The Flavonoids Family

Other names:

  • Bioflavonoids
  • Vitamin P (used in 1930s-50s; these days used as euphemistic term for Prozac and Paxil drugs used for treament of mental issues)

Nutrient Family:     

  • Phytonutrient/Phytochemical

                     (“Phyto” means “plant” in Greek)

                   > Flavonoids

Flavonoids are also a type of Antioxidant Network Boosters. While they are antioxidants themselves, they support other antioxidants in their workings, such as recycling the antioxidants that have become free radicals. (See "Types of Antioxidants")

Flavonoids' Workings

Fat Soluble or Water Soluble Antioxidant:

  • Water Soluble

Flavonoids are natural pigments found in plants. They are the plant pigments that give them their colors.


There are about 4,000 known carotenoids today, but only about 50 are found in our foods. Almost all of them exhibit antioxidants qualities.


Flavonoids can be grouped into – largely due to their molecular/chemical structures:

  • Flavones
  • Isoflavonoids
  • Neoflavonoids 
  • Anthocyanins 
  • Catechins

 We do not need to know these groupings. I have included this section to show such grouping reference exists, for interest only.

How Flavonoids work as an antioxidant:

  • Providing cells with a free radical “neutralizer”
  • Network Booster - recycling other antioxidants


Other functions besides being an antioxidant:

  • Regulate free radicals produced from body functions, such as, nitric acid
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory

Examples of Antioxidant Flavonoids:

  • Flavones

                o   Quercetin

                o   Rutin

  • Isoflavins

               o   found in legumes - such as soy beans, chick peas, peas

  • Anthocyanins 

               o found in berries, red grapes and red cabbage.

                o found in tea.

Beans Antioxidants

Then there are substances that contains a mix of flavonoids, such as :

It is said that the collective workings of the flavonoids is greater than the sum of the individual potency of each of the flavonoid they contain.

Gingko Leaves and Nuts
Marine Pine Bark (Pynogenol)

Health Benefits of Flavonoids

Examples of health benefits of Flavonoids:

  • Being antioxidants, naturally they will counter the attack of free radicals.

                o   Such as regulating nitric acid. Nitric acid is formed from our cell’s activities. In “safe” levels it is required by our body for certain functions. However, excessive nitric acid has to be removed from our body. Flavonoids help regulate the levels of nitric acid in our body.

  • Promotes good blood circulation, such as for heart and penis

                o   Helps arteries to dilate allowing better blood flow and overall blood circulation

  • Prevents fat (lipid) oxidation of LDL – for heart and penis

                o   Lipid oxidation causes clogging and hence, restricted blood flow and possible stroke if plague is dislodged and travels to heart or brain.

  • Brain Booster

                o   Dilation of blood vessels in brain allows better blood flow and hence, the cells are able to obtain the nutrients and oxygen required to create energy for the brain cells to function better.

  • Natural anti-inflammatory – such as rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases, including chronic fatigue syndrome which displays inflammation symptoms

               o   Excessive production of macrophages (immune cells) to counter attacks by foreign invasions (such as bacteria and virus), which can lead to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. Flavonoids can inhibit the over production of these macrophages

  • Protects against heart disease

                o   Besides flavonoids ability to dilate the arteries and prevent lipid oxidation, it can also strengthen the walls of arteries and blood vessels and control platelet aggregation

  • Strengthen immune system

                o   Besides being antioxidants, they recycle Vitamin C, an immune system booster,


                o   regulate nitric acid, which in excessive levels will destroy macrophages, a type of white blood cells that help us fight the baddies in our bodies.

  • Anti-aging

                 o   Prevents premature death of health cells, especially brain cells

  • Controls Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) issues

                 o   Studies have shown that one possible cause of ADHD could be poor blood circulation in the area of the brain that controls behavior. Flavonoids helps dilation of arteries and blood vessels enable better blood flow to help control ADHD.

  • For chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) symptoms

                o   CFS patients suffer from both inflammation and pain. Flavonoids can reduce symptoms of  swelling from inflammation and by increasing blood flow can help with pain management.


Foods Rich in Flavonoids

Examples of foods rich in Flavonoids:

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