Sunday, June 17, 2012

Discovery of flavonoid

The earliest studies of flavonoid pigments is Robert Boyle in 1664, which describes the effects of acid and bases on the color of extracts from plant flower and other pigmentation tissues.

In 1936 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi and co-workers reported that flavonoid preparation from paprika and citrus peel could restore complete health to scorbutic guinea pigs when vitamin C alone did not. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was also the one who discovered vitamin C.

Szent-Gyorgyi suggested they were crucial for integrity of the small blood vessels and as treatment for the skin purpura.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi and co-workers at first referred this class of plant c0mpounds to vitamin P. But the chemical diversity of flavonoids precludes their classifications as a single vitamin.

Later vitamin P as renamed flavonoids. Since the discovery, scientist have isolated more than 4,000 flavonoids.

The isoflavones are among the first flavonoids studied biologically because their structures with hydroxyl groups in the 7 and 4’ positions of the basic ring structure provides them with an affinity to estrogen receptors.

Another group of flavonoids, the anthocyanins, were used early in human history as dyes and thus had commercial value.

Szent-Gyorgyi studied this compound for another forty years. When electron microscopes became available, he observed that the structural proteins in healthy cells were ‘the color of a good Swiss chocolate.’

Flavonoids, referred to as ‘biological response modifiers,’ posses anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antiviral and anticarcinogenic properties.
Discovery of flavonoid

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