Polyphenols - Flavonoids

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Polyphenols are natural compounds found in most of the fruits and vegetables we eat on a daily basis. Also known as secondary plant metabolites, polyphenols are classified into two groups: non-flavonoids and flavonoids.

Polyphenols may also possibly reduce or reverse many of the effects of aging and disease, as there are certain components within polyphenols that act as powerful antioxidants. Any antioxidant can be considered a polyphenol if it has a polyphenolic substructure. And thus, polyphenolic compounds are made up of over 4000 distinct species. Many of these species play a key role in combating oxidative stress, neurodegenerative diseases and many forms of cardiovascular diseases.

The main dietary sources of flavonoid, and all polyphenols, come from a diet rich in vibrant, colorful fruit and vegetables. That said, before you rush out to your local grocery store to buy bottles of wine, berries and chocolates, it's important to mention that, nutritionally, we only need to incorporate a moderate amount of flavonoids in our diet, in order to reap the potential health benefits. And while no current daily recommendations have been established, more and more research is indicating that eating flavonoid-rich foods on a regular daily basis (over lots of flavonoids at once!) may contribute to our optimum health.

In supplement form, a recommend 1,000 mg of citrus flavonoids is taken one to three times per day. While no consistent side effects have been linked to intake of flavonoids, catechin and quercetin are the exceptions to this statement. High amounts of catechin is occasionally linked to fever, anemia from breakdown of red blood cells, and hives. The use of quercetin is contraindicated if you are using some types of antibiotics, such as fluoroquinolones. Quercetin is also a powerful inhibitor of certain enzymes such as the serum which break downs prescription drugs in the body. As with any supplement, it is always important to consult with a doctor before taking quercetin, especially if you are currently taking any other forms of medication. Most studies on quercetin show very few side effects, however, research is still unfolding. Some professionals recommend doses of 200-500 mg, two to three times daily. Certain pharmaceutical medicines may interact with flavonoids, so consult the drug interactions for a list of those medicines.

More to on this topic is coming soon.

 
 

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