Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found primarily in tomatoes, has attracted a great deal of attention in nutritional science and natural medicine in recent years. This unique substance, which is responsible for the bright red color of tomatoes and other fruits, offers a variety of health benefits. From its discovery to its absorption to its potential healing powers, this article provides a comprehensive insight into the world of lycopene.

The discovery of lycopene

The discovery of lycopene dates back to the early 19th century, when scientists began studying the pigments in plants that are responsible for their bright colors. It was first isolated in 1876 by the German chemist Heinrich Wilhelm Ferdinand Wackenroder, who extracted it from tomatoes. However, it is only in recent decades that the full extent of its health-promoting effects have been recognized, which has led to growing interest both in science and among health-conscious consumers.

Dosage forms and dosage

Lycopene can be absorbed in various ways, including through the consumption of foods containing it or by taking dietary supplements. The bioavailability is higher in processed tomato products such as tomato juice, ketchup and tomato paste than in fresh tomatoes, as cooking releases the lycopene and makes it easier to absorb.

A daily dose of 6 to 15 mg is recommended for adults, although the optimal amount may vary depending on individual health goals. Overdose is rare, but as with all supplements, it should not be taken in extremely high doses.

Healing effects of lycopene

Lycopene has been linked to a number of health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers, particularly prostate cancer. Studies have shown that it acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals that can lead to cell damage and disease. It has also been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and improve skin health.

Although it cannot be considered a panacea, research suggests that a regular intake as part of a balanced diet can help prevent and support the treatment of certain diseases.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

To support the health-promoting effect of lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C and E and selenium can be taken as supplements. These substances work synergistically with it to enhance antioxidant protection and promote general health. Medicinal plants such as green tea, garlic and turmeric can also be beneficial as they have anti-inflammatory properties and can improve the absorption.

Foods rich in lycopene

In addition to tomatoes and tomato products, watermelons, papayas, pink grapefruits and guavas also contain significant amounts of lycopene. Regular consumption of these fruits can help increase lycopene intake and reap the health benefits.

Possible side effects

Although lycopene is generally well tolerated, some people may experience side effects, particularly if they consume excessive amounts of lycopene supplements. These include stomach discomfort, nausea and diarrhea. A very high intake can also lead to a harmless discoloration of the skin known as lycopenoderma, which is characterized by an orange coloration.

Lycopene in naturopathy

In naturopathy, lycopene is used as a natural remedy to prevent and support the treatment of diseases. It is valued for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties. Incorporating it into the daily diet, whether by eating foods containing it or by taking supplements, is a simple and effective way to promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.


Lycopene is an example of the power of nature to promote health and well-being. Through its antioxidant properties, it provides effective protection against a range of diseases while boosting the immune system. While it is not a substitute for a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, it can provide significant benefits as part of a comprehensive health strategy. Combining lycopene-rich foods with other supplements and medicinal plants can further enhance its health benefits, making it an essential part of health maintenance and disease prevention.

Published on: 6. April 2024


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