When it comes to lycopene, I believe everyone is familiar with it. This nutrient pigment, known as "plant gold" by Western countries, was listed as the first of "products with the greatest contribution to human health" by the American "Time" magazine.

Lycopene is a red pigment molecule and an oxygen-free carotenoid. Its molecular formula is C40H56, the molecular weight is 536.85, and the pure product is a needle-shaped dark red crystal. Lycopene is widely present in plants and is named lycopene because it was first isolated from tomato.

Studies have shown that lycopene has various functional effects such as anti-oxidation, anti-cancer, and regulation of metabolism. However, the human body cannot produce this nutrient by itself and needs to be supplemented from the daily diet. Therefore, lycopene has become the "new darling" of the health care products industry in the 21st century.

Antioxidant - 100 times more powerful than vitamin E

As we all know, vitamin E is a common antioxidant. The antioxidant activity of lycopene is about 100 times that of vitamin E, and it is one of the strongest antioxidants found in nature so far.

Compared with other carotenoids, lycopene has better free radical scavenging effect, and its rate constant for quenching singlet oxygen is 2-3.2 times that of β-carotene.

The chemical structure of lycopene is a linear hydrocarbon composed of 11 conjugated and 2 non-conjugated carbon-carbon double bonds. Since it has 13 more double bonds than other carotenoids, it has a strong ability to eliminate free radicals and a high antioxidant capacity from the molecular structure.

Known as the "red protector" of the prostate

Has a significant effect on the prostate, known as the "red protector" of the prostate.

Controlled clinical trials abroad have shown that if middle-aged and elderly men regularly consume lycopene-containing health food, the incidence of prostate cancer can be reduced by 80%.

Usually, after lycopene is absorbed by the human body, it is concentrated in the prostate, adrenal gland, testis and other organs. Among them, the content in the prostate is as high as 64%, which is the place with the highest lycopene content.

Of all the organs in the human body, the prostate gland is the most sensitive to lycopene. If the content of lycopene in the human body is too low, it is likely to cause prostate aging or lesions.

Opportunities and challenges coexist

In addition to anti-aging (antioxidant) and protecting prostate function, lycopene also has certain effects on malignant tumors, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.

When the American VITY vitamin magazine described the health care function of tomato, it was described like this——

It contains powerful antioxidants, which can remove excess free radicals in the body, reduce the probability of prostate cancer, and inhibit the growth of cancer cells including breast cancer, lung cancer, and endothelial tissue. At the same time, it can prevent low-density lipoprotein from being affected by free radicals, reduce the concentration of cholesterol in the blood, and thus achieve the function of preventing cardiovascular disease, and help to improve male infertility...

At present, lycopene is being widely used in health products, food and beverages, cosmetics and other fields. But at present, in the process of developing such products, there is a common problem, that is, the stability is not high.

As a physiologically active substance, lycopene is prone to oxidation and decomposition when affected by light, heat, oxygen, pH and other factors, thus losing its physiologically active function and nutritional value to the human body.

At this stage, the common method is to use microencapsulation technology to encapsulate lycopene to improve its availability in functional products and promote its physiological function.

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