Bioflavonoids & Polyphenols
Horse Chestnuts contain flavonoids, sterols, and tannins. Studies have identified a saponin known as
Aescin as the active constituent in horse chestnut extracts, which has been found effective in the treat-
ment of chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins and edema, and can be applied topically or internally.
Extracts of the seeds, leaves and bark of the horse chestnut tree (aesculus hippocastanum) have been
traditionally used in Europe for vascular degeneration, hemorrhoids, cough, rheumatism, phlebitis,
water retention, skin problems and other ailments.
People with kidney or liver conditions should avoid horse chestnuts or any
horse chestnut extracts, as the aescin may worsen their functions.
Reactions such as nausea, stomach upsets, and itching are
another possibility in people sensitive to horse chestnuts.
Isoflavones from soy products (genistein, daidzein, glycitein), are another class of flavonoids that function
as antioxidants, and in addition possess phytoestrogenic properties that can be effective for menopausal
symptoms and to promote bone density in postmenopausal women. They may also be beneficial in the
treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease (inhibition of lipoprotein oxidation, thrombin formation
and platelet activation), and cancer (inhibition of angiogenesis, and tyrosine kinase activity - an enzyme that
promotes cancer growth), although there are conflicting opinions on the tumor-protective benefits in light of
new evidence of a possible pro-tumor effect following high soy intake. Isoflavones are mostly found in soy-
beans, garbanzo beans, chick peas, red clover and legumes.
Cocoa is a rich source of catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, and which are believed to
protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other medical conditions. While health benefits apply to
some isolated compounds in cocoa - as a whole - they do not apply to processed cocoa products such as
Chocolate any longer because of other less desirable ingredients offsetting these health benefits.
Theobromine, found in chocolate, can be toxic or even lethal to dogs, cats, horses, and many other animals.
In addition, cocoa products contain a high level of copper, which - with few exceptions - is already too high
in many individuals, so consuming a lot of chocolate aggravates many high copper-related medical
conditions, or creates new ones. See "Chocolate" for details on some of the positive and negative health
effects of chocolate.
Quercetin (quercitin, quercetrin) is chemically related to a class of flavonoids called (pro)anthocyanins.
Early research on quercetin suggested that ingesting higher amounts may induce cancer, after it failed a
standard - but somewhat controversial laboratory test called the Ames Test. This test supposedly identifies
chemicals that might be carcinogenic. Subsequent studies however disputed those earlier findings and
attributed cancer-protective or cancer-fighting properties to quercetin instead. In addition, quercetin
has been found to be an effective hyperthermia sensitizer, making it a potential adjunct therapeutic agent
in the treatment of various cancers  that are sensitive to heat stress (colon adenocarcinoma, prostate,
ovarian, uterine, or cervical cancer, leukemia, melanoma, and others).
However, I have seen a few patients who developed cancerous tumors right after supplementing quercetin -
which proves that positive outcomes in experimental studies are not necessarily reflected when applied in the
"Real World." At the same time, patient feedback on the touted anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory aspects
of quercetin has not been all that favorable either, so while this is not intended to discourage anyone from
using it for a specific condition (particularly when it was found beneficial), quercetin nevertheless fits the
"Caveat Emptor" category.
A number of research studies have come to the final conclusion that low concentrations of flavonoids are
protective in rat H4IIE cells, while high concentrations apparently cause DNA damage and cell apoptosis.
Bioflavonoids / Flavonoids
The information presented is based on Cellular trace element analysis - not Serum / Blood measurements.
RDA / DRI, synergists, antagonists, side effects, & additional deficiency / overdose symptoms are listed below.
Bioflavonoids (or Flavonoids) provide much of the flavor and color in fruits & vegetables, as well as berries
and flowers. Over five thousand flavonoids have been identified, which comprise the most abundant group of
plant Polyphenols next to Stilbenes (resveratrol, pinosylvin, isorhapontin),
Lignans (nuts, seeds, and whole grain cereal sources), and Phenolic acids
(found in a variety of foods).
