Flavonoids and Chronic Disease

Research with cell cultures and animal models suggests flavonoids may play a role in promoting human health and reducing the risk of some chronic diseases. Flavonoids have been purported to have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes, and osteoporosis as well as having antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, diuretic, and immunostimulatory actions. Observational studies have associated the intake of flavonoids and flavonoid-rich foods with specific conditions and some acute and short-term clinical interventions indicate flavonoids can affect supposed intermediary biomarkers of chronic disease. While observational studies of the relationship between flavonoids and health represent an important research approach, they are limited due, in part, to incomplete nutrient databases and the absence of biomarkers reflecting long-term exposure. Randomized controlled trials with flavonoids examining chronic disease are slowly being undertaken.

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