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  Lycopene is a carotenoid present in human serum and skin, as well as, the liver, adrenal glands, lungs, prostate and colon. Lycopene has been found to possess antioxidant and antiproliferative properties in laboratory studies, although activity in humans remains controversial. Numerous studies correlate high intake of lycopene-containing foods or high lycopene serum levels with reduced incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration. However, estimates of lycopene consumption have been based on reported tomato intake, not on the use of lycopene supplements. Since tomatoes are sources of other nutrients, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium, it is not clear that lycopene itself is beneficial. There is no well-established definition of "lycopene deficiency," and direct evidence that repletion of low lycopene levels has any benefit is lacking.
Natural Standard® Patient Monograph, Copyright © 2010 (www.naturalstandard.com).
 
  The lycopene in tomatoes may reduce sun damage by 35%. One cup of tomatoes daily is what you need to increase your protection from sun damage. In a notable Harvard study of nearly 48,000 men, for example, those who ate more than two servings of tomato sauce a week were up to 36% less likely to develop prostate cancer over a 12-year period than men who ate less than one serving a month. A review of 72 different studies showed consistently that the more tomatoes and tomato products people eat, the lower their risks of many different kinds of cancer.
     

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