Back in 1930 Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi isolated a new compound from lemon juice – rutin. He believed that this new compound belonged to the new vitamin class – vitamins P. Today we know, that this compound belongs to the compound class called Flavonoids. Keep on reading to get to know more about what are flavonoids what health benefits they can bring to you!
What are flavonoids
Flavonoids are an essential polyphenolic class of compounds (scientists have identified up to 10000 different ones across the plant kingdom) that nature is producing in so many plants fulfilling so many essential roles. Typically flavonoids (like – flavanones, flavanes, isoflavones, etc.), are attributed for their role in producing typical plant colors, flower pigmentation for the attraction of animals for pollination, and UV protection, but also as signaling molecules in plant cells and between plants themselves.
Due to the large variety of compounds that are considered flavonoids, you can find them from so many sources in nature. Foods high in flavonoids include parsley, oregano, elderberry, blackberry, black currant, black and green tea, grapes, raspberries, strawberries, and even more. Many great health benefits of wine are especially attributed to its rich content of flavonoids like Daidzein.
From today’s perspective, we look at flavonoids as an enormous pool of a wide variety of pharmacologically active compounds that nature is ready to provide us, that we can use for our own benefit. A diversity of compounds, a wide variety of biological activities are associated with flavonoids. However, almost all flavonoids are considered to possess antioxidative potential.
Antioxidative Potential of Flavonoids
Due to their chemical structure, polyphenols like flavonoids are considered to be really efficient antioxidants. As our bodies at every moment are under the attacks UV irradiation or rich oxygen and nitrogen derivative rich atmosphere, we have to continuously protect ourselves from the attacks. As polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids can easily absorb UV radiation protecting our cells from damaging DNA e.g. preventing skin aging and increased risk of skin cancer.
Not only on the outside, but in our bodies as well many processes promote the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. These reactive molecules are responsible for unwanted oxidation reactions in our bodies.
Furthermore, as natural metabolites, the core structure of flavonoid can also work as signaling molecules in our bodies. Scientists have numerous examples proven, where flavonoids work as a booster of our natural antioxidative potential.
An example is the sensitization of the liver – a chemical laboratory of our bodies. Flavonoids can activate several enzymes in our liver that are responsible for the decrease of oxidative stress and do the clean-up of peroxidation products that lead to several diseases.
An Effective Tool For Reduction of Inflammation
In some cases, inflammation can be caused by free radicals like reactive oxygen and nitrogen species formation. These oxygen and nitrogen molecules are short-lived and highly reactive. and can react with other molecules forming new radicals that would react again creating new radicals causing a chain reaction.
As we have already discussed, natural antioxidants like bioflavonoids can reduce the amount of these molecules. Such increased activity of reactive oxygen species can be found in damaged cells leading to inflammation. Reducing the amounts of reactive oxygen species indirectly leads to reduce in swellness and inflammation.
Flavonoids benefit in the reduction of inflammation-promoting several cellular pathways for the reduction in swellness.
Flavonoids Can Protect or Heart and Cardiovascular System
As we have discussed, peroxidation is one of the major problems, that can happen to healthy molecules in our bodies. The impact of these radicals can cause several problems for our cardiovascular health. Such peroxidation can lead to increased cholesterol levels, damage of low-density lipoproteins and other lipids, which could lead to blockage of our blood vessels.
Also, flavonoids can promote the reduction in atherosclerosis by reducing inflammation around blood vessels, which leads to reduced levels of reactive oxygen species which leads to previously described effects.
In several cases, flavonoids have exhibited protective effects on the heart and blood vessels in case of myocarditis and reduce the damage that it has caused.
Flavonoid Effect on Diabetes
One of the aspects, that has been studied is the flavonoid effect on people with diabetic problems. Recent studies state, that a flavonoid-rich diet is associated with a reduced risk of type-2 diabetes – by 31%. More in-depth studies revealed, that flavonoids increase insulin sensitivity which leads to better glucose uptake.
A Possible Treatment for Cancer
Flavonoids have been extensively studied for their properties as anticancer drugs. Scientists have discovered several pathways, how flavonoids can stop the formation of cancer. Some of these effects can be attributed to antioxidative properties, other by promoting cellular pathways to reduce induce self-programmed cell death, stop cell multiplication, and others.
The same anti-inflammatory properties can promote flavonoid use as a supplement for chemo- and radiotherapy, as flavonoids are able to reduce inflammation and in general relieve side effects caused by drugs.
Flavonoids Improve Your Mental Sharpness
It is no secret that by age our cognitive abilities decline. However, several studies point to flavonoid ability to slow down or even stop problems like dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Diets rich in flavonoids have been directly linked to maintaining mental ability.
All of this is due to oxidative protection and reduction of inflammation. Flavonoids have been linked to the prevention of oxidative neuronal damage which in hand maintains mental sharpness. Other pathways like decrease of deposition of amyloid-β have also been identified with a decrease in risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fruit-rich flavonoids food and diets have been extensively advertised in order to improve our health. By learning of all the positive effects of flavonoid supplements we can surely trust that they indeed improve our health in several ways. Scientists have already shown the potential and we believe, that a lot more is still in front of us to explore. If we have convinced you about all the amazing things flavonoids can do to you, visit NSTChemicals.com to buy high-quality flavonoids and other phytochemicals.