Flavonoids reduce risk of heart disease

Flavonoids reduce risk of heart disease

A study of Finnish men and women found that coronary mortality and the incidence of coronary heart disease was significantly reduce in those with the highest intakes of flavonoid-containing foods such as fruits and vegetables. In this study, women, who ate the most fruits and vegetables reduce their risk of coronary heart disease by 31 percent and the risk of dying from a heart attack by 46 percent. The men reduced coronary heart disease risk by 25 percent and the risk of dying from a heart attack by 33 percent. The study was adjusted for blood pressure, age, smoking, cholesterol levels, and body size to remove the effect of other factors that might influence results.

These findings are consistent with a Japanese study, which found that the greatest influence in reducing coronary disease risk was high intake of flavonoids, not soy products. This study is important because many are expounding the virtues of a diet high in soy products to reduce coronary disease risk. There are significant hazards to a high intake of soy products, including hormonal effects on babies and children, high glutamate levels, and thyroid suppression.

Health and Nutrition Secrets (that could save your life), Dr Russell L. Blaylock, MD


Any of a large group of water-soluble plant pigments, including the anthocyanins, that are beneficial to health. Also called bioflavonoid.

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Good sources of flavonoids include all citrus fruits, berries, ginkgo biloba, onions[11][12], parsley[13], pulses[14], tea (especially white and green tea), red wine, seabuckthorn, and dark chocolate (with a cocoa content of seventy percent or greater).

Grapefruit, a type of CitrusThe citrus bioflavonoids include hesperidin (a glycoside of the flavanone hesperetin), quercitrin, rutin (two glycosides of the flavonol quercetin), and the flavone tangeritin. In addition to possessing antioxidant activity and an ability to increase intracellular levels of vitamin C, rutin and hesperidin exert beneficial effects on capillary permeability and blood flow. They also exhibit some of the anti-allergy and anti-inflammatory benefits of quercetin. Quercetin can also inhibit reverse transcriptase, part of the replication process of retroviruses.[15] The therapeutical relevance of this inhibition has not been established. Hydroxyethylrutosides (HER) have been used in the treatment of capillary permeability, easy bruising, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins.

Leaf extract from the Ginkgo tree is widely marketed as an herbal supplement. The active ingredients are flavoglycosides.

Bai Hao Yinzhen from Fuding in Fujian Province, widely considered the best grade of white teaGreen tea flavonoids are potent antioxidant compounds, thought to reduce incidence of cancer and heart disease. The major flavonoids in green tea are the kaempferol and catechins (catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)).

In producing teas such as oolong tea and black tea, the leaves are allowed to oxidize, during which enzymes present in the tea convert some or all of the catechins to larger molecules. However, green tea is produced by steaming the fresh-cut leaf, which inactivates these enzymes, and oxidation does not significantly occur. White tea is the least processed of teas and is shown to present the highest amount of catechins known to occur in camellia sinensis.

See also: Phenolic compounds in wine
Grape skins contain significant amounts of flavonoids as well as other polyphenols[16]. Both red and white wine contain flavonoids; however, since red wine is produced by fermentation in the presence of the grape skins, red wine has been observed to contain higher levels of flavonoids, and other polyphenolics such as resveratrol.

Dark chocolate
Flavonoids exist naturally in cacao, but because they can be bitter, they are often removed from chocolate, even the dark variety[17].

Over 5000 naturally occurring flavonoids have been characterized from various plants. They have been classified according to their chemical structure, and are usually subdivided into the following subgroups (for further reading see [3]):

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