Measuring serum lycopene levels may help doctors diagnose and evaluate patients with diabetic retinopathy.
A recent study finds that lycopene levels were significantly lower in individuals with diabetes. According to the study, “subjects with proliferative diabetic retinopathy had significantly lower lycopene levels than subjects without diabetic retinopathy or with nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.”
This study and others have found that oxidative stress is related to the development of microvascular complications (conditions related to diabetes including include diabetic nephropathy, diabetic neuropathy, and diabetic retinopathy) in patients with diabetes. Lycopene has been found to play a role in the prevention of oxidative stress-related disease.
Lycopene is found in its high levels in tomatoes, but apricots, guava, watermelon, papaya, and pink grapefruit are also significant sources.