Way to free radicals


Flavonoids, compounds of which there are over five thousand, effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular and cancer diseases. They are called “scavengers of free radicals. 


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Widespread in the vegetable world, they occur in flowers, fruits, seeds, leaves and roots. 

In the daily diet should be found about 75 – 80 dag of vegetables and fruits – the most valuable sources of these substances for humans. 


They belong to organic compounds (meaning they have coal in their structure), which are included in polyphenols. The basic chemical structure of flavonoids are two aromatic rings, connected by a three-carbon chain. They give the plants color, taste and smell. They dissolve in water. 

Among the favonoids it stands out 

1. Flavones – aspigenine, luteolin 

2. Flavonols – quercetin, kermferol, moraine, myricetin 

3. Flavanons – hesperin, naringenin 

4. Isoflavones – daidzein, genistein 

5. Catechins 

6. Anthocyanidins 

The source of flavonoids in nutrition are vegetables, fruits and tea, red wine, herbal spices (eg marjoram, rosemary). 

The most flavonoids contain vegetables and fruits 

onions, kale, beans, broccoli, chicory, celery, cranberries, blueberries, red and black currants, dark grapes, grapefruit, oranges, apples. 

Flavonoids are often called bioflavonoids or vitamin P, because they show a wide spectrum of biological effects on the human body. Depending on the species, plants and fruits contain different flavonoid compounds. 

The consumption of flavonoids in the diet, as well as the proportion of products in the delivery of these compounds varies from country to country.

For example, in the Netherlands, the consumption of flavonoids is on average around 30 mg per day; they come mainly from tea, onion, apples. 

In the US – about 20 mg, and an important source of them, along with tea, apples, and onions are also broccoli. The Japanese consume about 80 percent. flavonoids from tea, while in the Italian diet 40% these compounds come from red wine. 

As research in the Netherlands and Finland shows, flavonoids have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. The results obtained after five years of observation suggest that the high intake of flavonoids decreases 

the risk of death from ischemic heart disease, stroke and myocardial infarction. 

Epidemiological studies indicate that in France, although the French consume large amounts of saturated fatty acids, there is a low mortality rate from ischemic heart disease. Why? 

The reason is the high consumption of red wine, which is a very good source of non-alcoholic polyphenols, which include quercetin, catechin, myricetin, epigallocatechin. 

The red wine also contains rosweratrol, derived from grape skins. The anti-atherogenic effect of these compounds lies in their antioxidant properties, i.e. these compounds protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation, which in this form is harmful. 

Bioflavonoids derived from red wine are better absorbed by the body than bioflavonoids from fruits, because in fruits they are found in combination with other compounds (eg with sugars – in glycoside forms) and they are less well absorbed. 

In protection against ischemic heart disease, thrombosis and myocardial infarction, as effective as aspirin, it can also be red grape juice – it seems to be a very good food for prevention and cardiovascular diseases. 


Another product, rich in flavonoids, is tea, especially green. 


Green tea contains flavanols 

Catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin and others. Antioxidant properties of green tea are six times higher than black – a glass of this drink contains about 140 mg of flavonoids. 

An important source of flavonoids, apart from red wine, grape juice and tea, are vegetables and fruits, especially onions and apples. 

Of particular note is soybean, rich in isoflavones, daidzein, genistein, and glycitol. Protective action before the development of atherosclerosis has been attributed to soy for a long time. 

Flavonoids seem to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. They work as strong antioxidants – so-called scavengers of free radicals. 


You can read also: Antioxidants and training adaptation

Posted on: March 4, 2019

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