Watermelon, Lycopene and the 4th of July
July 04, 2003
Eating watermelon may be protective against heart disease,
prostate cancer, and dangerous free-radical damage in the body.
Lycopene, the phytochemical associated with reduced prostate cancer
risk and lower rates of heart disease, is the red pigment that gives
watermelons their color. It is also a powerful antioxidant, scavenging
aggressive chemicals that react with cell components that cause damage
and loss of proper cellular function Watermelon contains about 40
percent more lycopene that tomatoes. Although lycopene levels vary
among different types of melons, the seedless ones tend to have more,
depending on both variety and growing conditions. Watermelon also
contains the vitamins A, B6, C, and thiamin. A cup and a half of
watermelon contains about 9 to 13 mg of lycopene. Red, ripe flesh is
the best indicator of the sweetest and most nutritious watermelon.
Other good sources of lycopene include tomatoes, red and pink
grapefruit, red-fleshed papaya, and guava.
Ellen Troyer, MT MA - Biosyntrx Chief Research Officer
Spencer Thornton, MD - Biosyntrx President