Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant abundant in red tomatoes and processed tomato products,
may help prevent prostate cancer and some other forms of cancer, heart disease,
and other serious diseases. In a reader-friendly style, Unlock the Power
of Lycopene highlights research that suggests lycopene may be beneficial as part
of a balanced diet. This book will help readers appreciate the tomato by sharing
its fascinating facts and history, and includes tasty recipes for tomato-based
Note! Medical conditions or problems should be discussed with your doctor. Good nutrition
is not a substitute for medical treatments and a doctor's care.
Lycopene is an open-chain unsaturated carotenoid that imparts red colour to tomatoes,
guava, rosehip, watermelon and pink grapefruit.
Lycopene is a proven antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, which may
damage the body's cells.
Research shows that lycopene in tomatoes can be absorbed more efficiently by the
body if processed into juice, sauce, paste and ketchup. The chemical form of lycopene
found in tomatoes is converted by the temperature changes involved in processing
to make it more easily absorbed by the body.
In the body, lycopene is deposited in the liver, lungs, prostate gland, colon and
skin. Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher than all other carotenoids.

Regular high consumption of fruits and vegetables is recommended as part of healthy
eating. Epidemiological studies have shown that high intake of lycopene-containing
vegetables is inversely associated with the incidence of certain types of
cancer. For example, habitual intake of tomato products has been inversely associated
with the risk of cancer of the digestive tract among Italians. li>In one six-year
study by Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, the
diets of more than 47,000 men were studied. Of 46 fruits and vegetables evaluated,
only the tomato products (which contain large quantities of lycopene) showed
a measurable relationship to reduce prostate cancer risk. As consumption of tomato
products increased, levels of lycopene in the blood increased, and the risk
for prostate cancer decreased. The study also showed that the heat processing of
tomatoes and tomato products increases lycopene's bioavailability.
Ongoing preliminary research suggests that lycopene is associated with reduced risk
of macular degenerative disease, serum lipid oxidation and cancers of the lung,
bladder, cervix and skin.
Studies are underway to investigate other potential benefits of lycopene - including
the H.J. Heinz Company sponsored research at the University of Toronto and at
the American Health Foundation. These studies will focus on lycopene's possible
role in the fight against cancers of the digestive tract, breast and prostate

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