In the majority of the red fruits and vegetables, a phytonutrient named Lycopene is present. Phytonutrients are produced by the plants to help them to protect from environmental factors. Phytonutrients also contribute in making the plant as colorful and flavorful. Phytonutrients are divided into several groups based upon their chemical characteristics and protective functions. One of the most researched phytonutrients is Lycopene which is the part of Carotenoid group.
Lycopene doesn’t have vitamin A in it and is found in pink grapefruits, guavas, papayas, watermelons, and apricots. Carotenoids are still or more available in the food after they have been cooked.
Research indicates the reduction of risk of prostate cancer in men due to intake of foods containing Lycopene. Research to find out the connection between prevention of other cancers and atherosclerosis is also being conducted, but the domain still requires a lot of research. In August 2005 an article in the Journal of Nutrition mentioned that it is tough to determine the average amount of intake of Lycopene per person but one study has mentioned the average intakes per day for males in US to be 6581mg per day and 5672mg /day for women. However, the amount of lycopene found in each cup of concentrated tomato sauce is 34244mg and it is 3834mg in each cup of fresh cherry tomatoes.
Lycopene is benign and is commonly found in the diet we take. If you are taking Lycopene supplements, then it is possible that you are over-dozing in the amount of Lycopene. We have mentioned below some side effects that can be caused due to excess of Lycopene in your body.
- Allergic Reactions on Skin
If you get allergic reactions like skin reactions or sensitivities from food containing a high amount of Lycopene, then consider reducing the amount of tomatoes and other Lycopene having foods in your diet. Also, check the labels of the supplements to avoid if you have allergies to any of the included component.
- Upset Stomach
Some of the stomach issues like the feeling of nausea, cramps, and gas in the stomach, and even vomiting can occur if you get a high amount of Lycopene in your food. Consider reducing the amount of Lycopene foods to check if it is a reaction to Lycopene or it is the side effect of the acidic aspect of tomatoes. Reduce the amount of tomatoes, as they can irritate stomach ulcers.
When you get a wide amount of red foods like tomatoes, beets, chili beans and other fruits, a reddish discoloration of the skin is usually observed. It can also result from drinking an excessive amount of concentrated tomato juice.
- Lower Blood Pressure
Lycopene can result in lowering the blood pressure. You have to take caution if you are using medicines to lower the BP already.
- Medication Interactions
If you are taking any medical treatment like chemotherapy, then do discuss with your doctor about your Lycopene consumption. There are reports which show the interaction of Lycopene with antibiotic ciprofloxacin and olestra, too. So if you think you are having too much Lycopene along with these medications, be sure to talk to your doctor about this.