In the 1930s, a Hungarian scholar made a significant discovery - at that time he did not realize how crucial it was. Studying lemons and peppers, he identified the active substance, which he called a lemon. He noted that it has a very positive effect on the health of blood vessels, strengthening their structure and reducing their fragility. In subsequent studies, it turned out that the "lemon" discovered by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was in fact a mix of various substances. They were called flavones, and because of their biological activity in living organisms, bioflavonoids. Currently, the world of science has identified over 8,000 such flavonoid compounds, of which we only met exactly half a thousand.
Flavonoids, or - flavones, bioflavonoids, flavone compounds - because they are called so, are naturally occurring compounds that produce various plants. Herbs, vegetables, fruits - all of them contain flavonoids and not without need. Thanks to them, the flora is able to fight intruders in the form of bacteria, viruses or fungi. It's like the vegetable equivalent of our immune system.
In addition to purely protective properties, flavones are also responsible for the fact that red cabbage is red, and orange ... orange. Most flavonoids are dyes that give plants various colors, from light and warm (orange, yellow, etc.) to cold and dark (purple, navy blue). Flavone compounds also affect the taste and smell of plants. Unfortunately, most of them have an unpleasant, bitter taste for humans. And here is a curiosity - you know that some people have in their genes recorded a particularly intense feeling of the bitter taste of some vegetables or fruits?
Fruit, herbs - flavonoids are found in every part of the plant, but most accumulate on the surface and under the skin (as in the case of fruit). How many of them sit, e.g. in oranges, depends on environmental factors. A plant well heated in full sun guarantees a high content of flavonoids. The flavone compounds themselves are in turn divided into others: flavins, flavanols, isoflavones and anthocyanins. Some of them are very well known by modern medicine, and this one has discovered that they can also protect our human health at the cellular level.
They generally show a very wide and positive effect. Due to the fact that they affect both the mental and physical state of the human body, they are the subject of intensive research. The first flavonoids, carried out by the "discoverer" himself, undoubtedly confirmed that they work well on the condition of blood vessels. Subsequent studies on flavin compounds show their subsequent properties.
First, they protect against so-called free radicals, literally sweeping them out of our cells. It helps to avoid excessive oxidative stress. Here flavonoids play the honorable role of one of the most effective antioxidants.
Flavones perfectly cleanse the body of toxins. How do they do that Simply put - they capture heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.), which are then more easily removed by the human body. Your liver and urinary tract especially thank you for these flavonoid properties.
Our hero also has excellent properties to prevent cardiovascular disease. They seal the vessels at the same time by plasticizing them (give them flexibility), normalize blood pressure, and also work well to maintain the proper rhythm of our heart. We forgot about the anti-cholesterol properties of flavonides. They increase the good (HDL) and reduce the bad (LDL), but also greatly lower triglycerides, and they are the largest pest in our circulatory system. Flavonoids also thin the blood well which reduces the risk of possible blood clots.
Certain flavin compounds, anthocyanins, protect our eyesight. Such properties can be found, e.g. in blackberries, blueberries, elderberries and chokeberries, because these fruits are dark, and these are the anthocyanins that are responsible for such a color. How do they help our eyeball?
They improve blood flow in microvessels, regenerate the visual dye and provide adequate pressure in the eye. It seems that blueberries or blueberries should be the favorite snack of drivers, surgeons and specialists working with computers.
Another group of flavone compounds, isoflavones, should be of particular interest to ladies. They help to increase estrogen level and thus greatly reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or mood swings. Isoflavones are able to postpone the onset of menopause and protect women's health even afterwards. Thanks to them, the body more effectively synthesizes collagen, which translates into better skin condition. This property of isoflavones is used extensively in cosmetology.
So you can see that compounds called flavonoids have a really versatile effect on the human body. Unfortunately, in the proverbial barrel of honey there is a spoon of tar. Well, relatively recent studies have shown that flavonoids can do harm, both in excess and in themselves. Unfortunately, they can cause cracks in the DNA code of a human fetus, which results in a mutation that facilitates the development of acute leukemia. In turn, ladies who consumed a lot of flavonoids during pregnancy risked increasing the occurrence of very rare infant diseases.
However, since flavonoids are commonly found in plants, there is no point and no need to avoid them. Healthy people who consumed them in a dose of about 1g per day felt only their positive properties, so reaching for your favorite fruits or vegetables simply use the old "golden mean" - all in moderation.