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The Antioxidant Activities of Flavinoids


The extent to which flavinoids are antioxidants or have antioxidant properties will depend on the molecular structure. What will also have an effect is the position of hydroxyl groups. More factors include other aspects as part of the structure of these flavonoids which will be crucial to their antioxidant, as well as their free radical activities. The most common or most abundant dietary flavonol is known as quercetin as it has the "ideal" structure for free radical hunting. Through various recent chemical experiments and research, chalcone and flavanone flavanoids that have geranyl or prenyl side chains in their structures have been noted in beer and hops, which is commonly known to be used in beer for adding flavor. A specific type of chalcone (known as xanthohumol), as well as isoxanthohumol 6-prenylnaringenin (you do not have to be an expert to realize the benefits!) are the main flavinoids in beer.

Even though these antioxidant characteristics have not been thoroughly examined, these flavonoids are more than likely to be a part of lager beer antioxidant activity. This is often even greater than red wine, green tea and even juice. You can find the xanthohumol element in beer only, but in very small concentrations. When it comes to dieting, however, beer is still not your best choice.

When we look at the antioxidant activity of what are known as prenylated flavonoids, we can compare the antioxidant properties of prenylflavonoids with that of quercetin (classified as a flavanol), with genistein (also known as the major isoflavone in soy), with naringenin (non-prenylated), with chalconaringenin (also non-prenylated) and lastly, with Vitamin E. The potency of xanthohumol as antioxidant increases quite significantly when combined with the same amount of Vitamin E.

Antioxidant flavinoids include quercetin (the most potent of all flavinoids) found in onions, vegetables and fruit skins; xanthohumol (second most potent) found in hops and beer); isoxanthohumol (third most potent) also in hops and beer; and genistein, which is the least potent of the group and found in soy. Chalconaringenin, the non prenylated chalcone is a pro-oxidant and can be found in citrus fruits whereas naringenin (the non-prenylated flavanone) is also found in citrus fruits and another pro-oxidant.


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