Bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are a class of antioxidant nutrients sometimes referred to as "vitamin P".

General characteristics

By enhancing the beneficial properties of vitamin C, bioflavonoids prevent the breakdown of ascorbic acid in the body. As early as 1935, it was proven that an extract obtained from lemon peel was many times more effective against scurvy than pure vitamin C. And the following year, citrine extract was found to be a mixture of bioflavonoids. Today, many researchers and doctors believe that the consumption of these substances is good for blood vessels and as a remedy for heart disease.

There are more than 6,000 naturally occurring flavonoids with different classifications.

The most common types of this substance are isoflavonoids, flavones and flavonols.

According to another classification, there are 4 categories of substances: proanthocyanidins (found in many plants, in red wine, grape seeds, maritime pine bark; they affect the human body multifunctionally), quercetin (the most active, serve as the basis for other flavonoids, useful for inflammation and allergies), citrus bioflavonoids (includes rutin, quercitrin, hesperidin, naringin; used in vascular treatment), green tea polyphenols (anti-cancer agent).

Representatives of different types differ slightly in their structure, but the basic properties are common to all substances. All bioflavonoids usually play the role of anti-carcinogenic substances, regulate hormonal levels, and also strengthen bone tissue.

Why are they useful?

In their natural state, bioflavonoids tend to be paired with ascorbic acid. And during the interaction, both substances enhance the properties of each other. When taking nutritional supplements, it is important to consider this. In addition, bioflavonoids are useful for humans as antioxidants, antiviral and anti-inflammatory agents.

Bioflavonoids are found in high concentrations in citrus peels, rose hips and black currants. In alternative medicine, these substances are used as a means to strengthen the immune system, as an enhancer of the action of ascorbic acid, as well as for the treatment of viruses, allergies and various inflammatory diseases.

Other benefits of bioflavonoids:

  • are important for the prevention of epistaxis and postpartum bleeding;
  • prevent miscarriages at various stages of pregnancy;
  • correct menstrual irregularities;
  • protect against heart disease and cancer;
  • prevent excessive blood clotting;
  • reduce blood cholesterol levels;
  • prevent early aging;
  • protect against infections;
  • are able to reduce pain;
  • improve the performance of the liver and organs of vision;
  • strengthen the walls of blood vessels.

Representatives of the group

Rutin

Treats chronic venous insufficiency, glaucoma, hay fever, hemorrhoids, varicose veins veins, circulatory disorders, herpes, liver cirrhosis, stress, cataracts. Useful in rheumatological diseases such as gout, arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, spondylitis.

Found in apricots, buckwheat, prunes, rose hips, white part of citrus peel, green peppers.

Anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins

Effective for the treatment of eye diseases such as cataracts, night blindness, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration. Also useful for strengthening the walls of blood vessels, which helps prevent bruising, varicose veins, hemorrhoids. These bioflavonoids are helpful in preventing osteoporosis by stabilizing the amount of collagen, a protein important for bone health. They also prevent the growth of cholesterol in the blood, the development of cardiological diseases and strokes. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins also act as vasodilators to prevent blood clots. Interestingly, proanthocyanidins are able to cross the blood-brain barrier to protect brain cells from free radicals and infectious diseases.

​​

Found in blueberries, cranberries, black and green teas, raspberries, grapes, eggplant, red cabbage, elderberry, red wine.

Hesperidin

Useful for menopausal women and also effective against viruses that cause herpes, influenza, and some respiratory diseases. Helps fight allergic reactions, swelling in the legs. Deficiency of a substance in the body is manifested by the fragility of blood vessels, pain in the arms and legs, leg cramps at night.

Found in the pulp and peel of citrus fruits.

Ellagic acid

One of the anti-cancer substances, in particular due to the ability to neutralize the action of carcinogens. Reduces the negative impact of some harmful substances contained in tobacco smoke, as well as in processed meat products. Reduces the impact on the body of aflatoxins (carcinogens), which can cause serious liver disease and cancer.

Found in strawberries, grapes, apples, cranberries, blackberries, walnuts.

Quercetin

An antihistamine that reduces inflammation, hay fever, allergies, bursitis, gout, arthritis, and asthma. Important for liver detoxification and strengthening of blood vessels, useful for the treatment of atherosclerosis and lowering cholesterol. It is believed that quercetin reduces the risk of developing malignant tumors and stops the reproduction of bacteria harmful to the body. Effective in the treatment of complications of diabetes associated with the functioning of the kidneys, nervous system and eyes.

Found in green tea, onion scales, various types of cabbage, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, strawberries, cherries, grapes and other foods.

Catechins and tannins

They help in the process of cleansing the liver, strengthen blood vessels, reduce the manifestations of inflammatory reactions. They also belong to substances that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Prevent the destruction of collagen. May be useful in the treatment of hepatitis and arthritis.

