Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What Are Bioflavonoids And How Can They Improve Your Health?

By Fran Mullens

Bioflavonoids are found in the colored part of grains, vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers. They are also referred to as flavenoids. They cannot be produced in our bodies so they must be provided in our diets. They are sometimes referred to as vitamin P. They are not in the strictest sense true vitamins. When taken in combination with vitamin C this nutrient enhances our bodies ability to absorb vitamin C. Hesperetin, hesperidin, and eriodictyol are different types of bioflavonoids. Other types include quercetin, quercetrin and rutin.

These nutrients have been found to help prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. In recent studies bioflavonoids have shown to be helpful for clotting the blood. This can aid those suffering from phlebitis and other clotting disorders.

A bioflavonoid found in blue green algae quercetin may effectively treat and prevent asthma symptoms. This nutrient has shown to inhibit histamine release from mast cells and the manufacture of allergy related compounds. Quercetin seems to have both a vitamin C sparing effect and a direct stabilizing effect on membranes including mast cells.

Quercetin is also considered a phytoestrogen. That is a plant substance that acts in a way similar to estrogen. Quercetin has been found to have antiestrogenic activity that may lead to reduced risks of some cancers. It has been found to inhibit breast cancer cells in a test tube.

In a study of men with an inflamed prostate, men taking quercetin supplements reported reduced urinary symptoms. Preliminary laboratory research conducted by the Mayo Clinic found it may help with the treatment and possibly the prevention of prostate cancer by blocking male hormones that support the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Bioflavonoids are particularly beneficial for healing athletic injuries. They can relieve pain, bumps, and bruises. Also they can reduce pains located across the back and in the legs. This substance helps lessen symptoms associated with prolonged bleeding and low serum calcium.

Bioflavonoids act synergistically with vitamin C to protect and preserve the structure of capillaries. Taken in combination with vitamin C it is found to help reduce the symptoms of oral herpes. They promote circulation and stimulate bile production. They also have an antibacterial effect and have been found helpful to lower cholestererol levels. This will also aid in the prevention and treatment of cataracts.

Research is suggesting that bioflavonoids may be useful for those with diabetes. It has shown that quercetin helps to promote insulin secretion and found to be forceful inhibitors of sorbitol accumulation.

Food sources containing bioflavonoids include citrus fruits, black currants, buckwheat, and peppers. Other sources include apricots, grapefruits, lemons, prunes and rose hips. Also included would be cherries, grapes, and oranges. Bioflavonoids are also contained in the following herbs: shepherd's purse, chervil, rose hips, and elderberries. Other herbs containing them are horsetail and hawthorn berry.

If bioflavonoids are taken in high doses it might cause diarrhea.

At you can find information that can help you learn more about how minerals and herbs can help improve your health.

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