Studies show that palo azul tea is rich in flavonoids & polyphenols
Over a dozen studies have shown that palo azul tea is rich in flavonoids and a 2021 study even mentions that several types of phytonutrients have been identified in palo azul including "flavonoids, polyphenols, phenolic compounds, flavones, flavanones, isoflavones chalcones and dihydrochalcones."
WebMD describes polyphenols (phytonutrients), as "micronutrients that naturally occur in plants." The word “phyto” means “plant”, and phytochemicals are micronutrients produced by plants to fight off oxidative stress, inflammation, bacteria and other diseases. Flavonoids are a family of polyphenolic compounds, and these are found in vegetables, fruits, barks, flowers, and teas.
Fortunately for us...thousands of studies have found numerous health benefits in flavonoids and these are attributed to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-aging, anti-hypertensive, anti-bacterial, anti-mutagenic, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties.
For example, an epidemiological study showed an “inverse correlation between dietary flavonoid consumption and chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers.”
According to a medical review comprised of 161 studies, flavonoids’ powerful health benefits have made them “an indispensable component in a variety of nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, medicinal and cosmetic applications.”
These most important health benefits we found:
They help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels
Promote weight loss
Inhibit oxidative stress and inflammation which is negatively associated with cardiovascular health and cognitive function
We know….this might be the healthiest compound on planet Earth! This is why we should be eating vegetables, fruits and drinking palo azul tea everyday! (or wine occasionally)
How can flavonoids help you?
One study found that “flavonoids in tea may lower blood cholesterol concentrations and blood pressure, thereby providing some protection against cardiovascular disease.” Moreover, the researchers found that the antioxidant property of flavonoids "inhibits LDL (cholesterol) oxidation.”
A 2014 study concluded that “palo azul (EP) reduced the blood glucose, increased serum insulin, body weight, marker enzymes of hepatic function, glycogen, HDL, GK and HK while there was reduction in the levels of triglyceride, cholesterol.”
A 2017 study analyzed 2754 twins and found that the group that consumed the most flavonoids:
- Had less percentage of fat
- Burned more fat in the abdomen
Specifically, the researchers found that the twins with the highest consumption of flavonoid-rich foods (onions, tea, apples, pears, and cocoa) “had a 3-9% lower FMR (fat mass ratio) than that of their co-twins.”
Moreover, the researchers found that the “women who ate a lot of flavonoid-rich foods had a lower percentage of body fat than women who ate less. The amount of abdominal fat also differed significantly between the two groups.”
The researchers of this study also point out that “It is important to note that abdominal fat is an important risk factor for diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart problems.”
Another study looked at 124,000 people and found that "flavonoids increase energy expenditure, decrease fat absorption and function as anti-inflammatories. The researchers in this same study found that "increased consumption of most flavonoid subclasses was associated with reduced weight gain.”
They also mentioned that the participants that consumed more flavonoids maintained their weight better and even lost some weight and they concluded the following: "Our results suggest that choosing fruits and vegetables that are high in flavonoids, such as apples, pears, berries and peppers, can help with weight control."
Victoria Lewis, a doctor of dermatology mentions in an article that “antioxidants are often considered the fountain of youth by skin-care professionals and experts. Not only do they (antioxidants) scavenge free radicals—the number one skin-aging culprits—to promote a brighter, more even complexion, they’re also the superstars at nixing fine lines and keeping skin looking fresh.”
This is due to its ability to eliminate oxidative stress and free radicals, which are “the number one skin-aging culprits.”
Another dermatologist, Dr. Mack, writes that “antioxidants protect your skin from this (oxidative stress) and help reduce pigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles.” He goes on to mention that in his opinion, “an antioxidant serum is a must for your skin-care routine.”
For this reason, many pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies supplement their skin care products with tea extracts!
According to the findings of two medical reviews (1) (2) that analyzed 327 studies conducted specifically on flavonoids (antioxidants), it is well established that oxidative stress can lead to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and aging. Therefore, one of the reviews concluded that "diets rich in antioxidants diminish the cancer-promoting action of free radicals and oxidative stress."
These reviews also mention that fruits and vegetables that have flavonoids have been reported as "cancer chemopreventive agents and are inversely associated with cancer incidence."
*Here’s a very interesting fact for wine drinkers: “Moderate wine drinkers also seem to have a lower risk to develop cancer of the lung, endometrium, esophagus, stomach, and colon.”
Thank you flavonoids!
Moreover, a 2019 study recruited 1522 breast cancer cases and 1547 frequency control subjects and the results indicated that consumption of “flavonoids and most flavonoid subclasses intakes were inversely associated with breast cancer risk.”
Finally the authors of one the medical reviews said that “the critical relationship of fruit and vegetable intake and cancer prevention has been thoroughly documented. It has been suggested that major public health benefits could be achieved by substantially increasing consumption of these foods.”
In other words... oxidation in our body leads to cancer and other diseases, therefore we should consume lots of antioxidants to stay healthy.
A 2014 study mentions that numerous epidemiological studies show an “inverse correlation between dietary flavonoid consumption and chronic degenerative diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancers.”
One of the previously cited medical reviews concludes the following: “Oxidative stress may lead to cellular damage which is related to various health ailments such as diabetes, cancer, CVD, neurodegenerative disorders and ageing. Antioxidants interfere with radical-producing systems and increase the function of endogenous antioxidants, protecting the cells from damage by these free radicals.”
