Supplements or tomato juice?

Related tags Tomato Prostate cancer functional beverage beverage

Taking supplements of lycopene is just as efficient as increasing
certain food sources in boosting levels of the antioxidant, say
researchers, comparing lycopene blood concentrations after dosing
with both natural and synthetic sources.

Lycopene has attracted significant attention in recent years as it has been linked in some research to reduced risk for cancers, especially prostate cancer. New findings also suggest that it could have a protective effect on heart disease, the cause of more deaths among women than any other disease.

A team of DSM and Roche scientists tested the systemic availability of lycopene from natural sources - tomato soup and juice - compared with tablets of the compound.

For the study, published online this week in the European Journal of Nutrition​, they restricted intake of lycopene-rich foods in study participants for 14 days. The subjects were then asked to ingest 20mg of lycopene daily for eight days either as tomato juice, soup prepared from tomato paste or lycopene tablets. Lycopene plasma concentrations were monitored throughout the depletion and dosing phases and for 22 days post-dosing.

The researchers report that systemic availability of synthetic lycopene from a tablet formulation was comparable to that observed from processed tomatoes (soup from tomato paste) and superior to that from tomato juice.

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