Flavonoids are ubiquitous in plants and humans can ingest large amounts in their diets with very positive effects.
Studies of flavonoids have shown antioxidant, anti-allergic, anti-microbial, anti-radiation, anti-tumour and anti-inflammatory properties.
Flavonoids can minimise the adverse effects on our cells from free radicals. We are all exposed to free radicals in the forms of stress, electro magnetic radiation, pollution and excess sunlight. Free radicals are molecules that have lost an electron. This makes them unstable and reactive. Free radicals need an electron to become stable and this is achieved by oxidising healthy cells. The antioxidant properties of flavonoids neutralise free radicals. This counterbalances the negative effects making them ineffective in the ability to damage our healthy cells.
A recent 7-year study of almost 100,000 men and women whose diets contained the most flavonoids were significantly less likely to die from heart disease or stroke. The risk of a fatal heart attack was reduced by 40% for women and 25% for men. Stroke risk was reduced by 37% in men consuming higher amounts daily flavonoids.
Foods rich in flavonoids are numerous but include chlorophyll, fruits and berries, OPC’s, green tea, red wine and chocolate.
Copyright (c) Sheri Dixon 2011
Advances in Flavonoid Research since 1992
Jeffrey B. Harborne, Christine A. Williams
Department of Botany, School of Plant Sciences, The University of Reading, Reading RG6 6AS, UK
J Nutr. 2007 Mar;137(3 Suppl 1):718S-737S.
Flavonoids and heart health: proceedings of the ILSI North America Flavonoids Workshop, May 31-June 1, 2005, Washington, DC.
Functional foods for health promotion: state-of-the-science on dietary flavonoids. Extended abstracts from the 12th Annual Conference on Functional Foods for Health Promotion, April 2009.
Williamson G, Sies H, Heber D, Keen CL, Macdonald IA, Actis-Goretta L, Momma TY, Ottaviani JI, Holt RR, Schroeter H, et al.
Nutr Rev. 2009 Dec; 67(12):736-43.
Flavonols, flavones, flavanones, and human health: epidemiological evidence.
Graf BA, Milbury PE, Blumberg JB.
J Med Food. 2005 Fall; 8(3):281-90.
Dietary flavonoids: bioavailability, metabolic effects, and safety.
Ross JA, Kasum CM.
Annu Rev Nutr. 2002; 22:19-34. Epub 2002 Jan 4.