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Lycopene is an antioxidant-rich vitamin found in plants. It's this pigment that gives red and pink fruits like tomatoes, watermelons, and pink grapefruit their distinctive hue. Lycopene has been linked to various health benefits, including heart health, sunburn prevention, and cancer prevention. The health benefits, side effects, dosage, and more of lycopene are discussed in this article.

What is Lycopene? | Learn About Its Benefits, Side Effects & More
Lycopene Health Benefits

Origin of Lycopene

Tomatoes are one of the most abundant natural sources of lycopene. The term lycopene is taken from the scientific name of the tomato, Solanum lycopersicum. Other foods that contain lycopene include carrots, watermelons, papayas, and red capsicum. These, in particular, are reddish fruits and vegetables.

What Is Lycopene?

Lycopene is an organic pigment that is also referred to as a carotenoid. It is connected to beta-carotene and lends a brilliant red color to some plants and fruits (for example, tomatoes).

It's a vitamin A-like substance with strong antioxidant characteristics that may help protect cells from harm. Lycopene has recently acquired appeal among nutritionists and scientists because of its benefits for individuals with heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Lycopene is used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and various other ailments, although most of these claims are based on a lack of scientific proof.[1]

Lycopene Benefits

Lycopene is a vital element for a person's overall health because of its great antioxidant capabilities.

1.Strong Antioxidant Properties
Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant in the carotenoid family that can help protect your body from oxidative stress, various environmental pollutants, and chronic diseases.

Antioxidants help to protect your body from the harmful effects of free radicals. The antioxidant capabilities of lycopene have been shown in studies to help keep free radical levels in check, protecting your body from some of these illnesses.

2.May Protect Against Certain Types of Cancer
Antioxidant-rich diets, such as those high in lycopene, may help to prevent or reduce the progression of various cancers, such as prostate cancer.[2] It may also protect against lung, kidney and breast cancers, though additional human study is needed to prove this.[3]

3.Cognition and Brain Health
As per study of 622 elderly persons, dietary lycopene mixed with other herbs like ginkgo improved cognition. However, while ginkgo improves cognition, the role of lycopene is unclear.[4]

Although clinical trials have yet to show this advantage, lycopene promotes brain health and may improve cognition.

4.May protect skin from sunburn
Sunburns may be reduced by eating more tomato-based products.[5] Lycopene and other skin-protective chemicals are abundant in tomatoes.[6]

According to another study, tomato juice reduces sunburns by over 50%, but lycopene is only responsible for half of the impact.

However, it should not be a replacement for sunscreen.

5.May help eyesight
According to study, lycopene may help avoid or delay cataracts and lessen the chance of macular degeneration, the major cause of blindness in older people.[7]

Other benefits include

  • May Promote Heart Health
  • May reduce pain and inflammation
  • May contribute to stronger bones
  • May prevent exercise-related asthma[8]

Lycopene Side Effects

Lycopene is one of the most natural and safe substances found in fruits and vegetables. It is commonly used in food coloring because of its non-toxic properties.

When ingested in moderation, the negative effects of lycopene are minimal. However, too much lycopene might be harmful to your health.

Excess lycopene consumption can lead to lycopenodermia or lycopenemia, which causes your skin to turn red like a tomato.[9] It may also cause pain and discomfort in the digestive system.

This, however, is just temporary and has no negative consequences. It can be remedied by eliminating lycopene from your diet.

Lycopene usage can cause intolerance or allergies in certain people. If you are a victim, you should avoid eating excessive doses of lycopene or a product with lycopene as the main element.

Recommended Lycopene Dosage and Timing

Daily doses of 15 mg of lycopene have been demonstrated to be beneficial to exercise. You can take the doses at different times throughout the day or 45 minutes before or during your workout.

Lycopene Supplement

Because of its capacity to improve health and its antioxidant characteristics, lycopene can be found in most multivitamins and antioxidant supplements. It can be used with other vitamins, minerals, and supplements.

Lycopene Interaction

Though lycopene can be found in a variety of foods, it is also available as a supplement. However, when used as a supplement, lycopene can interfere with several drugs, such as blood thinners and blood pressure medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is Lycopene?

A: Lycopene is responsible for the brilliant red color of tomatoes. It's a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory from nature.

Q: What Is Lycopene Good For?

A: Lycopene is used to treat high blood pressure, brain health, sunburn, high cholesterol, eye health, cancer, and various other ailments, although most of these claims lack scientific backing.

Q: What Food Has Lycopene?

A: Tomatoes are the most common dietary source, and the more lycopene a tomato contains, the better. Sun-dried tomatoes, watermelon, fresh tomatoes, tomato purée, canned tomatoes, guava, papaya, pink grapefruit, regular grapefruit, cooked sweet red peppers and rose hips are other food sources.

Q: What Are the Food High in Lycopene?

A: As per research, High lycopene foods include guavas, watermelon, grapefruit, cooked tomatoes, papaya, red cabbage, persimmon, asparagus, sweet red peppers, and mangos.[10]

Q: Where Do I Buy Lycopene?

A: You can buy lycopene supplements from any online store.

Q: Does Lycopene Reduce the Risk of Cancer?

A: According to research, lycopene from food sources appears to lower the incidence of prostate cancer and possibly other malignancies. To back up this claim, more research is required.[11]

Q: How to Increase Your Lycopene Intake?

A: There are two ways to get more lycopene in your diet:

  • According to the American Cancer Society, eat more lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes. This method will also provide you with other beneficial substances. Lycopene is only responsible for a portion of tomatoes' health benefits.
  • Supplements containing lycopene.


Lycopene is a potent antioxidant with a long list of health benefits, including sun protection, improved heart health, and a reduced risk of certain cancers.

Though it's available as a supplement, lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes and other red or pink fruits may be the most effective way to get it.

Consider taking a supplement if you can't stand tomatoes. Lycopene supplements should be avoided by pregnant women and children, while others should seek medical advice first.

Read Also: Super Health Benefits Of Antioxidant Powders You Probably Didn’t Know

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11 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Lycopene:,several%20cancers%2C%20notably%20prostate%20cancer.
[2] Risk of Prostate Cancer :
[3] Types of Cancer :
[4] Cognitive Function :
[5] Protect Skin from Sunburn :
[6] Skin-Protective:
[7] Cataract Development :
[8] Inflammation in Asthma :
[9] Side Effects :
[10] Health Benefits of Lycopene :
[11] Prevention of Cancer :