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Apigenin: Top 8 Benefits Of The Powerful Flavonoid Reviewed

Flavonoids are essential phytochemical constituents with numerous beneficial properties for health improvement. Some of the most common natural flavonoids found in dietary supplements are myricetin, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin.

Among these flavonoids, apigenin has gained increased attention due to its relatively low intrinsic toxicity, complemented by its beneficial bioactivities.

From reducing anxiety to improving sleep, enhancing testosterone synthesis to preventing chronic diseases, apigenin has much to offer. In this article, we'll review the top eight benefits of apigenin based on scientific evidence.

What is apigenin?

Apigenin is a naturally occurring flavonoid, most notably found in chamomile and many vegetables, fruits, and medicinal plants. It is known for its numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties.

Studies have shown that apigenin may also have antianxiety, antidepressant, and sleep-promoting effects, as well as supporting immune function and improving cognitive function. Because of its potential therapeutic benefits, apigenin is an active area of research in natural medicine and functional medicine.

An overview of apigenin benefits

Apigenin is one of the most renowned phenolic compounds with many beneficial properties, and it is available in nutraceutical formulations and dietary supplements.

Here are some of the most notable benefits of apigenin:

1. Supports heart health

Apigenin has been demonstrated to alleviate cardiovascular conditions by preserving the vascular lining in the aorta. It also induced the direct reduction of blood pressure by inhibiting of the activity of the angiotensin-converting enzyme, preventing blood vessel constriction.

According to studies, the habitual intake of flavonoids and a diet rich in apigenin leads to decreased incidence of hypertension, resulting in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, apigenin-rich olive extracts can improve endothelial dysfunction, suggesting a cardio protective effect of apigenin.

2. Boosts brain function

Several natural bioactive compounds have been implicated in improving learning and memory. Various clinical trials have shown the therapeutic potential of apigenin as a neuroprotective agent.

Apigenin is a promising candidate for treating and preventing different neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its ability to reduce oxidative stress and improve cognitive function.

3. Relieves depression

Apigenin also possesses antidepressant and antianxiety effects by selectively inhibiting the brain's monoamine oxidases (MAOs), enzymes that break down neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Increased brain MAO activity is associated with several psychiatric/neurological disorders, such as depression and anxiety. By inhibiting MAOs, apigenin may exert an anti-depression effect.

A clinical trial has shown administering apigenin-rich chamomile extracts to individuals with depression and anxiety resulted in a significantly higher reduction in total Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) score, which assesses the severity of depression symptoms in individuals.

4. Aids sleep

Insomnia is a troublesome sleep disorder that can negatively impact one’s overall health and well-being. Apigenin has a well-documented sedative effect, and may induce a positive and restorative activity against insomnia. It may also enhance GABA activity, a neurotransmitter that has calming effects in the brain, and promote the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.

In one clinical trial involving the elderly, apigenin successfully exhibited sleep-potentiating effects. Upon administration of apigenin-rich chamomile extract, the participants' sleep quality significantly improved.

5. May increase testosterone

Testosterone is a hormone primarily generated in males’ testes. Low testosterone can affect sleep, mood, bone mass, and the size of testicles. It can also reduce sex drive and may lead to erectile dysfunction.

Apigenin can potentially improve testosterone production and may even delay lowering testosterone levels due to aging. Experimental studies have previously demonstrated increased testosterone production from apigenin treatment. Further, the apigenin-induced increase in testosterone levels can also help promote muscle mass gain.

6. Prevents cancer

Apigenin has striking effects against cancerous cells while remaining non-toxic to normal cells. Apigenin is a potentially effective therapy against different types of cancer.

One study showed apigenin could effectively suppress prostate cancer progression by targeting a carcinogenesis-required signaling pathway. Regular apigenin intake is also implicated in having protective roles in the context of lung and ovarian cancer. Experts suggest apigenin can be used as a chemotherapeutic agent in combination with immunotherapy.

7. Increases insulin secretion

Apigenin also possesses anti-diabetic properties due to its capacity to lower blood glucose levels and increase insulin secretion.

In addition, apigenin can inhibit α-glucosidase activity. The α-glucosidase enzyme catalyzes the conversion of the big carbohydrate molecules from food into small glucose units, raising the blood sugar level. Since apigenin can inhibit it, it can help delay the digestion of carbohydrates, preventing high blood sugar levels.

