The Benefits of Lycopene for Diabetics

lycopeneLycopene is considered to be a naturally occurring chemical in fruits and vegetables that are red. Known as one of the pigments called carotenoids, lycopene is found in watermelons, apricots, and tomatoes (which have a particularly high amount). 85% of the one’s diet in lycopene most often comes from tomato-based products such as juice, paste, or sauce. Lycopene can also be found in dietary supplements. Lycopene has been used to treat such conditions as heart disease, prostate cancer, cancer of the lungs and bladder, and well as the human papilloma virus, or HPV. Lycopene has also been observed in clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness on diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition in which there are elevated glucose levels in the bloodstream thus causing many complications. Diabetes is currently found in two forms: type 1 diabetes, which is typically diagnosed during early childhood but can form at any age, and type 2 diabetes, which makes up a significant portion of diabetes cases worldwide. In type 1 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, which it needs; whereas in type 2 diabetes, the body does not use the insulin that is being produced by the pancreas effectively or efficiently.  Treatment of diabetes differs from patient to patient. As it stands currently, there is no specified cure for diabetes. Treatment of both forms of diabetes typically involves a combination of diet, exercise, and medicine to prevent further problems.

In many clinical trials, understanding the levels of antioxidants present in lycopene was an important factor in determining its success on diabetes. The way the body absorbs lycopene is not readily understood; however, it is believed by most medical professionals to be absorbed into the lipid micelles within the small intestine and then the nutrients are then distributed throughout the body. The micelles are formed from fat and bile within the body. In a study using rats that had diabetes, scientists found that lycopene does indeed have an effect on blood sugar. Lycopene caused a decrease in glucose levels, an increase in the concentration of insulin within the bodies of the rats, as well as an increase in the enzyme activities that are normally carried out within animal bodies. It was then determined that lycopene could indeed be effective in aiding diabetic patients’ glucose levels.

There are many websites that offer cooking recipes to diabetics that incorporate fruits and vegetables that contain lycopene. It is important to understand that while lycopene was shown to be very effective in the rats’ bodies, that is not a formal guarantee that it will be effective for diabetic patients, but the results from the clinical trial exhibit potential. Studies have also indicated that lycopene is beneficial in treating other complications that may result from diabetes such as heart disease and neuropathic disorders. Neuropathic disorders are considered by scientists and physicians alike to be extremely complex to treat, thus lycopene was prominently displayed as a viable means in the treatment of certain ailments that may exhibit themselves in diabetics.



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