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Using Storytelling to Explain the Benefits of Lycopene

At Lycored we’re passionate about lycopene as an ingredient for wellness, so we’re always excited when we’re able to present new research on its benefits. At Vitafoods Europe we showcased previously unpublished research indicating combining topical sunscreen with lycopene may create a synergistic effect for skin protection.

by Zev Ziegler

Researchers treated ex vivo human skin tissues with formulations combining SPF 15 sunscreen with our Lycomato+ rosemary extract, which contains lycopene and other natural carotenoids. When they tested the samples for harmful UV-induced reactive oxidant species they found the combination reduced oxidative stress, indicating possible synergistic activity. 

The research showed that Lycomato may complement traditional sun and skincare products by neutralising free radicals. It demonstrated that including carotenoids in topical formulations may also have other benefits for skin health and appearance, including increased skin density and elasticity.  Furthermore, the antioxidant activity of carotenoids may add to the shelf life of sunscreen. 

The study adds to the body of scientific evidence for the benefits of lycopene for skincare. At last year’s Vitafoods Europe we were awarded the NutraIngredients Award for Best University Research for another study which showed how Lycopene-Rich Tomato Nutrition Complex (TNC) and lutein can protect against UVA/B- and UVA1 radiation at a molecular level.

One of the great things about an event like Vitafoods Europe is that it allows you to share research like this in a way you wouldn’t normally be able to.  We decided to get creative by building a life-size installation celebrating the many benefits of lycopene.  It included a ball game demonstrating how lycopene helps protect the skin against UV damage, which was the perfect opportunity to communicate a complex scientific message in a simple, fun way.

In many ways the exhibit typified the Lycored ethos.  As well as scientific studies in the lab, we undertake engagement studies that help us understand how to create knowledge, build trust, and communicate the benefits of our products, both to manufacturers and consumers. 

Another example of that is the Lycopedia, our educational website, on which the exhibit was based. It’s an interactive hub that tells the story of lycopene in several different languages and demonstrates its benefits from early infancy through to old age. Drawing from over 50 clinical studies, it covers health and wellness issues including preeclampsia, lung health, skin health, fertility, cardiovascular health, vision health, osteoporosis and prostate health.

The Lycopedia demonstrates perfectly that lycopene can be a valuable ally at every stage of life.  We believe that’s worth sharing and celebrating.

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