As a group with other polyphenols, flavonoids - and Bioflavonoid Complex
Supplements - have been found to reduce the development of cardiovascular
disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and provide many other health benefits as
a result of their antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and at
times anti-allergenic properties.
Following is a list of Bioflavonoids and their sources:
Rutin and Hesperidin are essential bioflavonoids and accessory nutrients to form a Vitamin C Complex
(previously known as Vitamin P factor). They function synergistically with Vitamin C in regard to maintaining
healthy capillaries, to help form collagen in connective tissue, to help heal wounds, and to support a healthy
Rutin and/or hesperidin, when low, frequently result in predictable, and even side-specific medical problems
that include a greater risk for vascular degeneration, bruising / capillary fragility, nose bleeds, varicose veins,
periodontal bleeding, hemorrhoids and aneurism, with few individuals exhibiting optimal levels, despite mega-
supplementation. One reason is the chemical interaction of other nutrients with flavonoids which can have a
synergistic, or inhibiting effect. Various drugs also interact with bioflavonoids and affect their efficacy.
citrus, red grapes,
St. John's Wort,
propolis, pine bark.
Citrus fruit, honey,
Milk thistle, propolis,
tea, wine, berries,
grapes, grape seed.
red peppers, hops,
Copper is the most common and potent inhibitor of Hesperidin and Vitamin C, being the reason why high
levels of copper create a greater risk for vascular degeneration, which in turn requires greater intake of sulfur,
Vitamin C, chromium, or molybdenum to lower copper or make it more bioavailable, otherwise hesperidin will
structural changes experienced during pregnancy, as well as lack of exercise and excessive amounts of time
spent in a sitting position can be equally responsible to promote vascular degeneration.
Hesperidin, like copper, has a right-sided cell receptor, so medical problems associated with its deficiency,
and/or with copper excesses, are invariably right-sided as well. It is not unusual to see hemorrhoids, varicose
veins, or other forms of vascular degeneration being noticeably worse on one side. Rutin is inhibited mostly
by chromium, however with chromium levels being on average not as high as copper levels, rutin levels are as
a result frequently higher than hesperidin levels, as long as dietary intake of rutin and hesperidin are similar.
Vanadium and selenium support rutin uptake, and molybdenum and sulfur support hesperidin uptake. Rutin +
hesperidin are associated the same way as calcium + magnesium, in that taking only the one can over time
cause a deficiency of the other. For instance, the need to supplement rutin alone (without hesperidin) can
only be justified when there is either a notable deficiency ratio-wise to hesperidin, when there is a significant
vascular problem that is confined to the left side only, or when higher amounts of rutin are therapeutically
used for its potent antithrombotic activity.
Measuring flavonoids levels will help establish whether they, or other aspects, such as impaired liver functions
or drugs are causative factors with vascular degeneration. Low to moderate intake of alcohol, blood thinning
medications, or blood-thinning supplements & spices (Vitamin E, ginkgo, fish oils, garlic...) favorably enhance
the activity of bioflavonoids, however their excessive intake not only compromises Vitamin K, but causes a
noticeable drop with rutin and hesperidin levels as well.
Although green, leafy vegetables contain significant amounts of Vitamin K, the high oxalic acid content in
Swiss chard, spinach, beets / beet greens, parsley, and rhubarb not only reduces the benefits of flavonoids,
but also decreases calcium absorption by forming insoluble calcium oxalate salts, and as a result promotes
vascular degeneration and increases the risk of bleeding in prone individuals.
Citrus Bioflavonoid Complex is the most commonly supplemented form of flavonoids, with small amounts
being frequently added to some Vitamin C supplements. Unless there is a specific intolerance or allergy to
citrus (it worsens eczema in some individuals), there are no adverse or overdose reactions known, even when
higher amounts are supplemented. As a result, supplements containing rutin and hesperidin are considered
safe during pregnancy or nursing, however the safety of other flavonoids such as quercetin, grape seed
extract, or other proanthocyanins has not been established, so their supplemental intake during pregnancy
is not recommended.
