When tomatoes are cooked, it appears that the lycopene is released so that the body can absorb it. Lycopene bioavailability has been shown to be about three times greater from tomato paste, which has been cooked, than from fresh tomatoes. Cooking does at least a couple of things that help the lycopene reach the blood. First, the heat causes the cell walls to rupture, so the lycopene is more readily available. Second, lycopene is fat-soluble, so the intestines better absorb it if it is mixed with dietary fat. Cooking tomatoes in an oily base, such as with spaghetti sauce, appears to be the ideal way to get lycopene in the diet.