Hesperidin is a plant chemical that is part of a group of citrus bioflavonoids. These compounds are mainly derived from citrus fruits, along with other plants, and are believed to support the activity of antioxidants while acting as an antioxidant itself.
Citrus bioflavonoids are plant compounds that often are the source of color for some fruits. Bioflavonoids are a group of antioxidants that are used in herbal remedies and pharmaceuticals for their health benefits. Some well-known citrus bioflavonoids are dosmetin, tangeretin, naringin and hesperidin, and while each has unique properties, they share common benefits such as:
- Antioxidants – Citrus bioflavonoids work with vitamin C to help protect cells from free radical damage.
- Immune Support – The combination of vitamin C along with citrus bioflavonoids seems to provide powerful immune support.
- Protection from Atherosclerosis – Studies show that citrus bioflavonoids may protect against the buildup of fatty plaque on the inner walls of arteries, thus improving circulatory health.
Health Benefits of Hesperidin
Hesperidin is a citrus bioflavonoid found in fruits like tangerines, oranges, lemons and grapefruits, and has its own set of protective benefits. Many herbal remedies use hesperidin to help improve circulation, reduce internal inflammation, seasonal relief and may assist with high blood pressure issues.
Research for hesperidin is promising. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that regular consumption of hesperidin helped lower blood pressure in overweight men. In the four-week study, healthy but slightly overweight men were given orange juice and a hesperidin supplement, resulting in significantly lowered diastolic blood pressure.
Another review of both animal and human studies showed strong evidence that hesperidin does have an effect on antioxidant activity, helps lower internal inflammation and may improve aerobic performance. (1) While each study in the review was different, the commonalities included supplementation for four weeks and even though exercise protocols varied, performance in each was improved.
And yet another study with older adults showed that daily consumption of orange juice enriched with extra flavonoids increased cognitive function. (2) The researchers went on to conclude that this is further evidence that consuming fruits and other flavonoid-rich foods provides protection from neuropsychological disease and age-related cognitive decline.
Lastly, a review of clinical evidence showed that supplementing with hesperidin has a significant impact on brain health. In particular, it improves antioxidant defense functions, improves blood flow to the brain, memory and cognition.
Fruits and vegetables have a significant impact on improving health, and the more you consume, the healthier you will be. Just like each category for fruits, citrus fruits have individual and specific health benefits that cannot be obtained from other food sources. To enjoy the benefits such as heart health and brain health, these fruits should be included in everyone’s daily diet. And for those who cannot consume fruit on a daily basis, research shows that citrus bioflavonoids and hesperidin supplementation have a beneficial impact on health.
1 Martínez-Noguera FJ, Marín-Pagán C, Carlos-Vivas J, Rubio-Arias JA, Alcaraz PE. Acute Effects of Hesperidin in Oxidant/Antioxidant State Markers and Performance in Amateur Cyclists. Nutrients. 2019;11(8):1898. Published 2019 Aug 14. doi:10.3390/nu11081898
2 Alharbi MH, Lamport DJ, Dodd GF, et al. Flavonoid-rich orange juice is associated with acute improvements in cognitive function in healthy middle-aged males. Eur J Nutr. 2016;55(6):2021-2029. doi:10.1007/s00394-015-1016-9