Lycopene Side Effects
So far there are no known lycopene side effects from taking lycopene. As with all new supplements, not many studies have been done into the long term effects of lycopene however as it is a naturally occurring anti oxidant that has been consumed for years without adverse effects it is thought to be quite safe. It is also not known to cause any effects when combined with other vitamins, supplements or drugs and has actually been proven to increase the effectiveness of cholesterol lowering drugs such as lovastatin.
There are some cases of people experiencing allergic reactions to lycopene and when this occurs consumption should definitely be avoided. Pregnant woman should also not try to consume foods rich in lycopene even though there is no scientific evidence to show there would be any adverse effects experienced. One side effect which has been reported but not proven in trials is people who continuously consume lycopene supplements having problems with bloating, gas, vomiting, nausea, indigestion and diarrhoea. If this is occurring it is wise to seek medical advice before continuing to take lycopene.
Effects Of Lycopene
As with anything, dosage and quantity must be measured. The only adverse effects you will likely get are from taking too much lycopene. Although lycopene dose recommendations vary (with Harvard sticking to 6.5mg) you should try and remain under lycopene 30 mg per day. One case of a middle aged women who had prolonged and excessive consumption of tomato juice has been reported with her skin and liver turning orange/yellow. After 3 weeks of lycopene free diet however her skin and liver colour returned to normal. The discolouration of her skin is non toxic and is called lycopenodermia.
Some substances react with lycopene and decrease absorption into the body. These substances include cholestyramine orlistat, mineral oil and colestipol.