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Articles > Bodybuilding Supplements > What are Bioflavonoids?
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If you think bioflavonoids are the little creatures that landed with E.T., you've definitely been in the gym too long and you're ignoring your nutrition.

Bioflavonoids, also known as Vitamin P, are water-soluble substances found in the pulp of fruits and vegetables along with Vitamin C. Known to many as accessory nutrients, bioflavonoids are not considered essential for all individuals, but may be required to facilitate optimal functioning. There is no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for bioflavonoids, and though a tremendous amount of research has been conducted, no deficiency state has ever been observed in animals or humans.

Some experts will tell you that if you ingest the required amounts of vitamins you can forget about something as insignificant as an accessory nutrient. Think about it. If Ronnie Coleman blasted only the major muscle groups of his body and ignored his accessory exercises, would he have won Mr. Olympia? Maybe, but probably not.

History of Bioflavonoids

The substances citrin, hesperidin, rutin, flavones and flavonol were renamed bioflavonoids after a recommendation was made in 1950 by the American Society of Biological Chemists and the American Institute of Nutrition. These substances were deemed unworthy of carrying a vitamin label, since a shortage of them in the diet did not lead to any overt symptoms or deficiency diseases.

Experts who studied bioflavonoids found that individuals who included them in their diet exhibited:
• Reduction of capillary fragility (bruising)
• Prevention of retinal hemorrhages
• Reduced rate of arteriosclerosis
• Increased protection against arthritis
• Decreased menopausal symptoms
• Reduction in ulcer problems
• Decreased symptoms of asthma
• Decreased inflammation after injury
• Better resistance to infection
• Decreased risk of diabetic cataract

Facts About Bioflavonoids

One of the most important characteristics of bioflavonoids is that they are naturally occurring substances with no known toxicity level. Bioflavonoids are found in the white skin and segment parts of the citrus fruits: oranges, lemons and grapefruits. They are also found in cherries, blackberries, buckwheat and rosehips.

Although individuals who drink fruit juice may maintain adequate levels of Vitamin C in their bodies, they will probably be deficient in bioflavonoids. It is important to mention here that if an individual is taking a synthetic Vitamin C supplement, bioflavonoids are not necessarily present unless they have been added by the manufacturer. Bioflavonoids occur with Vitamin C only in natural food sources. Recent research has indicated that all C supplements work more favorably when bioflavonoids are also present in the diet.

Conclusion

Bioflavonoids: Do you really need them? Research to date seems to be inconclusive. However, it is attention to the finest detail in both exercise and nutrition that determines a winner. Bioflavonoids may be controversial, but they are worth looking at. It may mean the difference between victory and defeat.

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