Chances are you’ve never heard of apigenin.
But after we tell you what apigenin is capable of, you’ll probably never forget it.
Apigenin is a natural compound, known as a bioflavonoid, that’s found in some plants. Like most bioflavonoids it’s both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.
But apigenin is no run of the mill flavone. This substance is a superstar when it comes to delivering health benefits.
More on those amazing abilities in just a moment, but first let’s take a quick look at what the best sources for this potent compound are.
Protect your health by eating more apigenin
If you’re a tea drinker you very well may already have the most abundant source of apigenin in your kitchen pantry. The chamomile plant—used to make chamomile tea—is packed full of this healthy compound.
For other good sources you can turn to your spice rack or the produce aisle at your local grocery store.
Herbs and spices which contain a good dose of apigenin include…
- lemon balm
- and cloves
And you can add celery, spinach, tomato sauce, artichokes and red wine to your apigenin shopping list. (Is this starting to sound like one heck of a delicious meal to anyone else?)
3 powerful health benefits of the bioflavonoid apigenin
Now let’s get back to those benefits we mentioned earlier.
There are a lot of them, starting with the one you might already associate chamomile tea with, relaxation.
1. Relieve Anxiety and Depression:
As anyone who turns to a soothing cup of calming chamomile tea at the end of a hard day can attest to, apigenin has the ability to help relieve anxiety.
And people have been reaping the relaxing benefits of chamomile for a long time now. The plant was even used as an herbal remedy by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine wanted to know what effect chamomile would have on general anxiety. In an 8-week, double-blind placebo-controlled study they were able to confirm that chamomile has the ability to significantly reduce anxiety.
In fact, the majority of the study participants, 57 percent, slashed their anxiety scores by more than 50 percent!1
Apigenin-rich chamomile has also shown the ability to help fight depression, according to a study published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. In the randomized, placebo-controlled study ALL 57 volunteers had clinically significant drops in their depression scores from using the chamomile extract (standardized to 1.2 percent apigenin).2
And University of Nottingham researchers were able to confirm what most chamomile fans could already have told you, chamomile is just plain physically relaxing. In their animal study they showed that the herb significantly relaxes both blood vessels and smooth muscle fibers.3
2. Fight Cancer:
The thing about cancer cells is that they’re stubborn.
Unlike other cells that know when to die, cancer cells are kind of like the Energizer Bunny… they keep going and going and going. And that longer life means that tumors have the chance to grow and the cancer can spread to other places in your body.
But here’s where apigenin may be able to help.
As long ago as 2005 we knew that this special bioflavonoid had it in for cancer cells. That’s when researchers at West Virginia University were able to confirm that apigenin stops cancer tumor cells from growing and developing the new blood vessels they need for the cancer to spread.4
At the same time another group of researchers was proving that apigenin had the ability to inhibit the movement and invasiveness of cancer cells, according to the study published in the International Journal of Cancer.5
In other words, the bioflavonoid was able to keep the tumor cells from invading healthy tissues and spreading!
But we’re not done yet.
Apigenin was on a winning streak and 2005 was a banner year for research into the compound. In February of that same year a team published their results from another apiginen study, this time in the journal Life Sciences. The bioflavonoid turned out to be cervical cancer cell’s kryptonite.
Apigenin didn’t just inhibit the cancer cells it caused them to commit cellular suicide (apoptosis)! The researchers concluded, “These findings suggest that apigenin has strong potential for development as an agent for preventing cervical cancer.”6
Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School announced that apigenin may have the ability to decrease women’s ovarian cancer risk in 2009.7,8
And in 2013 researchers Canadian researchers explored the flavone’s ability to fight cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. They were able to confirm that apigenin likely has benefits beyond any existing drugs for fighting malignant cancers.9
A team from Ohio State University announced that the apigenin found in chamomile can take away cancer’s “superpower” to remain nearly immortal.
In other words, they suggested that the bioflavonoid virtually sits the cancer cells down for a stern talking to. Their instructed to shape up, act like normal cells and die on schedule like all the other cells do.10,11
3. Brain Protection:
The research is just beginning, but now it looks like apigenin could also turn out to be one of our best weapons against debilitating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Brazilian researchers conducting a series of lab tests using apigenin. Astoundingly stem cells produced brain cells—neurons—right there in the lab dish!12
It took just 25 days to produce the types of cells that your brain needs to do… well… brain things such as learning and retaining memories.
When they added more apigenin to the mix the critical connections between the neurons got stronger. That’s super important since these connections are what keep your brain firing on all cylinders so to speak.
And breakdowns in these vital connections are linked to a number of brain diseases.
As we mentioned, this research is in the really early stages. But there’s no denying it’s an exciting discovery and it could lead to an effective natural treatment for brain issues.
In the meantime we know that apigenin has a number of other health benefits to offer us from combatting inflammation to fighting cancer. So why not add more to your daily menu starting today? It’s also available in supplement form.
1.”A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” J of Clinical Psychopharma.: August 2009 – Volume 29 – Issue 4 – pp 378-382
2. “Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) May Have Antidepressant Activity in Anxious Depressed Humans – An Exploratory Study,” Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Sep-Oct; 18(5): 44–49.
3. “Distinct mechanisms of relaxation to bioactive components from chamomile species in porcine isolated blood vessels,” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 272, Issue 3, 1 November 2013, Pages 797–805
4.”Apigenin inhibits VEGF and HIF-1 expression via PI3K/AKT/p70S6K1 and HDM2/p53 pathways,” The FASEB Journal, March 2005, vol. 19 no. 3 342-353
5.”Flavonoid apigenin inhibits motility and invasiveness of carcinoma cells in vitro,” International Journal of Cancer, Volume 114, Issue 1, pages 12–18, 10 March 2005
6. “Apigenin induced apoptosis through p53-dependent pathway in human cervical carcinoma cells,” Life Sciences, Volume 76, Issue 12, 4 February 2005, Pages 1367–1379
7. “Flavonoid intake and ovarian cancer risk in a population-based case-control study,” International Journal of Cancer, Volume 124, Issue 8, pages 1918–1925, 15 April 2009
8. Plant-based flavonoid may cut ovarian cancer risk, reuters.com
9. “Apigenin and its impact on gastrointestinal cancers,” Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 126–144, January 2013
10. “Molecular basis for the action of a dietary flavonoid revealed by the comprehensive identification of apigenin human targets,” PNAS, June 11, 2013, vol. 110 no. 24
11. The Compound in the Mediterranean Diet that Makes Cancer Cells ‘Mortal,’ Ohio State University Press release
12. “Commitment of human pluripotent stem cells to a neural lineage is induced by the pro-estrogenic flavonoid apigenin,” Advances in Regenerative Biology 2015, 2: 29244
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