Protects from cardiovascular risk but also from some cancers: the many benefits of lycopene explained by Dr. Giuseppe Rovera
“It’s theantioxidant more powerful, able to stem the cardiovascular risks which lead to heart attack and stroke and some tumors, and to protect the skin from aging and ultraviolet rays. Merit of its action to combat oxidative stress ”: with these words Dr. Giuseppe Rovera, physician and psychologist, scientific coordinator of the Center for Eating Disorders of the San Pietro Polyclinic in Ponte San Pietro (San Donato Group), defines lycopene.
Lycopene: what it is and where it is found –
The lycopene is that carotenoid which gives the red-orange color to many fruits and vegetables: “Our body is not able to synthesize it autonomously: for this reason it must introduce it exogenously, from the outside, through the diet. We find lycopene in tomatoes, which is its main source, but also in pumpkin, carrots, peppers, watermelon, pink grapefruit, melon, papaya, apricots “, explains Dr. Rovera to Gazzetta Active. .
Lycopene: what is it for –
The main action of lycopene is of contrast to oxidative stress, “Or that condition of imbalance that occurs when the cells of our body are attacked by free radicals, substances produced by our metabolism through an incorrect diet or lifestyle. THE free radicals they can create an alteration of the barrier of our arteries and our vessels, leading to an increase in the bad or LDL cholesterol, with the risk of provoking stroke or heart attack “explains Dr. Rovera.
Lycopene: properties and benefits –
Wrong’antioxidant effect of lycopene it also affects other fundamental aspects of health. “Several studies, including one conducted at Cambridge University, have found a antitumor effect of lycopene. In particular this carotenoid would be effective in preventing the risk of prostate cancer“, Underlines Dr. Rovera. “Plus the lycopene is used for its effects a dermatological level, since it protects the skin from solar radiation and UV rays. For this reason, protective and anti-aging creams based on this carotenoid are created ”, adds Rovera. The reason why in summer, to promote tanning, red-orange foods are recommended …
Lycopene for those who play sports –
Precisely because of its effect of contrast to oxidative stress the lycopene is particularly suitable for those who do sport, in particular for those who practice it intensely: “When you play sports you are very stressed the cardiovascular system, bringing the heart rate even to 100-110. For this reason it is good to follow one diet that protects the heart and lower the levels of cholesterol bad. If they are amateur sportsmen who practice a diet rich in fruit and vegetables two to three times a week, it can provide the necessary amount of lycopene, but if you do sports five times a week, at an intense level, it would be good to consider supplements, ”suggests Dr. Rovera. “Lycopene is also particularly useful for the cyclists, which strain the prostate a lot during sports “.
Allergy to tomatoes –
But like all things, lycopene can also have its downsides. “In recent times there have been cases of allergy to tomatoes which could be linked to the presence of lycopene. Symptoms range from diarrhea to constipation, to intestinal disorders in general, heartburn or digestive problems. But usually this carotenoid is well tolerated ”, adds Rovera.
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