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What are the Absorption and Metabolism of Lycopene Powder?

Learn - Wednesday 07, 2021

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The absorption rate of lycopene is higher than that of α-carotene and β-carotene, but it is also affected by many factors. The cis configuration is easier to absorb than the trans configuration of lycopene. Most of the naturally occurring lycopene is in the all-trans configuration, while in human tissues it is mostly in the cis configuration (>50%), and the proportion of the cis configuration of lycopene in the body does not vary with food The configuration of lycopene changes. It is currently believed that lycopene in the trans configuration is mostly transformed into the cis configuration in the gastrointestinal tract before absorption. The protein-carotene complex in food, a large amount of soluble dietary fiber (if glue), combined with cholesterol and resin, and lack of iron, zinc and protein, suffering from intestinal diseases, etc. may interfere with the absorption of lycopene. Thermal processing can convert the trans structure of some natural lycopene into cis structure, and the lipids in the food matrix can promote the release of lycopene. The lycopene after adding oil and heat treatment is easier to absorb than unprocessed lycopene.

Lycopene Powder

Lycopene Powder

Different human experiments have reported that the half-life of lycopene can be between 2 to 3 days to 10 to 33 days. The nutritional status of lycopene can generally be judged by the concentration of serum lycopene. The serum lycopene content of American adults is mostly between 0.42~0.47μmol/L, but the dietary structure and the intake of lycopene in my country and European and American countries are quite different. At present, there is still a lack of comparison of the serum lycopene content of Chinese residents.


Lycopene is mainly distributed in the testis and adrenal glands in the human body, and more in the liver, adipose tissue, prostate and ovary. Lycopene could not be detected in the brain tissue (suggesting that it may not be able to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain tissue). The concentration of lycopene in blood and tissue is positively correlated within a certain dose range. About 50% of the carotenoids contained in the human body are lycopene, and lycopene is also one of the main carotenoids contained in human milk.

Metabolism and excretion

At present, little is known about the metabolites of lycopene in the body. Only two oxidative metabolites have been detected in human serum, skin and milk, namely 5,6-dihydroxy-5,6-dihydrolycopene and 1 ,5-Dihydroxy-2,6-epoxylycopene. It is speculated that lycopene may first be oxidized to produce epoxide, and then reduced to produce 5,6-dihydroxy-5,6-dihydrolycopene. The unabsorbed lycopene is mainly excreted through feces, and the part distributed in the skin can be lost due to keratinization and shedding of the epidermis.

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