Lycopene – What Is It?
Lycopene is one of many ingredients in the Tikva product. It is a bright red carotenoid pigment , a phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits . It is the most common carotenoid in the human body and is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants. Its name is derived from the tomato’s species classification, Solanum lycopersicum (formerly Lycopersicon esculentum ).
Lycopene Health Benefits
Researchers have hypothesized that the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which carries cholesterol into the bloodstream, plays an important role in the development of atherosclerosis, the underlying disorder leading to heart attacks and ischemic strokes. Antioxidant nutrients are believed to slow the progression of atherosclerosis by virtue of their ability to inhibit damaging oxidative processes. Of all the antioxidant nutrients, lycopene appears to be the most potent.
European researchers studied lycopene concentration and risk for cardiovascular disease. They found that men with the highest levels of lycopene in their adipose tissue were 48% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease. They also found that while consumption was cardioprotective, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene were not.
Women also benefit from supplementation . A 2003 study by Harvard researchers found that women with the highest intake had a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to women with a low intake. Women who consumed seven or more servings of tomato-based foods weekly saw a nearly 30% risk reduction in total cardiovascular disease compared to a group with intakes of less than 1.5 servings per week.
A study in Finland measured lycopene blood levels and the thickness of the carotid artery wall. Researchers found a strong correlation between low blood concentrations and thickening of the carotid artery, which is associated with an increased risk of heart attack. The study authors concluded that low plasma concentrations are associated with early atherosclerosis.
-Life Extension Foundation
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