Flavonoids are part of the healthy polyphenol family of chemicals which occur in plants. There are more than 4000 different flavonoids, mostly in fruits, vegetables and seeds. We eat about 1,000 mg. of flavonoids per day.
Numerous health benefits have been discovered in flavonoids, including anticancer, anti-mutagenic (prevention of mutations), antioxidant, and antiviral properties. Flavonoids can prevent the formation of cancer, block cancer growth, and transform cancer cells into more benign cells.
Some of the best known flavonoids are the citrus flavonoids and green tea flavonoids, which induce apoptosis (a natural form of cell death in abnormal cells), and Brussells sprout flavonoids which produce “protective enzymes.” Flavonoids alter the functioning of DNA and RNA to control protein production. They can alter the functioning of other enzymes as well: kinase, phospholipase, ATPase, lipooxygenase, cyclooxygenase and phosphodiesterase. Blocking these enzymes can be beneficial in cancer control. Flavonoids with anti-aromatase enzyme activity can help treat breast cancer. Silibinin flavonoids from milk thistle herb are of benefit in prostate cancer.
Estrogen receptor inhibition may reduce cancer deaths, and silencing of estrogen receptors in cancer may be an epigenetic function. Cancer death is rare in countries where the diets include high levels of soy flavonoids (isoflavones). Flavonoids which alter estrogen receptor activity are called phytoestrogens. These include genistein, daidzein, and glycitein.
CONCLUSION: Research continues to find treatments of cancer by specific flavonoids. At this time, we do have a great deal of information about specific herbs containing groups of flavonoids which can improve cancer outcomes.
Summary #914. nutrientmedicine.