Diet and lycopene

Diet and lycopene


How Much Lycopene in the Diet?

Since this substance is not considered an essential nutrient such as vitamins and some minerals, there are no reliable data on the daily requirement of lycopene. What is certain is that no side effects from overdose have yet been discovered.

Experts assure that regular consumption of foods high in lycopene is sufficient to significantly reduce the risk of developing numerous pathologies such as those listed in the previous paragraph.

For this reason, the consumption of this substance is particularly important for those subjects considered at risk such as, for example, smokers or men over the age of fifty (as regards prostatic problems).

In the studies carried out on this substance, dosages of 5 - 60 mg (5.000 mcg - 60.000 mcg) of lycopene per day were used. Obviously, if in addition to lycopene other natural antioxidants such as certain vitamins, lipoic acid or coenzyme Q-10 are also taken, the beneficial effect on our body increases considerably. In fact, it has been shown that the antioxidant activity of lycopene benefits from the synergistic relationship with other micronutrients.

In light of all these data, it is not normally necessary to resort to dietary supplementation which can in any case be used in association with other antioxidants in cases of increased need (physical and mental stress) or reduced dietary intake.

Products licopene
(mg / 100 g)
(mg / serving)
Tomato juice 9.5 250 mL 25.0
Ketchup 15.9 15 mL 2.7
Spaghetti sauce 21.9 125 mL 28.1
Tomato paste 42.2 30 mL 13.8
Tomato soup (Condensed) 7.2 250 mL prepared 9.7
Tomato sauce 14.1 60 mL 8.9
Chilli sauce 19.5 30 mL 6.7
Fish sauce 17.0 30 mL 5.9
Watermelon 4.0 368 g (1 clove 25 x 2 cm) 14.7
Grapefruit 4.0 123 g (1/2) 4.9
Fresh tomato 3.0 123 g (1 medium) 3.7


The discovery of all these beneficial properties has in recent years aroused a real wave of enthusiasm towards lycopene. All the newspapers talk about it or have talked about it and even advertisements exploit the positive image of this substance.

It is important to remember that the intake of lycopene by itself is not able to deal with all those damages deriving from incorrect lifestyle habits (smoking, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, etc.). For example, it is quite optimistic to hope to counteract the damage caused by excessive consumption of saturated fats, with the simple intake of a lycopene tablet.

Therefore, a tomato a day can keep the doctor away only if the other rules necessary to effectively prevent the pathologies for which lycopene is considered useful are also observed. Among these we would like to emphasize once again the importance of regular physical activity, the consumption of fruit and vegetables and the reduction of saturated fats in favor of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated ones.

Lycopene Foods rich in lycopene
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