Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid that gives tomatoes their appealing ruddy hue. It is also present in human serum and skin as well as the liver, adrenal glands, lungs, prostate and colon.
Lycopene is not a provitamin and is not converted into vitamin A in the body. Lycopene is not an essential nutrient, though it is quite beneficial to overall health.
A powerful antioxidant, lycopene may reduce the incident of breast and prostate cancer. It also has been shown to reduce harmful cholesterol in the body.
How much you should have: There is no current recommended daily dosage for lycopene, though it couldn't hurt to reach for the ketchup just in case.