If you wanted to avoid bioflavonoids, it would not be easy. But who would want to? They are in all the good things: citrus fruits, berries, apples, root vegetables, herbs, and teas. Their inclusion in vitamin and mineral formulas stamps them with official, or at least commercial, favor. Undoubtedly, a food rich in bioflavonoids can stake a claim to the nutritional razzmatazz that ads call "natural goodness."

Bioflavonoids are a family of more than 4,000 aromatic compounds derived exclusively from plants. Some of them have solid health benefits. Bioflavonoids help maintain blood vessel integrity and have been used to treat gingival bleeding. And some of them seem to be natural chemotherapeutics.

Chemotherapy drugs, of course, are famous for having severe side effects. Bioflavonoids, it now appears,1 also have a darker side--one that evidence from Janet Rowley and her colleagues at the University of Chicago indicates has implications for infant...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?