Zearalone is a mycotoxin produced by several species of Fusarium fungi and often found in contaminated grains such as corn, barley, wheat, oats and sorghum.Silvia Peterini Boeria et al. Lycopene treatment prevents hematological, reproductive and histopathological damage induced by acute zearalenone administration in male Swiss mice. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 2014; In Press AND
Zearalone has hematotoxic (toxic to blood) properties and estrogen disrupting effects at low concentrations and cause male and female infertility, reduced testosterone levels, and early puberty in girls.
Lycopene is a bright red phytochemical produced in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya and red carrots. Lycopene is a strong anti-oxidant and diets high in lycopene have been linked to lower levels of heart disease, macular degeneration, and several cancers including prostate cancer.
Oral lycopene may protect against some of the harmful effects of exposure to zearalenone. A male mouse study treated lab mice with 10 days of lycopene (20 mg/kg) or placebo, and then treated them with a single oral administration of zearalenone. The mice treated with lycopene had significantly less zearalenone related toxicity as compared to the mice not treated with lycopene. The lycopene treated mice had significantly fewer adverse changes including: 1) less decline in red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, 2) less testicular damage and less reduction in sperm counts, and 3) prevented decline of the important ,metabolic enzyme glutathione-S-transferase.