With the increasing scientific focus on what is happening in the human microbiome and how it affects our health, it’s no wonder that there are an incredible number of studies that have taken place over the past few decades. Information comes out in dribs and drabs, and the odd discovery becomes a news item that catches people’s interest for a moment before becoming buried in the constant news cycle.
Occasionally an article is published that essentially gathers a number of studies and analyzes the results. Such is the case with an informative meta-review published in the British Journal of Nutrition (Sept. 2021) that covers over 130 studies aimed at how the microbiome interacts with flavonoids.
The phenomenal bounty of nutrition found in the plant kingdom includes natural substances that fall into the category of flavonoids, which, in turn, have sub-classes that include flavonols, flavones, flavanones, flavan-3-ols, isoflavones and anthocyanins.
These various sub-classes of flavonoids are a mouthful to remember. Even sub-classes can have different types, for example, kaempferol and quercetin are two of the most famous flavonols.
Rather than trying to commit all flavonoids to memory, just know that they are one of the many beneficial compounds you get from wholesome, plant-based foods: the more you eat, the more flavonoids you get. And there’s a whole lot of interacting going on between these beneficial phytonutrients and gut bacteria.
As the meta-review that correlated over 130 studies revealed, flavonoids can increase the population and diversity of gut bacteria, influence the balance in the gut (homeostasis) and bring about physiological changes and biological benefits that can actually be measured.
Take anthocyanins as a beneficial flavonoid example. These natural pigments give fruits and vegetables their colors, such as the deep red of cranberries. Anthocyanins have been shown to increase the population of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species,* which often comes at the expense of Clostrodium species that are pathogenic bacteria. With the help of flavonoids, good triumphs over bad gut bacteria, maintaining a microbiome that works for your health and not against it.
[*Note: FloraFood is AIM’s supplemental source of these good bacteria.]
So, when you’re passing around plant-based foods at meals, keep in mind that you are also passing around flavonoids that are associated with a broad spectrum of health-promoting effects.
AIM for Flavonoids
The wide variety of plant-based products from AIM deliver a supplemental source of flavonoids. Some you may already know by name. If you take CoCoa LeafGreens, you’ll likely recognize it’s a super source of kaempferol and quercetin. If you use CranVerry+, you’ll know the main ingredient is sourced from anthocyanin-rich cranberries. Taking Proancynol 2000 means you are getting supplemental flavonoids from extract ingredients such as green tea and grape seed. And then there’s BarleyLife that provides flavonoids that include lutonarin and saponarin.
These are just some of the ways that AIM nutrition ensures that you never pass on the health benefits of flavonoids.