Choosing the Right Lycopene Supplements

Lycopene is a naturally occurring carotene or carotenoid compound present in red fruits and vegetables like watermelon, papaya, tomatoes and carrots. Lycopene has many well researched health benefits which makes it a very important part of a balanced diet. Lycopene is known to treat many heart conditions, purifying skin, exercise induced asthma among many other conditions which it can help treat. Even though lycopene is present in ample amount in natural foods, it may also be taken in form of supplements. Lycopene acts as an antioxidant while oxygen is being burnt by body cells to produce energy. Lycopene may be taken in supplement form when the body needs more lycopene than what is consumed via a normal diet. This can be during cases when lycopene is intentionally being taken to fight some medical condition or is being taken during the summer season to protect the skin. Lycopene helps protect the skin from the free radicals created by the UVB and the UVA rays by neutralizing them. One must be careful while choosing lycopene supplements as an overdose of lycopene may prove to be harmful, though there are no strong evidence to back this claim.

Be as natural as possible

Consuming lycopene in its natural form is the best practice. Orange tomatoes are the richest source of lycopene, especially when they are cooked. After cooking, three times more lycopene is released from the cell membrane. Try to consume lycopene through natural sources as much as possible. Moreover, lycopene released through natural sources can be easily consumed by the body. Even when you are taking lycopene supplements, never be completely dependent on them, consume lycopene in its natural form at the same time.

Choose dosage carefully

Lycopene dosage varies according to the medical condition. Always get the dosage prescribed from a doctor. An smaller dose of lycopene than required will result in ineffective treatment while an overdose at the same time may cause some medical condition. Getting the dosage prescribed would also eliminate all chances of any allergic reaction or drug reactions which lycopene supplements may cause.

Availability should be taken into consideration

Many multivitamins are available in the market for lycopene, however, prime importance should be given to the availability in the market.  The lycopene supplements you choose should be easily available with any local pharmacist. You should also be able to buy the supplements over the internet from the company store or any online pharmacy store. Price is another factor which should be given importance while choosing lycopene supplements. There are a number of varieties available because of which the supplements are available in a wide price range. Keep your budget and requirement in mind. Lesser priced supplements do not necessarily mean that they would be ineffective.

Know about possible drug interactions

Lycopene supplements may contain a lot of other chemicals, compounds or food materials which may cause a drug interaction. There are many things which can reduce the absorption of lycopene. Colestipol, orlistat, colestyramine and mineral oils are some of them. If you are consuming any one of these prior to consuming lycopene, you should inform your doctor about it, so that you can be prescribed some alterative for them. Lycopene supplements may contain nuts, wheat, sugar, soy, glutten, shellfish, whey or yeast. Choose the supplements carefully so that they do not contain anything which may cause an allergic reaction to you.

Keep in mind that it is always better if lycopene is consumed through natural foods. Lycopene supplements should only be taken when they are unavoidable.

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