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Science Stacks Up for Flavonoids for Heart Health

the highest versus the lowest intake of anthocyanidins (0.2 versus 0 milligrams per day) was associated with a 10 per cent reduction in total mortality, a 12 per cent reduction in CHD and a nine per cent reduction in CVD.

The highest versus the lowest intake of flavanones (93.7 versus 7.6 milligrams per day) was significantly associated with a 22 per cent reduction in CHD, and highest versus the lowest intake of flavones (1.5 versus 0.1 milligrams per day) was significantly associated with a 12 per cent reduction in total mortality.

The researchers also report that intake of apples, pears, and red wine was associated with lower CHD and CVD mortalities, while grapefruit intake was linked to lowered CHD mortality.

Interestingly, no significant benefits for cardiovascular health were observed for tea consumption, a flavonoid-rich food previously seen to have benefits.

"Results from this study suggest that the intake of certain subclasses of flavonoids may be associated with lower CHD and total CVD mortality in postmenopausal women," said the researchers. "Furthermore, consumption of some foods that are high in flavonoid content or that are among the main sources of flavonoids in the diet of these study participants may have similar associations."

Mink says, however, that these results cannot be considered conclusive and called for other prospective studies to replicate these findings.

The role of flavonoids as antioxidants was recently challenged by a review by scientists from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reported that, while the compounds showed excellent antioxidant activity in the lab, they are rapidly metabolised in the body.

"This does not preclude the possibility that flavonoids may accumulate in tissues where they might exert local antioxidant effects or that very low concentrations of flavonoids may modulate cell signalling, gene regulation, antiogenesi
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