8. Strengthens bones

Apigenin may also be useful in treating and preventing several bone loss disorders, such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, through its ability to accelerate bone fracture healing, new bone formation, and increase bone mineral density.

In patients with knee osteoarthritis, molecular evidence indicates apigenin can inhibit the molecules that degrade the components of the cartilage extracellular matrix, conferring a protective effect.

What foods contain apigenin?

Apigenin is most commonly associated with chamomile, but is also ubiquitous and abundant in other food products. Apigenin is present in at least 506 food components, where fresh parsley can contain the highest average amount.

Other food products that are rich in apigenin include:

ParsleyThis herb is one of the richest sources of apigenin and can provide up to 215 mg per 100 grams.
ChamomileChamomile tea is a popular herbal beverage, with apigenin concentrations varying depending on the brewing method and brand.
CeleryAnother good source of apigenin is celery, with up to 21 mg per 100 grams.
OrangeOranges and orange juice contain small amounts of apigenin, with about 2–3 mg per 100 grams.
OnionBoth red and yellow onions are good sources of apigenin, with concentrations ranging from 6 to 30 mg per 100 grams.
SpinachContains about 1–2 mg apigenin per 100 grams.
ThymeThis herb is a good source of apigenin, with up to 16 mg per 100 grams.
CilantroCilantro or coriander leaves contain about 4 mg apigenin per 100 grams.

Taking apigenin in supplements

The recommended dietary intake value for apigenin is not established. According to reports, apigenin intake from a regular daily diet doesn't reach the therapeutic doses used in clinical trials.

A typical formulation for apigenin supplements is prepared in 50 mg capsules with standardized apigenin content of about 20%. Intake of one to two capsules is recommended per day, one before sleep and one with breakfast, and may be adjusted based on the advice of a medical practitioner.

Apigenin, mainly in the form of standardized chamomile extract, may also be combined with other dietary supplements, such as NMN, quercetin, magnesium, or threanine, for better results. For example, the recently gone-viral Huberman’s sleep cocktail is a concoction of magnesium-threonate, apigenin, and theanine taken 30–60 minutes before bedtime.

To choose an apigenin supplement, consider these factors in picking the right product for you: quality, dosage, form, other ingredients, reviews, and price.

Are there any side effects of apigenin?

Apigenin has low intrinsic toxicity and is generally safe. Dietary food and supplements containing apigenin have not been associated with debilitating health impacts.

However, increased dosage intake from dietary supplements may cause unwanted side effects. Some apigenin side effects include:

  • Allergic reaction to a food source
  • Skin irritation for topical products
  • Nausea and diarrhea
  • Sedation

Additionally, high doses of apigenin may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, and may cause complications for those with liver or kidney disease. As with any dietary intake, talk to a healthcare provider before taking extracts and supplements containing apigenin.

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Comments

jack
prefix 9 days ago
I was looking for a product that could help me stay asleep longer than 3/4hrs. I believe I may have found it in this product. Also found that I can go all night without the need to go too the bathroom at all sometimes, during the night. We can all tell when we have wrestles nights. When one wakes and notices that the bed appears to have been hit by a hurricane. That appears to have decreased by 90%. I'm a side sleeper, so when I wake in the morning and my shoulder hurst, that tells me I slept on that shoulder all night. As far as I'm concerned, the couple of hrs. I 'm getting is a plus. The others benefit's that I cannot testify too are a plus.
George Spelvin
prefix 1 year ago
This article misses the mark in several important ways.

Beneficial dosages extend to at least 500mg/day where the two important benefits have been shown to be its anti inflammatory properties that greatly reduce prostate BPH and most importantly, reducing the enzyme CD38 that leaks from senescent cells. CD38 devours NAD+ a vital molecule required for over 200 biochemical reactions. Lack of NAD+ ( which is almost universal i people over 50) is profoundly linked to almost every disease of aging including possibly cancer. I suggest that you do your own homework on this. I promise that you will be impressed.

Apigenin must be refrigerated because heat destroys it. Thus, hot brewed camomile tea is worthless. Apigenin has low bioavailability because it is insoluble in water and must be taken with a source of fat. Best to find a liposomal version for maximum effectiveness.
jack
prefix 9 days ago
Good to know!