Lycopene (sometimes misspelled as Licopene) is a bright red carotenoid pigment, a phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits. Lycopene is the most common carotenoid in the human body and is one of the most potent carotenoid antioxidants.
Carotenoids are the red, orange and yellow coloring substances in plants and animals.
Approximately 700 different carotenoids have been isolated from plants and animals. About 50 to 60 of these are present in a typical diet. The major carotenoids in the human body include: beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin and lycopene. Various studies show that lycopene makes up at least 50 percent of the caroteniods in the human body, accentuating its importance. These carotenoids are specifically broken down by the body, often during the process of absorption into the bloodstream from the small intestine. They make their way to specific tissues and organs where they have been shown to protect against the type of oxygen damage that can harm your DNA.