The benefits of flavonoids
Present in many foods, flavonoids, anti-oxidants, are known for many benefits, including the list goes on, partly to explain the interest of the Mediterranean diet and, perhaps, the famous French paradox.
Flavonoids are the most important category of polyphenols, molecules that are well known for their antioxidant properties. They are found in fruits and vegetables but also in chocolate or wine (especially red). Their study is experiencing a renewed interest since they are lent, in particular, anti-cancer properties but also effects in the cardiovascular field.
The flavonoids were highlighted by Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1937 for isolating vitamin C. With more than 4,000 compounds, flavonoids are a huge family of antioxidants.
They are particularly abundant in foods such as grapes, apples and pears, as well as in drinks derived as diverse as tea, cocoa or wine. They are reputed to protect against various chronic conditions (cardiovascular diseases, cancers) and are used in the treatment of hemorrhoidal crisis or heavy legs.
The famous Mediterranean diet
Their effects have been the subject of active research since the discovery of the French paradox and the virtues of the Mediterranean diet. Some studies have shown that regular and moderate consumption of red wine, tea, fruits and vegetables reduces coronary risk or stroke. These results are attributed to the high content of flavonoids in these foods. An exhibition series will be dedicated to them this Wednesday at the National Academy of Pharmacy.
But while it is pleasant to think that drinking wine (moderately) is good for health, surveys conducted so far only suggest but do not demonstrate that consumption of flavonoid-rich foods is associated with reduced mortality. . However, studies on the biological effects of flavonoids give substance to the assumptions about the benefits of these polyphenols.