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Bioflavonoids

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Many people who are familiar with vitamin C know that its best friends are bioflavonoids

Many people who are familiar with vitamin C know that its best friends are bioflavonoids. Even so, you may be a little unsure of just what these nutrients are. It's not surprising, because there are so many of them and the group's identity is so fuzzy.

You're in contact with bioflavonoids every day, even if you're not on a first-name basis. They're water-soluble nutrients that give many fruits and vegetables their colors. These include grapes, tomatoes, peppers, plums, cabbage, broccoli, prunes, cherries and apricots, among many others. The white part of citrus fruits, between the peel and the flesh, is full of bioflavonoids. In view of such varied sources, it's not surprising that the term bioflavonoids comprises a group of several flavonoids. The most common are quercetin, rutin, hes-peridin and pycnogenol.

These nutrients, while sometimes called vitamin P or K, aren't technically vitamins. Rather, they are known as accessory nutrients. Although they are not essential to life, they are extremely important for health.

Bioflavonoids are similar in action to vitamin C. They strengthen capillaries (small blood vessels) and regulate capillary permeability to prevent allergies, diminish bruising and reduce inflammation. Bioflavonoids also possess anti-cancer and anti-viral properties. They are also known as powerful antioxidants. This means that they are able to stabilize free radicals (off-balance molecules that cause tissue damage in the body.)

Quercetin is the most popular and active source. Aside from being a potent antioxidant, it is also used to reduce complications arising from diabetes, such as diabetic cataracts, neuropathy and retinopathy.

Rutin is beneficial to pregnant women who become vulnerable to varicose veins, hemorrhoids or gingivitis, due to the added nutritional needs of the fetus.

In supplement form, bioflavonoids have also been successfully used for many years as a treatment for pain, bumps and more severe athletic injuries. Side effects of bioflavonoids are unlikely even in mega doses.

It would be impossible to provide a complete list of conditions in which bioflavonoids are useful. As antioxidants, they help strengthen the body to defend itself against almost any health threat. They're good friends to get to know.

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