Clearly lycopene possesses chemical and biological properties, which make it a very attractive candidate for tissue protection and reduction of disease, especially degenerative diseases. Lycopene probably interacts more efficiently with one particular reactive oxygen species, singlet oxygen, than any other commonly occurring nutrient. It appears to share with several other carotenoids the capacity to reduce lipid peroxidation and DNA oxidative damage, and to enhance cell-cell gap junction communication and to protect normal IGF-1 function. It may reduce cholesterol formation and its tissue accumulation in some circumstances. Studies related to cancers and cardiovascular disease are ongoing and are attracting increased research interest.

See also: Alcohol: Disease Risk and Beneficial Effects. Antioxidants: Diet and Antioxidant Defense; Observational Studies; Intervention Studies. Ascorbic Acid: Physiology, Dietary Sources and Requirements. Carotenoids: Chemistry, Sources and Physiology; Epidemiology of Health Effects. Fruits and Vegetables. Vitamin A: Biochemistry and Physiological Role; Deficiency and Interventions.

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