WHAT IS HESPERIDIN?
Hesperidin is one of the many flavanones that can be found in plant based foods and is part of the phytonutrient family (a group of chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants and have multiple health benefits but are not considered essential to human health). Like the majority of phytonutrients, hesperidin is a powerful antioxidant (a substance which protects the body’s cells from oxygen related damage) which can also reduce inflammation in the body. In this article I will be providing a full overview of hesperidin.
WHEN WAS HESPERIDIN DISCOVERED?
Hesperidin was discovered in 1938 by the Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi as part of the flavonoid family. He initially referred to the flavonoids as vitamin P but it was later discovered that they are not essential to human health and therefore not technically vitamins.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE HESPERIDIN?
As discussed above, hesperidin is a potent antioxidant which can protect the body’s cells. The list below highlights the main functions of hesperidin in the human body:
– Acting as an antioxidant and protecting your body from dangerous free radicals (harmful by-products of oxygen related reactions).
– Acting as a hypolipidemic (a substance which lowers levels of lipids in the blood).
– Boosting the immune system.
– Improving the health of the capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the human body).
– Preventing cancer.
– Preventing the loss of bone density.
– Protecting the blood vessels from damage.
– Reducing blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol which can cause blockages in the arteries and increase your heart disease risk).
– Reducing edema (excessive accumulation of fluids in the body’s cells and tissues which leads to swelling).
– Reducing inflammation within the body.
– Relieving the symptoms of menopause.
– Working in conjunction with vitamin C to protect the collagen (the main protein in animal connective tissues) within the body.
HOW MUCH HESPERIDIN DO YOU NEED?
Since hesperidin is not an essential nutrient in humans no official recommended daily allowance (RDA) has been established. However, most sources suggest that consuming between 10 milligrams (mg) and 100mg per day is enough to enjoy the health benefits of hesperidin. Consuming up to 500 milligrams (mg) of hesperidin per day is thought to be safe.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN HESPERIDIN?
Hesperidin is known as a citrus bioflavonoid and as the name suggests citrus fruits are often the richest source with the white parts and the pulp of the citrus peel having the highest concentrations. The table below outlines some of the best food sources of hesperidin:
|FOOD||MILLIGRAMS (MG) OF HESPERIDIN PER 100 GRAMS (G)
|Blood Orange Juice||13.12|
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH HESPERIDIN?
Currently there are no reported overdose symptoms associated with hesperidin consumption.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH HESPERIDIN?
Despite not being considered an essential nutrient in humans, not getting enough hesperidin can have a number of adverse effects which include:
– Abnormal capillary bleeding.
– Leg cramps.
– Pain in the extremities.
As you can see, hesperidin is a very important nutrient for blood and blood vessel health. Fortunately, it can be easily sourced from the citrus fruits lemons and oranges. So if you want to enjoy the benefits of hesperidin start snacking on oranges and add some lemon juice to your cooking. Doing this will provide your body with more than enough hesperidin.
Hesperidin (Vitamins & Health Supplements Guide)
List of Phytochemicals in Food (Wikipedia)
What is Phytochemical? (Juicing For Health)
USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods