Last week, I told you about two nutrients that help shrink a swollen prostate. Well, there’s another nutrient that’s great for your prostate. I told you about this nutrient back in March in a Nutrient Insider on lowering your cholesterol. And now there’s new evidence that women need to take plenty. That’s because it also improves bone health as well.
This multifaceted nutrient is lycopene. Lycopene is a bright red plant chemical. You can find it in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, watermelon, and papaya. Unfortunately, it’s not in strawberries or cherries. But the greatest source of lycopene, believe it or not, is ketchup. That’s because cooking tomatoes activates the chemical. So ketchup, as well as salsa and tomato sauce, is full of lycopene.
There are a lot of studies coming out on this fantastic nutrient. It’s great for the prostate and to lower your cholesterol. But this new study says it can help women (and men) with osteoporosis.
In this randomized, controlled, intervention study, the researchers followed 60 postmenopausal women (50-60 years of age). They gave the women either “lycopene-rich tomato juice (70 mg/d lycopene) or tomato Lyc-O-Mato lycopene capsules (30 mg/d) for a period of four months.” What they found was startling.
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Both groups experienced significant increases in their blood levels of lycopene and total antioxidants. They all also saw a decrease in lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, and the bone resorption marker, N-telopeptide (Ntx).
The study authors said, “These results suggest that in postmenopausal women, supplementation with lycopene through juice or capsules may not only reduce oxidative stress, but may improve bone health as well.”
The Lyc-O-Mato supplement used in the study is a proprietary lycopene formula. It’s readily available on the Internet and most health food stores. Most people say lycopene is not an essential nutrient. In a strict sense, this may be true. But I think it’s essential everyone take it daily. It has just too many great health benefits.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.
"Supplementation with the antioxidant lycopene significantly decreases oxidative stress parameters and the bone resorption marker N-telopeptide of type I collagen in postmenopausal women," Mackinnon ES, Rao AV, et al, Osteoporos Int, 2010 June 15; [Epub ahead of print].