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Bioavailability of lycopene

This review collets several papers that evaluated the factors that influence the bioavailability of licopene, as well as the food sources of this nutrient and the recommendation for ingestion of this carothenoid. To achieve de objectives of the study, a bibliographic research of the last fifteen years was made by access to the Medline (National Library of Medicine, USA) and Lilacs (Bireme, Brazil) databases, in english and portuguese,using as themes licopene, carothenoids and bioavailability. Lycopene is a carothenoid with no provitamin A activity, but is a strong antioxidant agent, being such function possibly responsible for contribution for the reduction the risks of developing cancer and other chronicle disease. This nutrient is found in a limited number of foods, and yet, the organism is unable to sinthetize it, it is obtained exclusively from the diet. Licopene ingestion suggest amount varies from 4 to 35mg/day. Studies demonstrate that there are many factors that can interfere in lycopene bioavailability, such as intestinal absorption; amount of lycopene in the source food; its presentation (isomers and synthetics); the presence of food matrix; presence of other nutrients in the meal (fat, fiber, other carothenoids, among others); use of drugs; food processing; besides the biological individuality and nutricional state os the individual. Studies about lycopene bioavailability have been developed over tomato and its products, most times, because that is the most frequently consumed. Study development emphasized the importance of the better way of absorption of this nutrient, being this relevant to the prevention of various diseases.

biological availability; lycopene; lycopersicon esculentum


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