Role of Lycopene in Preventing Oral Diseases as a Nonsurgical Aid of Treatment.
Int J Prev Med. 2015 ;6:70. Epub 2015 Aug 5. PMID: 26330986
Without pigments, we are nothing. Life presents us with a kaleidoscope of colors. From the green grass of home to a forest's ruddy autumn hues, we are surrounded by living colors. Living things obtain their colors, with few exceptions, from natural pigments. In addition to their role in coloration, natural pigments carry out a variety of important biological functions. Of the various classes of pigments in nature, the carotenoids are among the most widespread and important ones, especially due to their varied functions. Lycopene is a red plant pigment found in tomatoes, apricots, guavas, watermelons, papayas, and pink grapefruits, with tomatoes being the largest contributor to the dietary intake of humans. Lycopene exhibits higher singlet oxygen quenching ability. Due to its strong color and nontoxicity, it is a useful food coloring agent. Moreover, it plays a multifunctional role as a nonsurgical aid in the treatment of oral diseases like leukoplakia, oral submucous fibrosis, lichen planus, oral squamous cell carcinoma, and also prevents the destruction of periodontal tissues. This review article focuses mainly on the role of lycopene in the prevention of various oral diseases.