Bioflavonoids are naturally occurring plant compounds used in natural medicine to help enhance the action of vitamin C, support blood circulation, and treat allergies, viruses, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. They act as pigments (coloring) in plants and as antioxidants in humans.
Bioflavonoids are present in many plant foods and extracts, such as citrus fruits, rose hips, and medicinal herbs. While bioflavonoids have a variety of actions, the most notable is as an antioxidant, gobbling up inflammation-causing free radicals that circulate throughout the body. When combined with vitamin C, bioflavonoids support healthy blood vessel function, as well as protect vitamin C from chemical breakdown, thereby boosting the body’s immune system.
The anti-inflammatory benefit of bioflavonoids is particularly important in preventing heart disease. Atherosclerosis is one condition that bioflavonoids can protect against. Research on bioflavonoids is expanding and results have been promising. For example, studies show that regularly consuming high quality sources of bioflavonoids — at least two servings of citrus fruit daily — can improve markers of healthy blood vessel function.
If you have allergies or food sensitivity to citrus fruits, or are taking other medications, talk with your health practitioner before taking a bioflavonoid supplement.
Landberg R, Sun Q, Rimm EB, Cassidy A, et al., “Selected dietary flavonoids are associated with markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in U.S. women.” J Nutr. (2011 Apr 1) 141(4):618-25. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.133843. Accessed 12 Aug 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3057665/
Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. “Plant Polyphenols as Dietary Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2.5 (2009): 270–278
Accessed 12 Aug 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2835915/
Ashor AW, Lara J, Mathers JC, Siervo M. “Effect of vitamin C on endothelial function in health and disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Atherosclerosis. (2014 Jul) 235(1):9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.04.004. Accessed 12 Aug 2017: http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com/article/S0021-9150(14)00203-2/fulltext
Grassi, Davide, Giovambattista Desideri, and Claudio Ferri. “Flavonoids: Antioxidants Against Atherosclerosis.” Nutrients 2.8 (2010): 889–902. PMC. Accessed 12 Aug. 2017: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257706/pdf/nutrients-02-00889.pdf