Wednesday bubble: flava flavonoid

Posted by on Jun 24, 2009 in diet | 5 comments

With the acai berry craze hitting its peak, I thought it was high time to devote a post to flavonoids (compounds found in plants, fruits and beverages that have been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties) — namely, those found in berries.

Yes, berries, This sounded a bit preposterous until I dug a bit deeper and located a current review in Maturitas, suggesting that berry flavonoids might be important for long-term health in menopausal women. However, researchers still can’t define the most important details, for example:

  • berry type
  • preparation
  • regimen

The amount of berry flavonoid that becomes available and used by the body after eating also varies by individual make up and by the different types of flavonoids.

All of these factors are critical to designing a strategy that will yield the maximum health benefit. Nevertheless, evidence from clinical studies suggests the following:

  • Cancer prevention. Note that this has been controversial since increased consumption of dietary fruits and vegetables and not just berries, have been shown to impact certain cancers such as esophogeal cancer. In the small studies that the researchers cite, cranberry juice and freeze dried black raspberry have been shown to control signaling that promotes the proliferation of cancer cells.
  • Age-related declines in motor skills, learning and memory impairment, specifically, those linked to a decline in the body’s ability to fight circulating free oxygen radicals that can damage cells. Evidence for these benefits are primarily derived from animal and not human studies, and concentrate on strawberries, blueberries and cranberries.

The researchers caution that it’s impossible to define how much of a single berry or combination of berries might help in disease prevention. Hence, it’s too early to make any definitive claims about berry consumption. However, they do emphasize that to date, research supports the importance of berries as part of a healthy, balanced diet for menopausal women.

Personally, I love berries and health benefits or not, I plan to eat as much of them as I can get my hands on this summer.

5 Comments

  1. 1-15-2013

    A very interesting blog, I found your website on Google and thought I would put a comment. Keep up the good work.

  2. 2-4-2013

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