A lot of posts recently on Daflon 500, or the flavonoid compound of 90% diosmin/10% hesperidin on affects on the endothelial wall, or the lining of our veins. I thought it might be good for folks to understand how flavonoids affect the endothelium and how they might be helpful in our diets. Daflon is not the only flavonoid.....
Flavonoids are the naturally occuring compounds found in fruits, vegetables and beverages. Flavonoids are what give fruits and veggies their bright colors. Diosmin, which is most of Daflon 500, comes from oranges, and hesperiden comes from oranges and lemons. These flavonoids are selected to treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins, because citrus flavonoids are vasoconstrictors, or tighten veins. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified, many of which occur in fruits, vegetables and beverages (tea, coffee, beer, wine and fruit drinks). The flavonoids have aroused considerable interest recently because of their potential beneficial effects on human health-they have been reported to have antiviral, anti-allergic, antiplatelet, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antioxidant activities. The flavonoid in red wine, resveratrol, has gotten a lot of press.
One aspect that flavonoids address, which can be helpful for people w/MS, is blocking the adhesion, or immobilization, of leukocytes to the endothelial wall. Flavonoids keep the leukocytes moving....
The immobilization and firm adhesion of leukocytes to the endothelial wall is another major mechanism responsible for the formation of oxygen-derived free radicals, but also for the release of cytotoxic oxidants and inflammatory mediators and further activation of the complement system. Under normal conditions, leukocytes move freely along the endothelial wall. However, during ischemia and inflammation, various mainly endothelium-derived mediators and complement factors may cause adhesion of the leukocytes to the endothelial wall, thereby immobilizing them and stimulating degranulation of the neutrophil. As a result, oxidants and inflammatory mediators are released, resulting in injury to tissues. Oral administration of a purified micronized flavonoid fraction was reported to decrease the number of immobilized leukocytes during reperfusion (23). The decrease in the number of immobilized leukocytes by flavonoids may be related to the decrease in total serum complement and is a protective mechanism against inflammation-like conditions associated with, for example, reperfusion injury
Another aspect is antithrombogenic, or the ability to break up clots or hypercoagulation of blood.
Platelet aggregation contributes to both the development of atherosclerosis and acute platelet thrombus formation, followed by embolization of stenosed arteries. Activated platelets adhering to vascular endothelium generate lipid peroxides and oxygen free radicals, which inhibit the endothelial formation of prostacyclin and nitrous oxide. It was shown in the 1960s that tea pigment can reduce blood coagulability, increase fibrinolysis, and prevent platelet adhesion and aggregation (72). Selected flavonoids, such as quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin were shown to be effective inhibitors of platelet aggregation in dogs and monkeys (73). Flavonols are particularly antithrombotic because they directly scavenge free radicals, thereby maintaining proper concentrations of endothelial prostacyclin and nitric oxide (74). One study showed that flavonoids are powerful antithrombotic agents in vitro and in vivo because of their inhibition of the activity of cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways (75).
another aspect is vasodilation and the antioxidant properties that balance nitric oxide.
Several flavonoids, including quercetin, result in a reduction in ischemia-reperfusion injury by interfering with inducible nitric-oxide synthase activity (14). Nitric oxide is produced by several different types of cells, including endothelial cells and macrophages. Although the early release of nitric oxide through the activity of constitutive nitric-oxide synthase is important in maintaining the dilation of blood vessels (15), the much higher concentrations of nitric oxide produced by inducible nitric-oxide synthase in macrophages can result in oxidative damage. In these circumstances, activated macrophages greatly increase their simultaneous production of both nitric oxide and superoxide anions. Nitric oxide reacts with free radicals, thereby producing the highly damaging peroxynitrite. Nitric oxide injury takes place for the most part through the peroxynitrite route because peroxynitrite can directly oxidize LDLs, resulting in irreversible damage to the cell membrane. When flavonoids are used as antioxidants, free radicals are scavenged and therefore can no longer react with nitric oxide, resulting in less damage .
another aspect is the anti-viral component
The antiviral activity of flavonoids was shown in a study by Wang et al (80). Some of the viruses reported to be affected by flavonoids are herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza virus, and adenovirus. Quercetin was reported to exhibit both antiinfective and antireplicative abilities. The interaction of flavonoids with the different stages in the replication cycle of viruses was previously described (81). For example, some flavonoids work on the intracellular replication of viruses, whereas others inhibit the infectious properties of the viruses. http://www.ajcn.org/content/74/4/418.full
The flavonoids I researched and recommended in the Endothelial Heath program are bromelain (pineapple), quercetin (the red in apples and red onions) and EGCG (green tea)...because these specific flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombic, anti-oxidant, anti-viral and vasodilating properties. And they have the potential to help mitigate damage from CCSVI. All of these supplements can be purchased through natural health food stores...but please, always discuss supplements with your doctor.
You don't have to take Daflon 500 to get the benefits of flavonoids. You can eat more fruits and veggies...the more colorful, the better. The reason citrus fruits were used as the chosen flavonoids for venous disease of the legs was because of their vasoconstrictive abilities, because citrus fruits tighten blood vessels and help varicose veins.... but the more helpful aspects of flavonoids can be found in other compounds which do not close vessels.
There is not one pill that will stop venous disease. There is only a holistic lifestyle which includes colorful fresh fruits and vegetables.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates.
hope that helps!