Document Type : Review Article
Radio-protectors are agents that protect human cells and tissues from undesirable effects of ionizing radiation by mainly scavenging radiation-induced free radicals. Although chemical radio-protectors diminish these deleterious side effects they induce a number of unwanted effects on humans such as blood pressure modifications, vomiting, nausea, and both local and generalized cutaneous reactions. These disadvantages have led to emphasis on the use of some botanical radio-protectants as alternatives. This review has collected and organized studies on a plant-derived radio-protector, lycopene. Lycopene protects normal tissues and cells by scavenging free radicals. Therefore, treatment of cells with lycopene prior to exposure to an oxidative stress, oxidative molecules or ionizing radiation may be an effective approach in diminishing undesirable effects of radiation byproducts. Studies have designated lycopene to be an effective radio-protector with negligible side effects.