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What are Citrus Bioflavonoids?

By Sonal Panse
Updated Feb 17, 2024
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Citrus bioflavonoids are natural plant pigments that can be found in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, sweet limes, tangerines and grapefruit; these fruits get their distinctive coloring due to the presence of the bioflavonoids. In addition to citrus fruits, bioflavonoids are found in scores of other fruits, vegetables and nuts as well as in plant leaves and barks. Some of the bioflavonoid sources include apricots, black currants, cherries, grapes, peppers, prunes, elderberry, horsetail, and rose hips.

The human body does not produce bioflavonoids, but requires them to stay healthy. Eating citrus fruits is one way of ingesting bioflavonoids and taking supplement pills is another. Some commonly occurring citrus bioflavonoids include apigenin, hesperidin, naringin, tangeritin and rutin. They should be taken in conjunction with Vitamin C for best results.

As these bioflavonoids seem to possess important vitamin properties, they are often known as Vitamin P. These bioflavonoid substances are high on antioxidants and have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties. A daily dosage, as recommended by a physician, can help the body fight off common cold viruses and various other infections. The presence of antioxidants can help counter free radical damage, maintain a clear, healthy skin and slow down the aging process.

Taking citrus bioflavonoids can help protect capillaries and prevent bruising. They can help alleviate symptoms related to allergies and respiratory problems. People suffering from spider veins, varicose veins and arthritis can get relief by taking bioflavonoid supplements.

These supplements have also been found to be effective in treating scurvy, bleeding gums, and hemorrhage. They can be taken to control cholesterol levels and hypertension. They have also been used to speed up the healing in treatments for edema, phlebitis, hemorrhoids and herpes. Citrus bioflavonoids can work as a preventive against cataract formation, cancer and heart disease.

While citrus bioflavonoids are certainly beneficial in many different ways, they should be taken only in recommended doses. If taken in excess, they may bring on a bout of diarrhea. There have also been some cases of bioflaonoids causing allergic reactions in some people.

Pregnant women and very young children are advised against taking bioflavonoid supplements. Anyone wanting to go on these supplements is well-advised to consult their physician first. It is important to have a qualified healthcare provider review a person's health situation and the medications he or she may be taking already, and discuss the possible interaction and counter effects of bioflavonoids with these medications.

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Discussion Comments
By ceilingcat — On Aug 26, 2011

@KaBoom - My vitamin C has bioflavonoids in it too. Maybe this is pretty common?

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids have tons of benefits, but taking them to excess is a bad idea. I've actually experienced a stomach upset from taking too much! I had a bad cold, so I figure more was better. I was so wrong. Now I just take the recommended dose and call it a day.

By KaBoom — On Aug 25, 2011

I always find it interesting when certain supplements, like bioflavonoids and vitamin C, are best taken together. I think it's a good idea for manufacturers to sell these types of vitamins together in the form of one pill.

In fact, I just realized the vitamin C supplement I take says "vitamin C with bioglavonoids" on the bottle. I guess that manufacturer is one step ahead of me!

By jennythelib — On Aug 24, 2011

@rugbygirl - Of course apples and bananas aren't "bad"! And they're certainly much better for you than most of the other snacks you could be eating.

The thing is that if those are all the fruits you eat, you're missing out on citrus bioflavonoids and other nutrients that brighter and darker fruits have. Try to branch out!

A good place to start is at your local farmer's market, if you have one. See what's in season. Oranges and pineapple are also among the most nutritious fruits, and you can get those year-round at the grocery store.

"Eat the rainbow" isn't just about the bioflavonoids, though that's one advantage. Each color - red, green, yellow, etc. - has different nutrients. Orange foods tend to be high in beta carotene, for instance. Try exploring different in-season vegetable options. There's a whole world out there!

By rugbygirl — On Aug 24, 2011

Oh, is this why they tell you to "eat the rainbow"? I wondered what benefit the dark colors would have.

I've always been an apple and banana kind of girl. Are those not "good enough"? Is it somehow bad to eat a lot of apples and bananas?

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