New research is showing that Lycopene, the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their bright red colour, is being heralded as a SUPER anti-oxidant! - capable of not only prevention, but as an interventional therapy for a vast list of chronic diseases and conditions.

Lycopene is usually associated with prostate health in men, but its’ benefits are far more reaching. Several recent studies have shown that by having a high level of lycopene in your blood increases arterial health by 53% in cardiovascular disease patients! (1)

Also a Finnish study(2) showed that participants with the highest levels of lycopene in their blood had a 55% less chance of having any kind of stroke. The lycopene connection was even stronger when it came to protecting against strokes due to blood clots (the most common kind) with a 59% decrease in stroke probability! Even ARTHERSCLEROSIS Journal, one of the most trusted medical journals read by cardiologists, recently concluded that “the available evidence on the effects of lycopene supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors supports the view that increasing the intake of these has positive effects on blood lipids, blood pressure and endothelial function” (3) 

A worldwide call to action, spearheaded by Western University researcher Dr. Vladimir Hachinski, is now calling for more attention to the link between reducing strokes and preventing dementia. Approximately 747,000 Canadians live with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, which represents 14.9 percent of Canadians 65 and older. If no action is taken, that number is expected to increase to 1.4 million Canadians by 2031. His research has concluded that after suffering a stroke, the risk for developing dementia more than doubles! It only makes sense to add lycopene supplementation to your diet for a drastic reduction in your chance of suffering a stroke, and therefore dementia risk as well. 

Even more exciting is a August 2017 study from Korea that examined the link between oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. Lycopene has the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier where its antioxidant effects can help prevent the formation of amyloid plaques (the leading suspect in Alzheimer’s disease). The study concluded “lycopene has the potential to be developed as a nutrient supplement for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease clinically”!(4)

Not all lycopene supplements are created equal! A British biotech company at Cambridge University patented a new formulation of Lycopene called Lacto-lycopene, now available at Nature’s Source as ATERONON “The Tomato Pill”. Ateronon is a highly bio-available form a lycopene - ONLY one capsule a day is equivalent to eating a KILOGRAM of cooked tomatoes! - that provides the optimal level of lycopene your body needs to help prevent a growing list of chronic diseases and conditions. 

With so much new evidence and ongoing studies into its’ preventative health effects - Lycopene is definitely proving itself as a the most potent anti-oxidant that is going to play a key role in helping Canadians live longer, healthier, disease free lives!

References:

1. Effects of oral lycopene supplemenation on vascular function in patients with cardiovascular diseases and healthy volunteers: A randomized controlled trial. Parag R., Gajendragagkar., Hubsch A., Kaisa M., PetajaM., Wilkinson Ian B., Cheriyan J. PLOSONE 9(6): e99070, (2014)

2. Serum lycopene decreases the risk of stroke in men A population-based follow-up study Jouni Karppi, PhD, Jari A. Laukkanen, MD, PhD, Juhani Sivenius, MD, PhD, Kimmo Ronkainen, MSc and Sudhir Kurl, MD Neurology October 9, 2012 vol. 79 no. 15 1540-1547

3. Tomato and Lycopene supplementation and cardiovascular risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis Ho Ming Chen, Georgios Koutsidis, John K. Lodge, Ammar Ashor, Mario Siervo, Jose Lara Atherosclerosis Journal, February 2017, Vol. 257, pgs 100-108

4. Inhibitory Effect of Lycopene on Amyloid-β-Induced Apoptosis in Neuronal Cells Sinwoo Hwang, Joo Weon Lim and Hyeyoung Kim Nutrients (MDPI) August 16, 2017, 9, 883