach. Notes about these diseases lycopene was the only carotenoid, which contributed to reducing the risk of such diseases.

Clinical research conducted in late 2001 on prostate cancer showed that the application of lycopene significantly reduces the rate of proliferation of cancer cells. This method helped to reduce the spread of cancer cells by approximately 73%.

If food consumed at least two times a week tomatoes, you can reduce the risk of cancer by 34%. In any case, so says the Institute of cancer Dana-Farber. Only tomatoes of the 46 fruits and vegetables participated in the research proved that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer. In addition there is some medical evidence that proves that regular intake of lycopene-rich tomatoes, reduces the risk of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

Productscontains lycopene

As the human body itself does not produce lycopene, it is necessary to enter along with food.

Contains lycopene in foods such as:

  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Tomato juice
  • Ketchup
  • Sauce

Champions among vegetables and fruit content of lycopene are:

  • Red tomatoes (one tomato contains about 1.5 mg of lycopene)
  • Watermelon
  • Red pepper
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Any other vegetables of red color. In fruits also have lycopene, but in smaller amounts.

Most of the lycopene in the tomato paste, only 1 tbsp fully meets the daily requirement of lycopene. Tomato paste lycopene 30 times more than fresh tomatoes and 6 times more than the ketchup.

Despite the fact that the main source of lycopene to humans is tomatoes or foods made with them, the biological availability of this enzyme is quite different. When cooking sauce, tomatoes cooked in oil, while the absorption of lycopene increases as the enzyme dissolves in fat. When heated, tomatoes chemical formula of lycopene changes into a different form that the body digests a lot easier. As shown by one study, lycopene from tomato paste is absorbed up to 2.5 times faster, in contrast to the fresh vegetables.

Despite the fact that there are no special recommendations for nutrition, according to research, drinking two cups (about 540 ml) of tomato juice a day a person receives about 40 milligrams of lycopene. This quantity is enough to significantly reduce the oxidation of harmful cholesterol, according to studies regarding the daily diet of the person.