Another 2014 study mentions that “flavonoids have a role in the treatment of diabetes by virtue of their ability to protect against hyperglycemic and alloxan-induced oxidative stress in experimental animal models.” The researchers concluded that "in a large cohort of women, a clinical trial has shown that "flavonoids are protective against type 2 diabetes.”
One study mentions that "epidemiological, clinical and animal studies reveal that “flavonoids may exert protective effects against various disease conditions including cardiovascular disease and cancer.” The authors of this study also write that “flavonoid intake is inversely correlated with mortality from cardiovascular disease.”Finally, they concluded the following: "Antioxidant, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, and hypolipidemic properties play a significant role in the lower cardiovascular mortality illustrated by increased flavonoid consumption.”
Various epidemiological studies show that consuming “flavonoids in tea may lower blood cholesterol concentrations and blood pressure, thereby providing some protection against cardiovascular disease.”
This is due to its ability to "inhibit the oxidation of LDL through a mechanism involving the elimination of free radicals that plays a key role during atherosclerosis.”
Finally, the scientists in one study observed that the “consumption of them (flavonoids) is associated with improvement in endothelial function (blockage of arteries) via vascular endothelial nitric oxide synthase and protein kinase B (Akt) activation.”
A medical review about flavonoids revealed that "dietary flavonoids are associated with a decreased risk of hypertension and CVD (cardiovascular disease).” The researchers also observed that “the blood pressure level was reduced in patients with hypertension” after greater consumption of flavonoids.
One study showed a very surprising finding: “flavonoids (found in vegetables, fruits and teas like palo azul) have the most potential of dietary components for promotion of bone health beyond calcium and vitamin D.”
This same study mentions that "recent epidemiological studies show flavonoid consumption to have a stronger association with bone than general fruit and vegetable consumption.”
One study analyzed a group of 49,281 men and 80,336 women in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and found that “the participants in the highest quintile of total flavonoids had a 40% lower PD (Parkinson’s Disease) risk than those in the lowest quintile.”
This is what the researchers concluded: “Our findings suggest that intake of some flavonoids may reduce PD (Parkinson's Disease) risk.”
Another study about flavonoids found that they have “favourable biochemical and antioxidant effects associated with various diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease (AD), atherosclerosis, etc.”
Finally, a study concluded the following: “Flavonoids contained in berries may have a positive effect against Parkinson's disease and may help to improve memory in elderly people. Intake of antioxidant flavonoids has been inversely related to the risk of incidence of dementia.”
Results from a 2018 study "showed that “flavonoid consumption 50 mg/day reduced the risk of erectile dysfunction by 32%.” Moreover, the study found that "men with erectile dysfunction reported a lower monthly average of total flavonoid intake."
Another study supported these results, as it concluded that "flavonoid-rich foods are associated with a reduced incidence of erectile dysfunction.” Due to the antioxidant capacity of flavonoids, another study concludes that flavonoids "may ameliorate erectile dysfunction by inhibiting oxidative stress."
A medical review that analyzed the results of 161 studies mentioned that flavonoids proved to be "potent antimicrobial and viral inhibitors." Therefore, they are found to be effective against many infectious diseases (bacterial and viral) such as E. coli.
* Here is an interesting finding: “Flavonoids are known to be synthesized by plants in response to microbial infection; thus it should not be surprising that they have been found in vitro to be effective antimicrobial substances against a wide array of microorganisms.” It’s due to their potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral activity that flavonoids “show inhibitory activity against E. coli."
The medical review also mentions that "flavonoids have also been recognised for their antimicrobial activity and many researchers have isolated and identified the structures of flavonoids having properties of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial activity. Because of this property, many flavonoids are now being used extensively in the fields of nutrition, food safety and health.”
A medical review which reviewed 166 studies mentions the following about flavonoids: "It is due to their potent antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral activity that flavonoids show inhibitory activity against E. coli."
The researchers also found that “many flavonoids show activity against several types of virus including HSV, respiratory syncytial virus, polio virus and Sindbis virus .”
Moreover, they said that flavonoids “are an important source for the discovery and the development of novel antiviral drugs.”
What types of viruses can flavonoids block?
A 2020 study found that “flavonoids block attachment and entry of viruses into cells, interfere with various stages of viral replication processes or translation and polyprotein processing to prevent the release of the viruses to infect other cells.”
The researchers mention that “flavonoids are natural biomolecules that are known to be effective antivirals” and that “these biomolecules can act at different stages of viral infection, particularly at the molecular level to inhibit viral growth.” They found that flavovonoids have inhibitory effects against Ebola, herpes, HIV, Influenza and coronaviruses.
Lastly, the researchers mention that due to flavonoids’ ability to target various stages of viral infection, they are “becoming a more focused topic to explore their potential as antivirals in the current era.”
For all these reasons, flavonoids are used to develop new antiviral drugs.
One study showed the efficacy of flavonoids “in the treatment of hepatobiliary dysfunction and digestive complaints, such as sensation of fullness, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain.”
Loss of appetite is also commonly attributed to bacteria, and many studies have demonstrated the potent antibacterial activity of palo azul and its flavonoids.
Flavonoid-rich foods: apples, pears, onions, strawberries, blueberries, celery, peppers, and teas such as palo azul
Now you know all the miraculous benefits of flavonoids so there's no reason why you shouldn't be eating vegetables, fruits, and drinking palo azul tea every day. But don't keep the magic to yourself, share palo azul with your loved ones!
Key for health 😉
* Palo azul is commonly referred to by its scientific name: Eysenhardtia polystachya / E. polystachya / E.P - Cyclolepis genistoides / C. genistoides - kidney wood - palo dulce