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Flavonoid



Molecular structure of flavone

Flavonoids are a large group of low molecular weight polyphenolic phytochemicals found in all vascular plants. In the diet, flavonoids are found in many fruits, vegetables, and processed plant-derived foods such as teas and wines. The beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables are often attributed to flavonoid compounds rather than known nutrients as they show a wide range of biological effects including anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and anti-cancer activity. Consumers and food manufactures have become increasingly interested in flavonoids for their potential beneficial role in the prevention of cancers and cardiovascular diseases due to their antioxidant properties.

Quercetin
Quercetin is a flavonoid that serves as the backbone for many other flavonoids, including the citrus flavonoids rutin, quercitrin, and hesperidin. Quercetin is consistently the most active of the flavonoids in experimental studies, and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high quercitin content.

Citrus Bioflavonoids
Citrus bioflavonoids preparations can include rutin, hesperidin, quercitrin, and naringin. Hydroxyethylrutosides (HER) have been used in the treatment of capillary permeability, easy bruising, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.

Green Tea
Both green tea and black tea are derived from the same plant (Camellia sinensis). Green tea is produced by lightly steaming the fresh-cut leaf, while to produce black tea the leaves are allowed to oxidize. During oxidation, enzymes present in the tea convert many "polyphenol" substances that possess outstanding therapeutic action to compounds with much less activity. With green tea, oxidation is not allowed to take place because the steaming process inactivates these enzymes. The term polyphenol denotes the presence of a phenolic ring in the chemical structure. The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin gallate, and proanthocyanidins).

Key Benefits
As a class of compounds, flavonoids have been referred to as "nature's biological response modifiers" because of their ability to modify the body's reaction to other compounds such as allergens, viruses, and carcinogenic properties. In addition, flavonoids act as powerful antioxidants by providing remarkable protection against oxidative and free-radical damage.

Proanthocyanidins extracts demonstrate a wide range of pharmacological activity. Their effects include:
  • Increase intracellular vitamin C levels
  • Decrease capillary permeability and fragility
  • Scavenge oxidants and free radicals
  • Inhibit destruction of collagen the most abundant protein in the body
Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action.

Citrus Flavonoids
In addition to possesing antioxidant activity and an ability to increase intracellular levels of vitamin C, rutin, and hesperidin exert many beneficial effects on capillary permeability and blood flow. They exhibit also some of the anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory benefits of quercetin.

Green Tea
Green tea polyphenols are potent antioxidant compounds that have demonstrated greater antioxidant protection than vitamins C and E. Green tea may also increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes. Green tea polyphenols inhibit cancer by blocking the formation of cancer-causing compounds and suppressing the activation of carcinogens.

Food sources
Good sources of flavonoids include citrus fruits, berries, onions, parsley, legumes, green tea, red wine, and dark chocolate with a cocoa content of seventy percent or greater.

Daily Dosage
As a preventive measure and as antioxidant support, a daily dose of 50 mg of either the grape seed or pine bark extract is suitable.

The recommended dosage range for quercetin is 200 to 400 mg 20 minutes before meals (three times daily).

Green Tea
The suggested daily dosage of polyphenols is 240 to 320 mg, equal to about 3 cups of green tea.

Safety issues
Extracts are extremely safe, no side effects have been reported.

Quercetin is apparently well tolerated in humans, although allergic reaction may occur.

Citrus bioflavonoids, rutin, hesperidin, and Hydroxyethylrutosides appear to be extremely safe and without side effects.

Green tea is not associated with any significant side effects or toxicity. If preparations contain caffein, overconsumption may produce a stimulant effect.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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From green tea to hibiscus, from white tea to chamomile, teas are chock full of flavonoids and other healthy goodies.
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