Three Cheers for Bioflavonoids!
Bioflavonoids are a group of naturally occurring plant compounds, which act primarily as plant pigments and antioxidants. They exhibit a host of biological activities, most notably for their powerful antioxidant properties. Bioflavonoids work with other antioxidants to offer a system of protection. Numerous studies have shown their unique role in protecting Vitamin C from oxidation in the body, thereby allowing the body to reap more benefits from Vitamin C.
Bioflavonoids (also referred to as vitamin P) have only in recent years been discovered for their numerous health purposes. Researchers have discoverd thousands of different flavonoids in various plants. They have been shown to be anti-mutagenic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-aging, and promote structure and function in the circulatory system.
Who gets the credit…Vitamin C or Bioflavonoids?
Researchers have discovered that some of the functions that Vitamin C is credited with is actually from the bioflavonoids. Since they work so close together numerous reports have stated that Vitamin C and many bioflavonoids need each other to produce the effects that they have on the immune system.
The relationship between flavonoids and Vitamin C was actually discovered by mistake. Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the Nobel Prize winning researcher who discovered flavonoids, was attempting to make a preparation of Vitamin C for one of his patients with blood vessel problems. The preparation he gave the patient was not 100% pure – it contained other substances along with the Vitamin C. It worked amazingly well.
Later, when Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi purchased a pure solution of Vitamin C, he found it was not nearly so effective with his patient. He suspected flavonoids as the magic addition to Vitamin C in his first impure preparation. Present-day research has clearly documented the synergistic (mutually beneficial) relationship between flavonoids and Vitamin C. Each substance improves the antioxidant activity of the other, and many of the vitamin-related functions of Vitamin C also appear to require the presence of flavonoids.
Some of the reported health-promoting effects of bioflavonoids include:
- better eyesight
- improved cardiovascular health
- increased capillary strength
- improved structure of connective tissues and appearance of skin
- a stronger immune system
- lowers the risk of cancer
- reduced risk of arthritis
- lower risk of gastrointestinal disorders.