Since citrus bioflavonoid tablets are usually quite large, brands should be chosen that either supply capsules,
caplets, or oval shaped tablets, for easier swallowing.
DRI (RDA): none
19 years +
pregnant / lactating
5mg - 10mg
10mg - 25mg
25mg - 50mg
25mg - 50mg
50mg - 1,000mg +
DRI (RDA): none
19 years +
pregnant / lactating
5mg - 10mg
10mg - 25mg
25mg - 50mg
25mg - 50mg
50mg - 1,000mg +
Usually taken in the form of Citrus Bioflavonoids: ' Therapeutic Range: 500mg - 5,000mg +
Rutin and Hesperidin (and related flavonoid compounds):
Low Levels / Deficiency - Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Vascular degeneration, vascular bleeding (bruising / capillary fragility, nose bleeds, periodontal bleeding,
varicose veins, hemorrhoids and aneurism).
High levels / Overdose / Toxicity / Negative Side Effects - Symptoms and/or Risk Factors:
Allergic reactions, skin rash, stomach ache, [kidney / liver toxicity with some non-citrus flavonoids].
Sources of Rutin and Hesperidin:
Mainly found in the rind, pulp, skin of fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, oranges, lime, grapes, cherries,
plums, peaches, apricots, apples, berries..., vegetables such as green and yellow peppers, tomatoes,
onions, broccoli, parsley..., also bee propolis, green tea, black tea, whole grains such as buckwheat. ¤
2015 Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) - Recommended Dietary Allowance / Intake (RDA / RDI) for
Adults, Children, Pregnancy & Nursing - Adequate Intake (AI) - Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL)
Best time to take Bioflavonoids: Any time, but usually taken at the same time as Vitamin C, with meals.
Hesperidin supplemental requirements are proportional to an individual's copper levels. Since copper is
a potent hesperidin antagonist, hesperidin requirements can range from a low of 10mg - 25mg with normal
copper levels, to a high of 300mg - 500mg with moderate to higher copper levels. With ongoing excessive
copper intake, one cannot normalize hesperidin levels any longer, no matter how much is supplemented.
The same does not apply to Rutin, since chromium levels are rarely high enough to inhibit rutin uptake.
Quercetin is not the first to be listed among naturally occurring carcinogens and mutagens found in foods and
beverages. Many phytochemicals contained in common fruits, vegetables, spices, grains, seeds, coffee, tea,
nuts, mushrooms, and herbs are rodent carcinogens, while for instance Psoralens (found in parsnips, celery
and parsley), are considered to be human carcinogens, as is acrylamide, contained in crisp breads or rolls,
which is also a neurotoxin.
At the same time, the much touted antioxidant Resveratrol significantly raises plasma homocysteine levels 
following long-term intake, the SRT501 resveratrol formulation may induce nephrotoxicity (kidney damage),
and ingesting large amounts of Grape Seed Extract has shown liver toxicity in some animal studies...
Nevertheless, test tube and animal studies - where many times astronomical amounts of food fractions are
used - have generally little relevance to normal human consumption of the same types of foods, but they
make great headlines, or they may assure next year's research grant for an otherwise starving research team. ¤
General recommendations for nutritional supplementation: To avoid stomach problems and improve tolerance,
supplements should be taken earlier, or in the middle of a larger meal. When taken on an empty stomach or
after a meal, there is a greater risk of some tablets causing irritation, or eventually erosion of the esophageal
sphincter, resulting in Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). It is also advisable not to lie down right after
taking pills. When taking a large daily amount of a single nutrient, it is better to split it up into smaller doses
to not interfere with the absorption of other nutrients in food, or nutrients supplemented at lower amounts.
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