Lycopene - A pleiotropic neuroprotective nutraceutical: Deciphering its therapeutic potentials in broad spectrum neurological disorders.
Neurochem Int. 2020 Nov ;140:104823. Epub 2020 Aug 20. PMID: 32827559
Lycopene is a naturally occurring carotenoid found abundantly in red fruits and vegetables. Myriads of literature documented potential health benefits of lycopene, owing to its sublime capacity of suppressing oxidative stress, inflammation, and modulation of various cell survival pathways. Due to its lipophilic nature, lycopene can reach brain adequately by traversing the blood-brain barrier thereby extending it's promising therapeutic benefits in neurological disorders. Lycopene efficiently assists in restoring the characteristic behavioural and pathophysiological changes associated with neurodegenerative disorders, epileptic conditions, aging, subarachnoid hemorrhage, spinal cord injury, and neuropathy. The detrimental impacts of environmental neurotoxins on brain and neuropathological consequences of consumption of high-lipid diet can also be mitigated by lycopene. Apart from its high antioxidant potency, lycopene confers neuroprotection by preventing proteinopathies, neuroinflammation, apoptosis, cerebral edema, and synaptic dysfunction. This review provides a lucid idea on the potential multi-faceted benefits of lycopene in disorders of the central nervous system and elucidates the molecular mechanisms and pathways of its action.