Let food be your medicine: nutraceutical properties of lycopene
Currently, an increase in the awareness of a healthy lifestyle has been observed in society. People are seeking added health benefits from their dietary intake. Thus, functional foods with supplemented components that promote wellness are becoming popular. Lycopene is a carotenoid that gives vegetables and fruits their red color. Due to its chemical structure, lycopene acts as an antioxidant, which is the basis for its health-promoting properties. Oxidative stress is recognized as an important agent of many chronic diseases; thus, lycopene appears to be a universal medicine. Lycopene has the greatest antioxidant potential among carotenoids. Nutraceutical effects of lycopene have been reported for patients with cancer, infertility, metabolic syndrome and liver damage. Therefore, its supplementation can function as a proper causative treatment of disease. In this review, we highlight primary research and clinical trials involving lycopene and its impact on human health.