Vitamin P was once recognized as a water soluble vitamin with a crystalline structure which takes on the characteristics of a Bioflavonoid.
So, what are bioflavonoids?
Essentially, they are a group of naturally occurring plant compounds, acting primarily as plant pigments and
They exhibit a range of biological activities, the most notable being their powerful antioxidant properties.
Referring to bioflavonoids as Vitamin P has fallen out of use due to the broad family of compounds which may be considered part of the "vitamin".
In the case of what used to be known as Vitamin P, its main function is to keep blood vessels healthy. One way it accomplishes
this task is by building up a capillary's ability to resist bleeding profusely. This helps keep capillaries strong and a stronger
blood vessel system is better able to protect itself from disease and infection.
As mentioned earlier, a significant benefit of bioflavonoids is their antioxidant capabilities.
Antioxidants prevent many serious diseases, particularly aged-related issues, from developing by neutralizing free radicals.
If not neutralized, free radicals can cause substantial cell damage. Oxidation is what happens to the part of a car that develops rust.
In much the same way as rust begins to destroy a car's body, free radicals begin destroying cells. As cells begin to break down, the
body becomes susceptible to heart and other types of diseases and other adverse conditions including premature aging.
Another important quality of Bioflavonoids is their effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory. It's possible that consuming
Bioflavonoids benefits muscle and joints by helping bruises in these areas heal faster.
Because of its ability to relax the muscles in the cardiovascular system, there is a possibility that the erstwhile Vitamin P
may play a role in helping lower blood pressure. Some other areas being researched are bioflavonoid's ability to interfere with growing
tumors, and how it impacts other types of bleeding such as nosebleeds, hemorrhoids and bleeding in the retina (a problem for
people with hypertension or diabetes).
Sources for Vitamin P, or Bioflavonoids
Bioflavonoids are plant-based so they are found mainly in fruits and vegetables. Specifically, the brightly colored fruits
and vegetables in shades of red, orange and yellow are the best sources. Mangoes, apricots, oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, lemons, cherries, black currants, plums, and grapes are good fruit sources. Carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, broccoli and onions are good vegetable sources. Believe it or not, much of the bioflavonoid value actually comes from the rind.
Good news for some of us, red wine also is a good source of Bioflavonoids and even medical professionals recommend drinking a glass with dinner. Buckwheat, ginkgo, green tea, milk thistle, hawthorn, rose hip and yarrow all contain Bioflavonoids, as well.
There isn't a recommended daily allowance for Vitamin P. or whatever you want to call it. What is recommended is to eat at
least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Choosing those which are brightly-colored will provide the most bioflavonoid benefit.
It's a good thing that so many good tasting foods help supply the body's need for bioflavonoids,
as these compounds are virtually inaccessible from most daily multivitamins.
Vitamin P Deficiency
People who make eating fruits and vegetables a part of their diets will automatically get sufficient quantities of
Vitamin P. Adding a glass of green tea for lunch and a glass of wine with dinner will allow the body to realize even
more bioflavonoid benefit. Those who do not like these foods and beverages need to realize the importance of making them part of their daily routines.
Just as there are no recommended daily requirements, there aren't any risks associated with a Vitamin P deficiency.
It's not a toxic substance so there aren't any adverse side effects from consuming too much, either.