Contained in green and black tea.

Kaempferol

This natural flavonoid promotes rapid and effective liver cleansing and strengthens the vascular system. Known as a remedy for cancerous tumors.

Found in strawberries, leeks, cabbage, broccoli, radishes, beets.

Naringin

Slows down the progression of heart disease and eye problems associated with diabetes. A powerful anticoagulant that supports the health and tone of the arteries. It is a substance important for preventing strokes, heart attacks, blindness due to diabetes.

Found in grapefruit (gives a bitter taste to the fruit).

Genistein

Known estrogen regulator flavonoid. It is believed that this substance is able to stop the development of cancer at different stages. Protects the cardiovascular system. It is useful for maintaining men's health, and is also necessary for women during menopause.

Found in soy and soy products.

What is important to know about bioflavonoids

Today, in an era of extreme popularity of dietary supplements and all kinds of “natural” drugs, the popularity of bioflavonoids has also increased especially in medicinal herbs. Meanwhile, when buying a drug of this type, it is important to know where the plants were collected, how environmentally friendly they are, and whether the drug contains harmful impurities.

In addition, “where the legs grow from” vitamin P, it is also important to know who and when it may be needed. And there can be several reasons for vitamin therapy. Including, these are stomach ulcers and vascular problems, various physical injuries and emotional disorders. In addition, it is desirable to “get hooked” on bioflavonoids in the cold seasons, when the body most needs nutrients and support for immunity. Weakness of unknown origin appeared, joints hurt, bruises appeared on the skin (mainly in the hair growth area) - a sure sign of hypovitaminosis P.

Application: daily allowances and recommendations

Bioflavonoids found in large quantities in many fruits. A particularly high concentration of the substance is found in fresh products of plant origin, as well as fruit juices.

Although the optimal daily intake of bioflavonoids has not been determined. Some experts advise enriching your daily menu with this useful substance in the amount of 2000-6000 mg. But in this case, take exclusively citrus fruits as a source, since they have a very low toxicity. The daily norm of bioflavonoids obtained from green tea polyphenols should not exceed 300-400 mg, from quercetin - 200-400 mg. For prophylactic purposes, proanthocyanidins are taken at 50 mg daily (for example, from grape seed extract), and the therapeutic norm is 150-300 mg per day.

Meanwhile, it is advisable to remember that some bioflavonoids, in particular from grapefruit juice, can affect the biological activity of certain medications. For this reason, when taking natural antioxidants and medicines, it is important to consult a doctor about the admissibility of such a combination. If this is not possible, then you must follow the instructions for use and do not exceed the recommended doses. It is important to drink all preparations based on bioflavonoids with plenty of clean water. It is better to store the substance at room temperature, in a place protected from direct sunlight and moisture.

Researchers say that this substance is not toxic and will not cause harm even in high doses. Bioflavonoids dissolve easily in water, and the excess is excreted from the body with urine. Meanwhile, pregnant women are not recommended to take too large portions of bioflavonoids. It is believed that childhood leukemia may be caused by a high concentration of bioflavonoids in the mother. Also, in some cases, an overdose of a substance can cause allergic reactions in the form of hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

Sources of bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are found in high concentrations in the pulp and peel of citrus fruits and other fruits that contain vitamin C. They are also present in some types of vegetables (soybeans, root vegetables). Other sources are tea, flax seeds, whole grains.

Bioflavonoids are ingredients of many herbal medicines. In particular, they are found in large quantities in pyrethrum, tansy, ginkgo biloba, licorice root, echinacea, St. John's wort.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are generally the best choice for getting high amounts of bioflavonoids. Meanwhile, it is important to know that after heat treatment, most of the useful elements are lost.

Most bioflavonoids are:

  • bell peppers (according to some sources, contains 3 times more vitamin C than orange juice);
  • strawberry;
  • fruits (citrus fruits: oranges, lemons, limes, as well as nectarines, peaches);
  • broccoli;
  • Brussels sprouts;
  • tropical fruits (mango, papaya);
  • garlic;
  • spinach;
  • tea.

And one more thing. It is important to remember that the highest concentration of vitamin P is concentrated in the peel of fruits and berries. The exception is fruits with colored pulp. And by color, you can understand what type of flavonoid is contained in the product. So, red, purple, blue colors are anthocyanins, yellow, orange are flavones, chalcones, flavonols, aurones.

Bioflavonoids, like most other nutrients, help keep hair and nails healthy and skin toned and smooth. The beneficial effects of these substances are felt by the entire body. And the good news is that finding foods rich in vitamin P will not be a problem - they are everywhere, literally under our feet, since most plants are excellent sources of flavonoids.