Lycopenes are linked to lower mortality. Lycopenes are the red pigments of tomatoes. Researchers from Omaha, Nebraska found that it is the lycopenes in tomatoes and watermelons that lower mortality. They analyzed data on 2499 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
This trial went on for 5 years, from 2001 to 2006. The persons enrolled in the study were 20 years or older. They also had metabolic syndrome. Blood levels of lycopenes were obtained in the beginning of the study. The mortality of the subjects with the highest initial lycopene levels was calculated. The mortality of the subjects with the lowest initial lycopene values was compared to this. The risk of dying over 5 years for the group with the highest initial lycopene levels was 39% lower that the lowest lycopene group. The subjects with the middle third high lycopene level still had a 33% lower mortality than the lowest lycopene group.
The authors remarked: “Although the biological mechanisms by which metabolic syndrome increases the risk of mortality are not entirely clear, increased oxidative stress and inflammation may play an important role in the higher rate of mortality of individuals with metabolic syndrome”.
Lycopenes are linked to lower mortality in colon cancer
It is difficult to sort out the nutrients that prevent colon cancer. However, lycopenes are among the colon protective nutrients. Other nutrients are fiber, isoflavones, selenium, vitamin E, folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and curcumin. There is a limit as to how much prevention can achieve using supplements and healthy nutrition. Research has demonstrated that the supplements mentioned will lower the mortality of prostate cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Unfortunately there are also genetic factors that cause higher risks among direct blood relatives of colorectal cancer patients, breast cancer patients and prostate cancer patients. This should prompt more vigorous screening among these higher risk populations.
Lycopenes are linked to lower mortality among younger patients with metabolic syndrome. Lycopenes also belong to the group of supplements that have reduced mortality from colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Eat your tomatoes and enjoy a slice of juicy watermelon. It will boost your health!