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Salud Publica Mex. 2010 May-Jun;52(3):254-65.

[Nutraceutical properties of lycopene].

[Article in Spanish]

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Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Alimentos, Laboratorio de Enzimología, Instituto Tecnológico de Veracruz, Veracruz, México.


In recent years, dietary recommendations have suggested an increase in the consumption of foods that contain phytochemicals that provide benefits to human health and play an important role in preventing chronic diseases. Lycopene -the carotenoid responsible for the red color of tomatoes- has attracted attention because of its physicochemical and biological properties in the prevention of chronic diseases in which oxidative stress is a major etiological factor, such as cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, and hypertension, among others. Antioxidants, including lycopene, interact with reactive oxygen species, can mitigate their damaging effects and play a significant role in preventing these diseases. This article presents a review of some epidemiological studies published in recent years on beneficial effects of lycopene in human health.

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