Bioflavonoids, also known as flavonoids, are not true vitamins and they are sometimes referred to as Vitamin P. The body can not produce bioflavonoids, nor can they be stored in the body, they must be supplied in the diet. At first they were considered vitamins, then medicine, then neither.

Vitamin P prevents the tiny holes in the capillary walls from becoming too large and letting viruses through as well as nutrition and allowing the red corpuscles to leak out in hemorrhages.

There is no evidence that bioflavonoids are essential for our health or that we develop any deficiency symptoms when we do not have them. However, they are known to enhance the absorption of vitamin C.

They are used extensively for athletic injuries because they relieve pain, bumps and bruises. In addition, they have an antibacterial effect and promote circulation, stimulate bile production, lower cholesterol levels and treat cataracts.

The potential health benefits of bioflavonoids is that they may help strengthen capillaries , improve immunity, fight cancer and reduce inflammation.

There are more than 800 known bioflavonoids, but the most common are hesperidin, rutin and quercetin. Medicinal properties include their potential role in cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease.

Hesperidin acts as an antioxidant, contributes to the integrity of the blood vessels, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, decreases bone density loss, has anti-inflammatory effects, sedative effects and suppresses infections.

Rutin, found in buckwheat, acts as an antioxidant, strengthens capillaries (which may help prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids) and lower the risk of heart disease.

Quercetin used as a nutritional supplement, has been promoted as being effective against a wide variety of diseases including cancer.

Bioflavonoids are tiny colored crystals that give many fruits and vegetables their color of red, blue and yellow. They are found in the skin and pulp of citrus fruits and lemon is the best source.

Several studies have suggested that the bioflavonoids catechin, hesperidin and quercetin may help fight the viruses that cause herpes, respiratory ailments and flu. Another study showed that the bioflavonoids nobiletin and tangeretin interfere with the growth of cancer cells in the lab. Other researchers have found that bioflavoniods improve immunity and help reduce inflammation.

Most experts agree that if you wish to consume more bioflavonoids, the best way is to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more fruit juices.

Good food sources for bioflavonoids include fruit juices, citrus fruits, black currant, green peppers, cherries, berries, grapes, apricots, papaya, tomatoes and broccoli. Herbal sources include hawthorn berries, horsetail and shepherd's purse.

Author's Bio: 

Edith Lingenfelter - webmaster of Age-old Herbs shows how "self defense" is natures oldest law and how to prevent your health concerns with natural healing herbs with herbal nutrition supplements. For better health and well being visit