Do you eat ketchup? What about tomato sauce? If so, you’ve probably noticed the word “Lycopene” popping up on the labels recently. Hmmm. Seems the large food companies have finally figured out the wisdom of promoting the powerful compounds found within their foods or beverages. We’re seeing the continued rise of the already gigantic category that’s come to be known as “functional foods”. Essentially, as we perceive it, at least in terms of the marketing, it’s the attempted marriage of foods with dietary supplements.
Unfortunately, many of these products, as fine as they might be in and of themselves, often fall far short in the “functional” part, because they typically don’t contain enough of the purported active ingredient to deliver a meaningful benefit to the user, despite what the label might imply.
Another potential problem is often with the consistency or regularity of usage. For example, a small dose of lycopene ingested once or twice a week probably would not deliver the same benefits as a therapeutic dose taken every day in supplement form. As far as I can tell, most of the research done on lycopene involved regular daily supplementation with doses much higher than you’d expect in your standard dollop of ketchup.
Bottom line- if you like ketchup, by all means, enjoy it. For sure, some Lycopene is better than none. Heck, we even have a best-seller that features a few milligrams as part of the mix (although we do not claim it will deliver the benefits of the full dose). But if you want to enjoy the full benefits of Lycopene, get a hold of a supplement with 15mg or more per day. In our view, the best brand of supplemental lycopene is LycoMato® – It’s the one we use (with the fill 15mg dose) in our Lycopene Omega-3 Super Formula.
– Jason Kam