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Lycopene Associated With Delayed Mortality in People With Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of mortality, possibly partially due to increased oxidative stress and inflammation. A recent study suggests that higher blood levels of lycopene may lower the risk of mortality in people with metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other diseases.  These risk factors include central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism.

Participants in the study included 2,499 people with metabolic syndrome who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The researchers divided the participants into three groups, based on lycopene levels: Low (0.011 to 0.291 umol/L); Medium (0.292 to 0/456 umol/L); and High (0.457 to 1.494 umol/L).

The mean survival time of people with the highest serum lycopene concentration was found to be approximately 4 months onger than the medium group and 13 months longer than the low group. However, they also noted that this study found correlation, not causation.

Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 8, 2016, in Nutrition Research.

Previous studies have shown that lycopene may have a positive effect on heart health, bone health, and skin health. If you want to increase lycopene levels you may want to consider taking a lycopene supplement, or increasing your consumption of red-pigmented foods such as tomatoes, peppers and papayas. Certain diets, such as the Mediterranean diet, are also high in lycopene.

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