Natural Lycopene, provided by Douglas Laboratories, is extracted from tomato fruits. Each softgel provides 5 mg pure lycopene.
FUNCTIONS Lycopene is a nutritionally important carotenoid that is present in selected red-colored fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and tomato. Lycopene is an important antioxidant nutrient that protects healthy cells from oxidative and free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable chemicals formed in the body during metabolism and from exposure to environmental sources, such as pollution and cigarette smoke. Free radicals are not inherently bad (they are necessary for energy metabolism and immune function), but when there is an excessive number of free radicals in the body, they can attack healthy cells, especially their membrane lipids and proteins. This, in turn, is thought to contribute to a number of degenerative diseases. Like beta-carotene, lycopene is an efficient quencher of a chemically reactive species of oxygen called singlet oxygen. Singlet oxygen participates in oxidative reactions which can impair or destroy important cellular parts, such as membranes, nucleic acids (DNA), and enzymes. In addition, singlet oxygen reactions can generate free radicals which lead to further damage. Studies show that lycopene’s ability to quench singlet oxygen is equal or better than that of beta-carotene. Considerable evidence from many experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that lycopene plays a major role in maintaining normal cellular differentiation and division. This benefit is attributed mainly to its potent antioxidant properties. Dietary lycopene is absorbed by the intestinal tract and distributed into most tissues. The highest concentrations of lycopene have been measured in testes, liver and adrenal glands. Lycopene may also play a special role in healthy prostate function.
INDICATIONS Lycopene may be a useful dietary supplement for those who wish to increase their daily lycopene intake.