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Flavonoids – Food Sources, Health Benefits, and Mechanisms Involved

Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)

Abstract

In recent years, growing attention has been focused on the use of natural sources of antioxidants in the prevention of chronic diseases. Flavonoids are the examples of such substances. It is a group of bioactive compounds that are widely distributed in many plant-based foods and beverages. Flavonoid-rich products include, among others, berries, citrus fruits, grapes, cherries, dock, arugula, onions, artichokes, soybeans, cowpeas, black beans, parsley, oregano, and tea. Flavonoids exhibit a wide range of positive effects, such as strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet activities. They may contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases, including metabolic disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, because of their beneficial effect on blood lipids, blood pressure, plasma glucose levels, and also stabilization of athetosclerotic plaque. Furthermore, evidence from epidemiological, animal, and in vitro studies support protective effects of foods and dietary supplements rich in flavonoids against some types of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, some viral infections, cataract, erectile dysfunction, and inflammatory bowel disease. Consumption of flavonoids with diet appears to be safe. There is a growing body of evidence that a diet rich in these substances is beneficial for health and its promotion is thus justifiable.

Keywords

  • Flavonoids
  • Antioxidants
  • Bioactive compounds
  • Chronic diseases
  • Prevention
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Cataract
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Type 2 diabetes

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Kozłowska, A., Szostak-Węgierek, D. (2019). Flavonoids – Food Sources, Health Benefits, and Mechanisms Involved. In: Mérillon, JM., Ramawat, K. (eds) Bioactive Molecules in Food. Reference Series in Phytochemistry. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78030-6_54

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