Bioflavonoids, as the name implies, are the compounds that give citrus fruits – and other foods – their unique taste. Lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits are rich in bioflavonoids of various kinds, and science has found that they have many health benefits
Bioflavonoids are a type of phytochemical. They not only have their own properties, but they inhibit the breakdown of vitamin C, meaning your body gets more use from the vitamin C you ingest. Bioflavonoids add not just flavor but color too, so you know that richly colored citrus fruits are high in flavonoid content.
Various studies have backed up the claim that bioflavonoids, in particular, play a role in the health of your circulatory system. In Europe, bioflavonoid extracts are used frequently to treat a number of conditions. We’re not at that level yet in North America, but the evidence is mounting.
Medical research into bioflavonoids is really only beginning in earnest. Still, various medical studies have already shown results that are promising or even better.
- Hemorrhoids – studies have shown a reduction in flare-ups as well as lessening their severity. The results were not conclusive, but nonetheless promising.
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency (a condition where the veins in the legs are damaged, making it difficult for blood to return backup to the heart, including varicose veins) – several studies showed distinct improvement in symptoms after using citrus bioflavonoid supplements.
- Frequent Bruising due to Fragile Capillaries – decreased symptoms were the result of a test on 96 subjects.
- Cancer – a review that looked at 12 studies, incorporating the results of more than 5,000 subjects, found that people who ate the most flavonoids in their diet had a lower risk of lung cancer than those who ate the least.
It’s clear that lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits are a vital component of a healthy diet. Ongoing research into bioflavonoids will add to our understanding of just how they work, but the benefits are already clear.