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How Citrus Flavonoids Help Cardiovascular Health

There are lots of fancy flavonoids. But one of the most basic and inexpensive, citrus flavonoids, has now been shown to benefit your cardiovascular health.

This systematic review and meta-analysis put all the research together and asked what the effect of citrus flavonoids was on endothelial function

Endothelial function gets less attention than blood pressure or cholesterol, but it is no less important. The endothelial wall is a single layer of cells that lines the inside of heart and blood vessels. It is damage to the endothelial wall, often by free radicals, that allows cholesterol and plaque to build up, leading to blocked arteries and atherosclerosis. The endothelial cell wall plays a vital role in the regulation of blood vessel tone and structure as well as vascular inflammation and clot formation.

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is a measure of endothelial dysfunction and blood vessel function that measures blood vessel dilation in response to increased blood flow. It is especially important in people at risk for atherosclerosis or other cardiovascular diseases. FMD is an important indicator of early stage atherosclerosis.

This new meta-analysis of 8 controlled studies of 596 people found that, compared to placebo, citrus flavonoids improved flow mediated dilation by a significant 2.75%, showing that the flavonoids improve endothelial function.

2.75% might sound small, but each 1% increase in FMD means a 13% reduction in the risk of suffering a cardiovascular event. So, 2.75% really translates into a 35.75% reduced risk of cardiovascular event with citrus flavonoids.

Phytother Res. 2024 Jun;38(6):2847-2859.

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