Let food be your medicine: nutraceutical properties of lycopene
Nowadays the increase in awareness of a healthy lifestyle in the society can be observed. People are looking for added health benefits from their dietary intake. This explains the popularity of functional food with supplemented components that promote wellness. Lycopene belongs is a type of carotenoid that give vegetables and fruits, as tomatoes their red color. Due to its chemical structure, lycopene acts as an antioxidant, which is the basis for its health promoting properties. The nutraceutical effect of lycopene has been reported in patients with cancer, infertility, metabolic syndrome and liver damage. Here in this review we highlight primary research and clinical trials involving lycopene and its impact on human health. Lycopene through its antioxidant activity has a positive effect on human health. It has the greatest antioxidant potential among carotenoids. As the oxidative stress is recognized as an important agent of many chronic diseases, lycopene seems to be universal medicine. Supplementation can treat affections such as prostate cancer, male infertility and metabolic syndrome.