An Apple a Day is Solid Health Wisdom
by N J Howell
Sources include The Journal of Nutrition
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Flavonoids are thought to help the body modify it's response to allergens, viruses and cancer-causing substances. In addition, flavonoids such as rutin, quercetin and hesperidin are potent antioxidants which fight free radicals damage and have anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoid-rich foods such as apples are considered healthy nutrition for the cardiovascular system and may even reduce cardiovascular disease results. I'd add that apples need to be organic. Of all fruits, more pesticides are used to grow apples than almost any other fruit except peaches. The cholesterol-lowering effects of flavonoids is also being studied as well as their beneficial effect on bone, liver and colon health.
For example, one study performed by Song-Hae Bok, Sung-Heui Lee, Yong-Bok Park, Ki-Hwan Bae, Kwang-Hee Son, Tae-Sook Jeong and Myung-Sook Choi,2 the cholesterol-lowering effects of bioflavonoids was studied with positive results. There is an abstract on this study available at The Journal of Nutrition and the entire article is available for purchase there. However, you need to be a chemist or scientist to understand it!
For example, here's the full name of the article I referred to above: Plasma and Hepatic Cholesterol and Hepatic Activities of 3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA Reductase and Acyl CoA: Cholesterol Transferase Are Lower in Rats Fed Citrus Peel Extract or a Mixture of Citrus Bioflavonoids. That makes my hair hurt! Additional abstracts that came up when I searched with the keyword "bioflavonoids" included:
The Unique Role of Ascorbic Acid in Peripheral Vascular Physiology as Compared with Rutin and Hesperidin
The Chemopreventive Bioflavonoid Apigenin Modulates Signal Transduction Pathways in Keratinocyte and Colon Carcinoma Cell Lines Flavonoids Attenuate Cardiovascular Disease, Inhibit Phosphodiesterase, and Modulate Lipid Homeostasis in Adipose Tissue and Liver Hesperidin, a Citrus Flavonoid, Inhibits Bone Loss and Decreases Serum and Hepatic Lipids in Ovariectomized Mice
The general tone of all these studies point to beneficial effects. I guess that's the point. There seems to be evidence that including flavonoids in your diet could be a good thing if you have cardiovascular risk factors or other health challenges with liver, bone health or colon health. Flavonoids are commonly listed on health supplements now, most commonly quercetin, rutin and hesperidin. As a group, these are often called citrus bioflavonoids.
One note on quercetin: This is purely ancedotal since it's only my experience but whenever I take supplements very high in quercetin, I tend to get fever blisters. I've been unable to find out why that would be. I'd love to hear from anyone else who notices this with quercetin or anyone who understands what might trigger a fever blister from taking supplements that contain it.
A bioflavonoid-rich herb ===>> More on bioflavonoids
Health Disclaimer: Flavonoids are not presented as a preventative for heart disease. Because of their impact on free radicals damage, they are considered cardiac-friendly. Consult with your heart specialist about the nutritional benefit of adding citrus bioflavonoids to your health regimen. Not intended to replace heart medications your doctor may advise.