Before starting to take lycopene supplement, it is useful to take stock and think through a few things. To be able to do this in a systematic way, one can group the issues to consider as follows:
What Benefits Can I Expect?
The benefits that one might expect from supplementing one’s lycopene intake include:
Effects against aging: Lycopene is an antioxidant on steroids! It is way more powerful than Vitamin E. Having antioxidants available helps the body deal with oxidants which damage cells, tissues and DNA and can result in premature aging.
Effects against cancer: Several studies have suggested that high lycopene levels reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However the jury is still out on the activity against prostate cancer as other studies have not been able to confirm this.
Effects against chronic disease: There are suggestions that this compound may have an effect against chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease.
How Shall I Take It?
There are at least a couple of options for getting the required intake.
Through diet and food: The richest plant source is a South East Asian fruit called gac. However, in the United States our commonest source is ripe tomatoes or their derivatives such as tomato puree, tomato juice, dried tomatoes etc. Other sources are, water melon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, red bell pepper, seabuckthorne, wolfberry and rosehip.
As part of a multivitamin containing lycopene supplements: There are numerous places where one can obtain these supplements over the counter. It is also possible to source it online from reputable suppliers.
Keeping to a diet rich in lycopene is well recommended but if it becomes the only source then one must remember that this compound is only soluble in organic solvents such as oil but not in water. This would suggest having oily meals which has its own risks in terms of the calories taken in and risks to the heart.
One can have better control by sourcing the nutrient via nutritional supplements especially as the ingredient amount is known and one can choose the supplement that is better formulated to meet their needs e.g. men, women or children.
Where Shall I Get My Supply From?
There are many suppliers out there and one should give this some thought. The short answer is to use a reputable supplier. Some of the criteria one can use to make this judgment are:
What sort of ingredients do they use? You should only choose a supplier who uses high quality ingredients preferably to the same standard as in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
How do they source their ingredients? Choose a supplier who uses natural ingredients. Some of the cheaper supplements contain ingredients that have been manufactured from petrochemicals and contain impurities.
Do their supplements have enteric coating? This is a neutral polymer coating placed around the capsule to protect it from stomach acids. This ensures that it gets to the upper intestine where the supplement nutrients can be properly absorbed.
Will I Suffer Adverse Effects?
This is an important consideration but so far there are no known adverse effects from taking lycopene other than from excessive intake. The cases that have been reported are of colored skin and elevated blood levels after excessive intake but they resolved normally as soon as it was withdrawn.
Choosing your lycopene supplement means much more than what I have outlined here and there are products that I am aware of that pass these criteria with flying colors. If you are concerned with your health and well-being then please visit my website for an opportunity to learn a whole lot more.