Lycopene - Glossary


A carotenoid found in tomato products, as well as other fruits (pink grapefruit and watermelon) with antioxidant activity.  Unlike certain other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene has no pro-vitamin A activity.  Epidemiological studies have linked consumption of lycopene-containing foods to a reduced risk of prostate and other cancers, although it’s difficult to say whether the benefits are solely due to lycopene, or a combination of nutrients, at this point in time.

Lycopene is often included in supplements, but typically in doses less than what can be obtained from readily available foods.  A typical supplement, for example, contains 10 – 25 mg – an amount that can easily be obtained by drinking a glass of tomato juice or vegetable juice cocktail (22 – 23 mg per 8 oz. serving).

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.

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