Lycopene Intake Reduces Cardiovascular Disease Risk

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
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Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have concluded that your intake of lycopene is associated with a 17 percent risk reduction for developing cardiovascular disease.

To reach this conclusion, researchers analyzed data from the Framingham Offspring Study over a 10-year period, which included detailed lycopene intake. Lycopene is found in tomatoes. It is more available from cooked tomatoes, since cooking helps liberate the lycopene from tomato fiber, making it easier to absorb. Highly purified natural sources of lycopene, which are found in some lycopene dietary supplements, are the easiest way to ensure high lycopene intake.

Like other carotenes, lycopene is highly protective to human health. It is associated with significant protection for the prostate as well as for skin. When you regularly consume carotenes such as lycopene, they slowly and surely deposit in body tissues that use them for protection. If you don’t consume them then your supply is slowly and surely depleted from body tissues, leaving you more vulnerable to health problems.

As the authors conclude, “The present study of lycopene intake and cardiovascular disease risk provides supporting evidence for an inverse association between lycopene and cardiovascular disease risk.”

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