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What are Flavones?

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  • Written By: Micki Elizabeth
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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Flavones are compounds that make up one of the several classes of flavonoids, or antioxidants, that are found naturally in many fruits, vegetables and herbs. Flavones tend to be yellow in color. Two particular kinds of this compound called apigenin and luteolin are present in celery and parsley as well as thyme. While extensive research has not yielded conclusive results, several lab tests suggest that these compounds may help the body ward off current and potential ailments.

Flavonoids are abundant in many types of foods and teas. Many believe the effects of these antioxidants on the body are numerous. Research on specific types of flavonoids, including flavones, is still relatively new. Many tests have been declared inconclusive, yet others show promise that the compounds may have profound, positive health benefits.

In general, antioxidants may help individuals rid their bodies of the free radicals often associated with cancer. Additionally, flavones may impede high levels of estrogen. They may achieve this effect by curbing the productivity of aromatase, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of estrogen. For these reasons, flavones are thought to possibly decrease the risk of breast and prostate cancer.

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High levels of estrogen can lead to other health risks as well. Weight gain is a common symptom of an abundance of this hormone. Furthermore, a study conducted in the Netherlands surmised that the presence of the compound in women’s diets seemed to have a positive effect on stabilizing or even lowering the body mass index (BMI) of some patients.

Overweight individuals are typically more prone to contracting viruses and medical conditions. If flavones do prevent the body from creating too much estrogen and reduce the tendency for a female’s BMI to increase over time, the compound may, therefore, prevent many resulting ailments as well. Regardless of the certitude of this study, it is a fact that this yellow antioxidant is found in many low-calorie, high-fiber foods that often promote healthy weight.

Both apigenin and luteolin could have beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease by relaxing constricted blood vessels. Flavonoids are generally thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Though evidence is sparse to prove this point, it is acknowledged that diets high in vegetables could lead to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. The fact that flavones are mainly found in vegetables could be grounds to support this idea.

Various analyses have also advocated the use of this compound in the fight against kidney cancer, pulmonary problems, and tumors. Many tests have only been performed in vitro or on animals. As flavones are contained in many healthful foods, however, most physicians would consider increasing one’s intake of the antioxidant a fairly safe measure.

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