|Apigenin is natural phytochemical found in fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs. Diet rich in this particular flavonoid is associated with reduced risk of heart problems, neurological conditions and several types of cancer.
This type of diet may even slow down the aging process, thanks to its wide array of benefits. However, due to its poor bioavailability, the diet has to be very rich in this particular nutrient.
On the other hand, supplementing your diet may provide easy way to its benefits, especially when combined with dihydroxybergamottin from grapefruits or piperine from black pepper.
RICH SOURCES OF APIGENIN
Although it is found in many fruits, vegetables and herbs, the amount of it varies. The richest natural sources are:
Other spices such as rosemary, oregano, thyme, basil and coriander
Artichokes and Spinach
APIGENIN AND HEART DISEASE
Flavonoid has relaxing effect on the central nervous system which can help lower high blood pressure. Actually, the relaxing effect of Chamomile is mostly attributed to this powerful phytochemical which is able to modulate GABA receptors in the brain.
While it has few other health benefits, heart wise, the most significant is its ability to increase steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, know as StAR. This protein is necessary for production of hormones since it helps transport cholesterol, from which all hormones are made, into the cell.
As we get older, eat bad foods and drink too much alcohol, production of StAR goes down. As StAR decreases, so does the hormonal production which eventually speeds up the aging process and leads to age related diseases.
However, with apigenin rich diet and healthy lifestyle we can turn things around.
Flavonoid is also a natural aromatase inhibitor. It lowers the risk of blood clots and helps increase production of several hormones, by inhibiting aromatase enzyme which increases with age. It may even be used to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack.
Apigenin has shown to have all round approach, when it comes to cancer. It may reduce the risk of prostate, breast, stomach and bladder cancer as well as leukemia. Scientists assume that flavonoid works in several ways from which only a few of them have been identified.
However, strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics are for sure, one of the main reasons behind its anti-cancer properties. By preventing free radical damage and blocking COX-2, the risk of cancer can be reduced, a lot.
Flavonoid can also nullify the effect of immunosuppressants thereby boosting the immune system which kills cancer cells. However, it can have adverse reactions in case of organ transplant because of this.
Its ability to reduce and block excess estrogen from binding to its receptors, are the main reason why flavonoid can reduce the risk and slow down the metastasis of cancerous cells, especially breast and prostate cancer.
Although it is not an essential nutrient, its powerful health benefits make it a worthy ally in fight against heart disease. It is so powerful that it can even modulate several genes.
Although it is not effective as gene therapy, this kind of effects are very significant, especially when they come from the natural source.
While it seems to be very safe chemical, without any dangerous side effects, flavonoid can interact with chemotherapy drugs. It is, by itself, a potent chemotherapeutic agent.
In order to get sufficient amounts, you dont need to take supplements.
Diet rich in fruits and vegetables and especially spices can provide a substantial amount of this great nutrient. Also, citrus fruits are great source of apigenin since it is after all, one of the citrus bioflavonoids.