Nature Cures – October 2019
NATURE THERAPIST… Flavonoids!!!
Plants, the first descendants on earth are the very primary source of food for all living beings. They are made up of myriad of primary and secondary metabolites. Primary metabolites are compounds directly involved in the growth and development of a plant where as secondary are the ones produced in as a result of metabolic pathways. One such abundant compound with lot of health benefitsare “FLAVONOIDS”.
Classification of Flavonoid
Flavonoids can be subdivided into different subgroups based on their chemical structure. These subgroups are: flavones, flavonols, flavanones, flavanonols, flavanols or catechins and anthocyanins.Finally, flavonoids with open C ring are called chalcones.
Why do plants produce flavonoids?
- "Flavonoids" play a crucial role in growth and protection of plants. Flavonoids protect plants from different biotic and abiotic stresses and act as unique UV-filter, function as signal molecules, allelopathic compounds, phytoalexins, detoxifying agents, antimicrobial defensive compounds. Flavonoids have roles against frost hardiness, drought resistance and may play a functional role in plant heat acclimation and freezing tolerance. They can also affect root development.
- Plants produce different types of flavonoids in response to environmental factors through a process called quorum sensing in their rhizosphere.
- These flavonoids promote various physiologic response in plants by cell signaling.
- Flavonoids are the yellow plant pigments seen most notably in lemons, oranges, and grapefruit.
- Flavonoids in flowers and fruit provide visual cues for animal pollinators and seed dispersers to locate their targets.
- Flavonoids are located in the cytoplasm and plastids. Many of the foods that we eat, including dark chocolate, strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon, pecans, walnuts, grapes, and cabbage, contain flavonoids.
- These chemicals lower cholesterol levels, and many have antioxidant properties.
- Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, and thereddish-brown pigment theaflavin found in tea, act to create color, while most other flavonoids are visible only under UV light.
Why do We need to Consume flavonoids
Flavonoids are well known for their benefits such as reducing risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, and stroke. Flavonoids are excellent antioxidants, working by preventing cell-damaging caused by free radicals and metallic ions. In addition to antioxidant functions, flavonoids also provide a number of health benefits such as preventing recurrent gout attacks and alleviating gastrointestinal acid reflux and also antihistamine, antimicrobial, memory- and even mood-enhancing properties.
Bioavailability is “the rate and extent to which the active ingredients or active moiety is absorbed from a drug product and becomes available at the site of action”. This same principle can be applied to flavonoid compounds in food. As the definition implies, the rate of absorption and the availability at the site of action is of utmost importance for a bioactive to be effective withinbiological systems and thus be “bioavailable”. Therefore, it is imperative to determine the amount of a specific nutrient or bioactive compound in a food or dietary supplement as well as its bioavailability.
Numerous factors affect the bioavailability of ingested dietary flavonoids.
- Molecular weight is an important factor that greatly affects the absorption and thus bioavailability of certain flavonoids. One example would be the polymeric proanthocyanidins for which, their larger molecular weight, absorption would practically be impossible.
- Absorption of some flavonoid glycosides can be very rapid, some can be very slow, and thus affect the bioavailability. Bioavailability of apple quercetin glycosides was 30% of that from onions.
- Once ingested, the flavonoids interact with human conjugating enzymes in the enterocytes as well as in the liver. Metabolic conversion is known as a major factor affecting flavonoid bioavailability.
- In order to overcome the bioavailability of flavonoids we need an enriched form as dietary supplements.
In order to overcome the bioavailability of flavonoids we need an enriched form as dietary supplements.
Through sincere and dedicated research Oriens has produced a variety highly beneficial products for the wellness of people. We use wide range of ingredients which are rich in phytonutrients like flavonoids. Below mentioned are some of the Oriens products rich in flavonoid content which may be useful for different health benefits.