Everyone knows that oxidative stress can cause many diseases common in the West, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so on. In my nutrition class I research a wide range of plant nutrients known collectively as Vitamin P, or flavonoids. These are a class of chemicals that have a wide range of benefits in reducing oxidative stress, and its effects, in the body. Since Vitamin P includes such a broad class of specific chemicals- over four thousand compounds- I will specifically talk about the two most well known species; rutin and quercetin.
Through research quercetin has been seen to have anticancer effects while rutin plays an important role in the cardiovascular system. Quercetin is reported to work against over ten different types of cancers including melanoma, cervical, lung, and breast. On the other hand, rutin strengthens the walls of the capillaries. It does this by protecting vitamin C from oxidation so that it can act on the capillaries together as a more functional vitamin C and rutin complex. Additional claims of other flavonoids classified as vitamin P include cholesterol lowering effects, antifungal properties, lowers inflammation, reduces pain, and can be used to treat or prevent cataracts. These claims are not proven yet, but future research is consolidating information to test these claims.
Vitamin P is not produced in the body, but it is present in plant and fruit sources. This is proves another benefit of a vegan lifestyle! One significant source is in citrus fruits that have high amounts of vitamin C; such as oranges, lemons, and limes. Basically, any of the beautifully vibrant yellow, red, blues, and purples found in plants or fruits offer these countless benefits.
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