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Nutrition

Iron-Rich Foods Reduces Lycopene in Tomatoes to Half

According to recent research by Ohio State University, iron reduces the absorption of lycopene to half. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene. Thus, increased intake of iron cancels out the benefits of tomatoes as well as the reduced risk of cancer.

Tomatoes offer a variety of dishes and health benefits. These range from securing against cancer and hypertension to keeping up the strength of our heart, skin, and eyes. These health benefits include reducing the risk of cancer, hypertension and strengthening the heart, eyes, and skin.

As to, prior researches have uncovered a link between lycopene and reduced risk of prostate, colon, and lung cancer. Lycopene is abundantly found in tomatoes.

Albeit use of lycopene-rich foods is useful for wellbeing, different nutrients that we consolidate them with may help or upset their cancer-fighting properties.

Read also – Endangered Chinese Fir Tree Holds the Cure to Cancer

For example, a new investigation currently proposes that consuming foods or enhancements rich in iron may split the advantages of lycopene. 

The research paper appears in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research journal. Click here to read the research paper.

Findings of the study prove the loss of lycopene

Rachel Kopec, an associate professor of human sustenance at Ohio State University in Columbus, co-lead author, and his team decided to observe see how the plant forms and a body absorb lycopene metabolites.

Seven male participants participated in the study. They had two kinds of meals, one was with iron and the other one was without iron. They were given a tomato shake in their test meal.

The members drank the shake either with ferrous sulfate as an iron enhancement or without. The analysts studied the members’ blood and fluids. 

Kopec says that in those individuals who had iron in their test meal, absorbed lycopene two times less than the uptake over time.

Rachel Kopec and his team exert that this rule may apply to every meal which would have both iron and tomatoes in high amounts. This could either be a Bolognese sauce or iron-fortified cereal with tomato juice. In all of the cases, your body would only consume half of the iron.

The mechanism behind the loss of lycopene

Kopec highlights the importance of the research in terms of the cellular disruption of iron. It is a common fact that mixing of iron with certain compounds would destroy their effectiveness.

Vegetables and fruits both are a rich source of carotenoids. Carotenoids may vary in color from yellow to red. In the western region plants commonly contain carotenoids in the form of alpha-carotene, lycopene, beta-carotene, and lutein.

These plant colors have cell reinforcement properties. However, researchers are unaware about the point that whether these phytochemicals play a role in reducing cancer or is there any other compound other than the phytochemicals involved in this. 

In this ongoing research, researchers are unaware of the role of lycopene in diluting the iron. This remains a mystery for the researchers. One possible cause could be the oxidation of lycopene by iron to its metabolites and does not form apo-lycopenoids. It was only this time when researchers found this.

Another possible cause surrounds the emulsification of tomato mix and fats by iron. Both of which are necessary for the absorption of lycopene by cells.

The mechanism turns them into a salad like dressing. Kopec says that it seems like oil is on top while vinegar floats at the bottom. It is nearly impossible to mix both of them. 

Study authors highlight the limitations of the study. It includes the participation of only the male participants and focusing only on apo‐lycopenoids.

Emma Colleen

Emma’s professional life has been mostly in hospital management, while studying international business in college. Of course, she now covers topics for us in health.

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