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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 167-170

Role of lycopene in the prevention of cancer

Department of Surgery (Gen.), CSM Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Ankita Johary
Department of Surgery (Gen.), CSM Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.99468

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Cancer is a major public health problem in many parts of the world. There are over 100 different types of cancer, affecting various parts of the body. Oxidative stress is an important contributor in cancer. If oxidative damage is left unrepaired, it can lead to mutations and changes in cell biology, which can lead to neoplasia (unregulated accumulation of cells). Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables has been recommended to reduce the incidence of cancer. Fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants and phytochemicals that mitigate the damaging effect of oxidative stress. They play an important role in the prevention of cancer and maintenance of good health. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in the role of lycopene in cancer prevention. Lycopene is one of the dietary carotenoids and a potent antioxidant. It is present in tomatoes (including processed tomato products) and other fruits such as grape, watermelon, orange, and papaya. Dietary intake of tomato and tomato products containing lycopene has been shown to be associated with decreased risk of cancer. The antioxidant properties of lycopene have been documented as being primarily responsible for its beneficial effects. In this article we outline the possible mechanism of action of lycopene and review the current understanding of its role in cancer prevention.

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