Anyone who is health conscious may want to know what is lycopene. It is a natural compound which is red and can be found in different foods. These foods typically have quite a strong red coloring. Foods such as tomatoes, apricots and pink grapefruits as well as others have a high level of this substance in them.

It can however also be found in other substances such as algae, plants and other organisms which use the process of photosynthesis. In fact most algae or plants that are bright red are likely to have a high concentration of lycopene.

Lycopene is not toxic and as a result it can be used as a food coloring and it is perfectly safe to consume, even in quite high doses. Once in the body it can be absorbed by lipoproteins and carried around the body via the bloodstream. As it travels around it will tend to gather in the testes, the liver and the adrenal glands.

When it builds up in these areas it will act as an antioxidant as it neutralizes free radicals. Health professionals believe that free radicals are part of the chain reaction that causes cancer cells to develop and grow. If they are left in the body they can cause the break down of healthy cells. Over time this could lead to cancers forming as more free radicals attack the body.

Due to its antioxidant properties, lycopene is also thought to prevent the oxidation damage of a person's DNA. Once again this is thought to be another precursor to certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer.

As well as being an antioxidant, it also works to absorb light, which makes it good for maintaining the health of the eyes, in much the same way that Vitamin A will. In this way it can be used to fight macular degeneration, a condition which affects the eyes and causes poor vision over time.

As the human body can not produce its own supply of lycopene, so anyone who wants to add it to their diet must do so by eating large amounts of foods which contain it, or by taking a supplement. Taking a supplement is obviously much easier than trying to eat cupfuls of tomatoes each day and is much more convenient. It also ensures that the right amount of the substance is consumed each day, something that can be quite difficult when eating certain foodstuffs.

The best approach with supplements is to take the multi-ingredient formulations which offer the synergistic effect of the different components working together. If you want to know more about the multi-ingredient supplement that contains lycopene, please visit my website.

What is Lycopene and Where Does it Come From? by Roger Franklin