Phytochemical Lycopene Ameliorates Neuro-Oxidative Stress in Aging Degenerative Diseases

By Kyle J. Norton

Oxidative stress in a condition caused by overexpression of free radicals and the depletion of antioxidant enzymes found in the host.

In other words, oxidative stress is a result of a long-term imbalance of the ratio of free radicals and antioxidants.

Antioxidants can be either produced by the liver or consumptions of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.

Antioxidants are stable molecules that protect our body against free radical oxidation.

Free radicals are any chemical compounds which have an oxygen molecule that can become free radical after chemical interaction in the body

Most healthy individuals can produce enough amounts of antioxidant enzymes endogenously to counter the bombards of free radicals.

However, for people with a weakened immune system such as elderly and immature immune system may require the injection of antioxidants from the outside sources, particularly from the second metabolites.

Epidemiologically, oxidative stress has been found to promote a number of age-related conditions, including cardiovascular diseases CVDs, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.

Not all free radicals are bad in the moderate amounts, our body needs limit levels of some free radicals to function better, including lower blood pressure, relax blood vessels to move blood, such as nitric oxide NO.

Lycopene is a phytochemical in the class of carotenoid, a natural pigment with no vitamin A activity found abundantly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables, such as red carrots, watermelons, and papayas,

Tomatoes provide about 80% of the lycopene in the world diet. In plants, lycopene protects the host against excessive photodamage and perform various functions in photosynthesis.

On findings a phytochemical compound for the treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, scientists examined the effects of lycopene (LYC), a carotenoid pigment, on oxidative stress-induced cognitive defects.

According to the behavioral tests, chronic LYC supplementation (50 mg/kg body weight per day) alleviated d-galactose-induced CD-1 male mice cognitive impairments.

Furthermore, LYC ameliorated histopathological neuron damage and restored brain-derived levels of neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotransmitter modulator associated with neuronal survival and growth, serves in the hippocampus of mice.

Moreover, LYC also significantly stimulated the production of antioxidant enzymes such as HO-1 and NQO-1 and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and TNF-α in the d-galactose-treated mice serum.

The Immunohistochemical assay also suggested that LYC significantly restored the expression of glial cells inflammatory makers Iba-1 and GFAP that responses to proinflammatory expression.
More importantly, LYC protected the neuronal against oxidative damage through activation of Nrf2 signaling in the regulation of anti-inflammatory gene expression and inactivation of NF-κB translocation associated with pro-inflammatory expression in an H2O2-induced SH-SY5Y cell model.

Dr. Zhao B, the lead scientist wrote, “LYC could ameliorate oxidative stress-induced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment possibly via mediating Nrf2/NF-κB transcriptional pathway”.

Taken altogether, lycopene found in tomato may be considered supplements for the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with oxidative stress, pending on the confirmation of the larger sample size and multicenter human study.

Intake of lycopene in the form of supplement should be taken with extreme care to prevent overdose acute liver toxicity.
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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,.
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Dietary Lycopene Supplementation Improves Cognitive Performances in Tau Transgenic Mice Expressing P301L Mutation via Inhibiting Oxidative Stress and Tau Hyperphosphorylation by Yu L, Wang W, Pang W, Xiao Z, Jiang Y, Hong Y. (PubMed)
(2) Supplementation of lycopene attenuates oxidative stress induced neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment via Nrf2/NF-κB transcriptional pathway by Zhao B1, Ren B1, Guo R1, Zhang W1, Ma S1, Yao Y1, Yuan T1, Liu Z1, Liu X. (PubMed)