Lycopene - And Tomatos - Win The Antioxidant Battle

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Yes,that bright red tomato loaded with lycopene beat out other antioxidants, at least in lowering the risk of kidney cancer.

In a study limited to 96,196 postmenopausal women and looking only at the risk of renal cell carcinoma (as reported in Cancer 2015;121:580-588), those in the highest 25% in lycopene consumption lowered kidney cancer risk by a whopping 39%. The other antioxidants (alpa-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein plus zeaxanthin, vitamin C and vitamin E) showed no significant association with reduced risk.

What Does This Mean To You?

If you are a postmenopausal woman, it means a lot. In general, most people do not ingest significant amounts of lycopene, so looking to eat more tomato products is the best way to increase lycopene. Moderate supplementation is a good idea.

If you are not a postmenopausal woman, continue to eat lycopene rich foods or increase your lycopene anyway. Lycopene has shown benefits with the prostrate, asthma, lip blisters and other diverse symptoms

How Much?

There is a lot of information on the amount of lycopene you should try to get but little of it has been tested. As with all supplements, discuss it with your health care practitioner and start with a low dose to be sure you tolerate it well (though I found no cases of lycopene intolerance mentioned).

Mayoclinic.org provides a long list of amounts and usage indications and livewell.jillianmichaels.com has a suggestion or two. The general consensus is that 8-10 milligrams per day is a good target for supplementation, though amounts as high as 250 milligrams for 6 months were noted

Use your judgment on the amount; use your mouth to up your lycopene.

As always, eat well and be healthy!

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