While the ingredients in our Radiant beauty supplement might sound complex, more often than not they come from vegan sources commonly found in the fruit and veg aisle at your local supermarket. Take lycopene for example.
Lycopene, like astaxanthin which we discussed last week, is a type of organic pigment called a carotenoid. You might have come across carotenoids in biology class, as these pigments are what give certain fruit and vegetables their vibrant colours. Lycopene comes out as bright red, and as such can be caught red-handed in all the usual suspects — tomatoes, watermelon, and pink grapefruit to name a few.
Carotenoids act as antioxidants, which means they tackle harmful free radicals that damage tissues throughout your body. They’re also grouped under the phytonutrient umbrella. “Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant, and phytonutrients are chemicals within fruit and vegetables that help protect them from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats.
They also benefit us when we eat them, but they’re not essential for keeping you alive, like the big three macros for example, or your alphabet vitamins. Think of them more as bonus weapons in your arsenal, nice-to-haves that help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.
Here we take a closer look at lycopene, going through the benefits and explaining why we included it within Radiant.
Lycopene And Your Skin
As an antioxidant lycopene is critical for healthy skin, helping protect the skin by reducing and counteracting free radical production. Free radicals are the things to avoid, damaging healthy skin cells and creating oxidative stress – antioxidants can protect your skin from this and thus help with fine lines and wrinkles.
Plus there’s more. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology, found that lycopene supplements in particular, helped protect the skin from UV rays. The study on 65 volunteers over 14 weeks, found that participants who took extra lycopene had significantly less sun damage compared to the placebo group. Tomatoes can also act as an astringent, reducing the appearance of large pores and controlling sebum production.
The Other Health Benefits
As is the case with all powerful antioxidants, the benefits of lycopene go a lot further than what’s just on the surface. One surprising study published in 2020, found lycopene to positively affect bone metabolism — the constant production and breakdown of bone tissue. — while the same researchers undertook a small study with 68 women, which found that lycopene could help retain bone strength.
A 2017 meta-analysis undertaken by researchers at University of Illinois also showed that participants who reported higher lycopene intake and had higher blood levels of lycopene were at lower risk of prostate cancer, while studies suggest lycopene could support good heart and vascular (cardiovascular) health — although there is still more research to be done in the area.
Lycopene In The Diet
As previously mentioned, tomatoes are one of the main sources of lycopene, and the riper the fruit/vegetable hybrid the more lycopene contained within. Processing raw tomatoes using heat, like turning it into a sauce or paste, also transforms natural lycopene to a form that is easier to utilize by the human body. After tomatoes, there is a big drop off in lycopene levels among other fruit and vegetables, although guava and watermelon are reasonably high in the phytonutrient.
Radiant itself contains a form of lycopene called LycoBeads, which is extracted from tomatoes and comes in a natural, micro-encapsulated form to conserve its special health benefits. While we always recommend getting your nutrients from natural food sources, sometimes it’s just not feasible to eat tomatoes every day of the week — even if ketchup lovers might argue against this theory.
And that’s where our supplements come in — offering a guarantee to ensure your body (including those all-important skin, hair and nails) gets the vitamins and minerals it needs, and can make up for the shortfalls that happen when you don’t get what you need through food.
Radiant combines scientifically-backed nutrients for healthy hair, skin and nails with Coll-egan® for vegan collagen support. An innovative first, Radiant is more than just a beauty supplement, it’s all the nutrients you need to shine.