Flavonoids are water-soluble antioxidants in fruits, vegetables, tea and wine. Colourful pigments, they are responsible for brilliant blues, purples and greens, as well as yellows, oranges and reds which cannot be attributed to carotenoids. Research links them to reduced risks to our overall well-being, as well as antioxidant protection of body fluids. GNLD’s Flavonoid Complex provides diverse phytonutrients from an optimal serving of fruits and vegetables, plus catechins from green tea and ellagic acid from grapes, cranberries and other berries.
If carotenoids are Nature’s ”crayons,” creating many of the red, orange, yellow and deep green colours in fruits and vegetables, then flavonoids can be thought of as a vivid layer in the jumbo assortment! Flavonoids are plant pigments that provide the more vibrant, brilliant colours in nature, including most of the blue, purple and emerald green tones found in flowers, leaves, fruits and vegetables. In addition, most of the yellow, orange and red colours that are NOT carotenoids belong to the flavonoid family. Another distinction: carotenoids are LIPID-soluble, while flavonoids are predominantly WATER-soluble.
Flavonoids represent a large family of phytonutrients (plant nutrients). More than 4,000 unique flavonoids have been identified so far - and the number is growing! Because of their chemical structure, flavonoids are part of a broader family of compounds known as polyphenols.
In our diet, flavonoids are found primarily in fruits and vegetables; significant amounts of flavonoids are also found in teas and wines. Citrus fruits and berries are particularly high in flavonoids. In plants, flavonoids appear to act as a natural sunscreen, protecting against ultraviolet damage. In people, flavonoids appear to interfere with the complex and multiple processes that lead to conditions that tend to manifest as the years go by.
One of the primary functions of dietary flavonoids is to act as antioxidant protectors of the watery areas in and around cells and in body fluids such as blood.
The ideal dietary goal is to consume 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. To help you include flavonoid-rich choices, refer to this list. The richest sources appear in italics
Rich in Flavanones (e.g. hesperidin, naringenen)
Citrus (grapefruit, oranges, lemons)
Rich in Anthocyanins
Berries! (blueberries, cranberries, currants, raspberries, hawthorn berries, blackberries, elderberries)
Grapes and grape juice
Rich in Catechins
Green Tea (by far the richest source)
Rich in Flavonols
Rich in Ellagic Acid
In the past decade, world-wide population studies have firmly established that diets high in fruits and vegetables are linked with a lower risk of developing a wide range of debilitating conditions many of which are age related. Enormous efforts have been launched to identify the compounds in fruits and vegetables that may help provide protection. Because they are potent antioxidants and because they represent the majority of the plant polyphenols, flavonoids were quickly singled out as promising candidates. To date, literally hundreds of published articles report the broad protective benefits of flavonoids. Flavonoids have clearly emerged as “hero” phytonutrients and current research focuses on their role in helping to prevent these conditions.
Whole foods containing flavonoids have a healthy reputation that dates back several centuries or more. In fact, many beneficial effects of traditional herbal remedies can be attributed to the flavonoid constituents of the plants.
Research continues to show that greater fruit and vegetable consumption is linked to a lower risk of developing threats to general well-being. At the same time, it is evident that in many parts of the world, intake of fruits and vegetables is far from recommended levels. Since fruits and vegetables supply most of the flavonoids in our diet, it is clear that our intake of flavonoids is far from optimal.
Fruits and vegetables in our diet are protective and they are lacking in our diet. A part of the human food chain, they have a long history of safe use. For these reasons, GNLD set out to identify those fruits and vegetables that would deliver significant amounts of the different members of the flavonoid family. The result is Flavonoid Complex.
Like carotenoids, flavonoids do not appear in isolation in nature. Specific flavonoids appear in different foods; natural foods invariably contain many flavonoids in groups. It is the DIVERSITY of foods that we eat, and the DENSITY of nutrients in those foods, that contribute to protective benefits. GNLD’s Flavonoid Complex provides flavonoid diversity and density from a variety of Nature’s richest whole-food sources.
Using published analytical data, GNLD developed a profile of flavonoids and related compounds present in an optimal serving of flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables including:
Beets, Grapefruit, Blueberries, Kale, Cranberries, Lemons, Elderberries, Oranges, Green tea, Raspberries, Grapes (red and black)
Flavonoid Complex was then formulated so each tablet would match the profile of an optimal serving of these foods. Raw materials were carefully selected to contribute representatives of all the members of the flavonoid family, including:
Historically, flavonoids have been associated with vitamin C. As early as 1939, flavonoids in citrus fruits, then referred to as “vitamin P,” were known to enhance vitamin C activity. Today even more is known about the interactions of vitamin C and the large family of flavonoids represented in Flavonoid Complex:
GNLD introduced its Vitamin C product, an exclusive whole-food concentrate based on the understanding that vitamin C occurred in fruits, not in isolation, but together with a family of functionally related compounds: citrus bioflavonoids. Accordingly, GNLD’s unique vitamin C supplements were formulated to include these whole-citrus compounds to assure maximum nutritional benefits.
Tea (Camellia sinensis) is the world’s most popular beverage. Safely consumed for thousands of years, the tea plant originated in parts of Tibet, China and India. By the 9th century Chinese Buddhist monks had introduced it to Japan and by the 16th century Dutch traders had introduced it to Europe. While tea is usually offered in friendship, it has also spawned war: A British tax on tea consumed by American colonists instigated the Boston Tea Party of 1773, an incident contributing to the Revolutionary War.
Recently, green tea has been the subject of hundreds of clinical studies, the majority of which support folkloric claims.4 Green tea, which is less oxidized than black tea, is rich in many beneficial substances the essential amino acid threonine, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fluoride and vitamin K. The compounds thought chiefly responsible for tea’s benefits, however, are flavonoids, potent antioxidants that combat challenges to our well-being.
Now GNLD makes it easier to reap the benefits of green tea! Our unique Flavonoid Complex features flavonoids from fruits, vegetables and decaffeinated green tea extract! Each tablet provides flavonoids from green tea, as well as additional diverse flavonoids and ellagic acid from cranberries, kale, beets, elderberries, raspberries, blueberries, red and black grapes, oranges, lemons and grapefruit. Naturally occurring vitamin C is added for enhanced absorption.
(1) Block, G. Dietary Guidelines and the Results of Food Consumption Surveys. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 53:356S357S (1991).
(2) Helser, M.A., Hotchkiss, J.H., and Roe, D.A. Influence of Fruit and Vegetable Juices on the Endogenous Formation of N-nitrosopropoline and N-nitrosothiazolidine-4-carboxylic Acid in Humans on Controlled Diets. Carcinogenesis 13:22772280 (1992).
(3) Kandaswami, C., Perkins, E. Ascorbic Acid Enhanced Antiproliferative Effect of Flavonoids on Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Vitro. Anticancer Drugs 4:9196 (1993).
(4) Green Tea Catechin Extract Symposium (video). Sponsored by Chemco Industries Inc.