Anti-aging Effect of Lycopene2010-02-12
Humans have dreamt, written and sung about everlasting life, or at least living longer, since the beginning of civilization. So what are the causes aging? There is no perfect definition and explanation of aging up to this day. By understanding and describing how we age, researchers have developed several different theories of aging. The most widely accepted theory is the free radical theory of aging, which conceived by Denham Harman in 1956. The free radical theory of aging states that organisms age because cells accumulate free radical damage over time. For most biological structures, free radial damage is closely associated with oxidative damage. Antioxidants are reducing agents, and limit oxidative damage to biological structures by passivating free radicals. Based on the free radical theory, if the body accumulates enough antioxidants as reducing agents, preventing damage from oxidation, and ultimately to slow down aging, to live longer will not be a dream for humans.
- ★ Harman, D. Aging: a theory based on free radical and radiation chemistry. Gerontology 1956；11：298–300.
After scientific determination, lycopene is considered as the most efficient antioxidant on earth.
- ★ Di Mascio P., Kaiser S., Sies H. Lycopene as the most efficient biological carotenoid singlet oxygen quencher. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1989; 274(2): 532-538. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2802626)
In animal studies, it was found that the deitary antioxidants caused an increase in maximum life-span of the animials studied. Early in the 1970s and since then, there were also many experiment results to prove so. Hence, we could conclude that lycopene has the most excellent anti-aging effect.
- ★ Kohn RR. Effect of Antioxidants on Life-Span of C57BL Mice. J. Gerontology 1971; 26: 378-380. (http://geronj.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/26/3/378）
- ★ Cutler RG. Antioxidants and aging. Am J Clin Nutr 1991; 53: 373S-379S. (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/53/1/373S)