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Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and beverages derived from plants. Foods thought historically by many societies to have healing properties--cocoa, red wine, and tea--are particularly rich in flavonoids. A majority of prospective cohort studies demonstrate a significant inverse association between flavonoid consumption and cardiovascular risk. Short-term studies demonstrate numerous plausible mechanisms by which flavonoids may confer cardiovascular protection: they inhibit low-density lipoprotein oxidation, reduce thrombosis, improve endothelial function, and reduce inflammation. No long-term, randomized, controlled trials of flavonoids with hard clinical endpoints have been conducted. Although there are no recommended daily intake goals for flavonoids, the data presented provide additional rationale to eat a diet containing a variety of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages.
View details for PubMedID 14662111