You may have heard reference to “Vitamin P” and might even have wondered if and how it could help your health. Actually, “Vitamin P” is not a vitamin at all. It was the term given to a group of super-healing plant substances from the 1930s to the 1950s. Today these substances are better known as flavonoids (or sometimes bioflavonoids) and they can be found in thousands of plant species. Researchers continue to discover both sources for them and how they can be used to support healing − including for various forms of cancer.
What Are Flavonoids? (Vitamin P)
The phytonutrients we now call “flavonoids” were first referenced by 17th century scientist Robert Boyle, who discussed them in terms of their ability to provide pigmentation to plants. Fast-forward to the 1930s − this was when the term “Vitamin P” was coined by Nobel Prize-winning physiologist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who also discovered vitamin C.
Thus far, scientists have identified between 4,000 and 6,000 different kinds of flavonoids. For plants, flavonoids not only provide appealing color, flavor, and smell − they also protect from pathogens such as fungi, pests, and bacteria.
For human beings, to say that they are important to our health would be an understatement. Flavonoids are super-concentrated packets of nutrition for the human body and are essential for the functioning of virtually every cell and organ. Some common flavonoids you may have heard about include myricetin, apigenin, hesperidin, quercetin, rutin, luteolin, and catechin.
Each type of flavonoid plays a different role in your body. In general, however, flavonoids are crucial for two specific reasons. First of all, they all are essential to the absorption of Vitamin C − the key nutrient responsible for tissue growth and repair. They are also essential for the maintenance of bones and teeth and for the production of the protein collagen used to create blood vessels and muscular tissues. Without the help of flavonoids, none of this would happen!
Second of all, flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Besides Vitamin C absorption, which also helps the immune system, preventing and reversing oxidative stress is the key element in how flavonoids help prevent and heal cancer.
The Healing Power of Rutin, Quercetin and Curcumin
Three flavonoids in particular have been shown to pack a punch when it comes to healing cancer:
Quercetin has often been called “the anti-cancer flavonoid” and can be found in apples, onions, berries, and citrus fruits, amongst other natural foods. According to Dr. Matthias Rath, pioneering cancer researcher and founder of the Matthias Rath Research Institute, combining quercetin with green tea extract can provide an extremely powerful healing cocktail. In a study conducted by Rath and his research team published in Oncology Letters (2010), mammary tumors in rats were treated with a mixture of green tea extract and quercetin. At the end of 8 weeks, only 6 carcinomas of “grade II severity” remained while the control group had 24 carcinomas of “grade III severity.”
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