Today’s post is about the vitamin “P”. Don’t jump to disbelief yet.
Vitamin P now commonly referred to as flavonoids are substances found in plants.
It was first isolated in lemon by the American chemist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi in 1936.
However, they are not exactly true vitamins in today’s classification of food nutrients.
This is partly because, they are a vast array of compounds, and are currently classified as plant pigments.
These pigments, over 4000 of which have been identified, are responsible for the flamboyant colors of fruits and flowers.
In our early school days, we were told insects are attracted to the brightly colored petals of flowers containing vitamin P and now we can conclude they also attract humans too.
In humans, vitamin P (flavonoids) principally acts as antioxidant and augments the activities of other vitamins by improving their absorption.
The following are some of it’s benefits.
1. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes harmful free radicals and prevent oxidative stress which damage cells and DNA. That being said, we can conclude that it slows aging and degenerative diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
2. It enhances the effects of the other antioxidant vitamins, and increases levels of glutathione, an important and powerful antioxidant
3. It enhances the use of vitamin C by improving its absorption, prolonging its effectiveness, and protecting it from oxidation.
4. It works with vitamin C to strengthen and protect blood vessel structure, and reduce prolonged bleeding, bruising, and nosebleeds.
5. Clinically proven in treatment of hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
6. Works with vitamin C to alleviate oral herpes.
Deficiency of flavonoids is rare, but then, consuming diets completely void of plant components or prolonged cooking of plant material for food can result in depleted amounts in the body.
This can cause
1. Easy bruising of skin.
2. Excessive swelling after injury, such as sports injuries
3. Frequent nose bleeds.
4. Hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
5. Weakened immune system, resulting in frequent colds or infections.
Sources of vitamin P (flavonoids) are plant materials used as food: vegetables, fruits, spices and herbs.