Bioflavonoids are color-producing pigments found in plants. Bioflavonoids such as Quercetin, Rutin, and Hesperidin are vital through their ability to increase the strength of the capillaries (blood vessels) and to regulate their permeability. They assist Vitamin C in keeping collagen, the intercellular "cement" in healthy condition; are essential for the proper absorption and use of vitamin C; prevent Vitamin C from being destroyed in the body by oxidation; are beneficial in hypertension; help hemorrhages and ruptures in the capillaries and connective tissues and build a protective barrier against infections.
are a special class of plant polyphenolic compounds. Being found in high concentrations in many fruits, they are responsible for much of the coloring in such things as grapes, blueberries, and cherries. They are also found in fairly high concentrations in citrus fruits as well. Historically, Bioflavonoids were first described as "vitamin P" due to their ability to reduce capillary permeability. Since then their status as a vitamin has been dropped, but the research and use of various bioflavonoids has only increased. Some important bioflavonoids include quercetin
, and the OPCs found in grapes, bilberries, and pine bark extractions to name a few.
is widely distributed in plants including Oak trees (Quercus spp.), onions (Allium cepa) and tea (Camellia sinensis). Quercetin is obtained from buckwheat and citrus fruits. Yellow onions also contain high levels of quercetin.Rutin
is widely distributed throughout the plant kingdom. It is used in a variety of supplement products where the addition of flavonoids
Quercetin is available in powder and capsule form. Bioflavonoid
mixtures are often used in supplements to enhance the effect of vitamins, especially vitamin C
is found primarily in the rinds of lemon and sweet oranges (Citrus sinensis). It is not all that commonly used as a supplement ingredient, but is still used in combination with vitamin C products or combined with ingredients as a synergist for a variety of conditions.
Function; Why it is RecommendedBioflavonoids
and reduce blood cell stickiness and decrease bleeding from small, fragile vessels.Rutin
is a flavonoid glycoside
as the flavonoid portion and rutinose as the sugar portion. Rutin was included as one of the original "vitamin P" substances because of its ability to decrease capillary permeability and fragility. Like quercetin, rutin is a biologically active flavonoid. It has been shown to have antiedemic, antiarthrogenic, antiinflammatory
and hypotensive properties.
Among the flavonoids
, Quercetin is one of the most biologically active. Quercetin is the aglycone (non-carbohydrate portion of a glycoside
molecule) of rutin, quercetrin and other glycoside flavonoids. Quercetin is an especially potent antioxidant
with some anti-inflammatory
properties. It appears to stabilize the membranes of the mast cells
that release histamine
Quercetin has been shown to have an effect on a variety of biological systems, mostly through its interaction with calmodulin, a calcium
regulating protein. One of the best studied effects of quercetin is its ability to prevent mast cells from de-granulating during an allergic response. In preventing mast cell de-granulation, quercetin prevents the release of histamine, one of the major triggers to the overall allergic response. Through similar actions, quercetin can act as an anti-inflammatory
As a flavonoid
, quercetin is able to stabilize membranes. This is not only true of free-floating blood cells, but also capillary and arterial
walls. These activities are due to the ability of quercetin to act as a potent antioxidant
as well as an inhibitor to the enzyme hyaluronidase (an enzyme that breaks down connective tissue). The benefits of quercetin are becoming well known, and purified quercetin should become more popular in years to come. The absorption of quercetin is limited, and studies have shown that the enzyme bromelain is capable of increasing the intestinal absorption of quercetin. Quercetin is listed in the National Formulary and can be purchased N.F.Rutin
aids in the elimination of cholesterol
in the body and helps the body to develop greater elasticity of the arterial
walls to promote greater blood flow and protect the capillaries.Hesperidin
is a molecule which contains hesperetin (a bioflavonoid
molecule) and the disacharide rutinose. It performs antioxidant
actions as well as having potent anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory
and anti-viral properties. It works with vitamin C
for the promotion of vascular
tissue strength. No longer considered a vitamin, Hesperidin and other bioflavonoids
are now known to have many beneficial effects such as improving the effectiveness of vitamin C, improving capillary fragility, antioxidant and free radical
protection to name but a few.Quercetin
is used widely for sinus
problems and aids in capillary fragility.
The recommended dose for Quercetin
is 200-400mg tid. It is best to take it before meals.
Since Quercetin's action is preventive, it's best taken daily a week or two before pollen season and continued throughout.
Side-Effects; Counter-Indicators and Warnings
No toxicity has been identified with Quercetin
. If taken in large doses, however, it can cause blood pressure to decrease.Quercetin
should be avoided during pregnancy.