Apigenin: Benefits for Brain, Heart, Bone, Cancer and More

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Apigenin is a naturally occurring compound found in various plants, including parsley, chamomile, and celery. This compound has caught the attention of researchers for its range of health benefits. From anti-inflammatory properties, to its role in cellular health, Apigenin offers intriguing possibilities for wellness. This article aims to explore the science-backed advantages of incorporating Apigenin into your health routine.

What is Apigenin?

Apigenin is a natural compound categorized as a flavone, a type of flavonoid which is itself a class of compounds with antioxidant properties. It’s a yellow pigment that contributes to the color of many fruits and vegetables. As part of a larger group of plant compounds known as polyphenols. It is found in a variety of plants, herbs, and fruits, including:

  • Chamomile
  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Vine-spinach
  • Oregano

Apigenin is recognized for its potential health-promoting effects, and it is often researched for its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and neuroprotective properties. Apigenin is known to interact with several biological pathways and may play a role in reducing oxidative stress and modulating the body’s immune response. It also binds to specific receptors in the brain which may contribute to a potential calming effect, although more research is needed to fully understand its benefits and mechanisms of action in humans.

Despite its promising benefits, the bioavailability of apigenin is relatively low. Most of the research on apigenin has been done in vitro (in test tubes) or in vivo (in animals), and human studies are limited. Thus, while apigenin may have significant potential benefits, translating these effects to clinical recommendations requires more comprehensive research.

What Are the Health Benefits of Apigenin?

It’s important to note that while the health benefits associated with apigenin are supported by some research, most evidence comes from animal or in vitro studies. [PMC6472148] More clinical research on humans is needed to confirm these effects and to determine effective dosages and long-term safety.

  • Cancer Prevention: Research indicates that apigenin can interfere with cancer cell proliferation, induce apoptosis, and inhibit angiogenesis (the growth of new blood vessels that tumors need to grow). It may affect the signaling pathways that cancer cells use to grow and spread, thereby acting as a potential chemopreventive agent. [PMC5791748, PMC9974612]
  • Neuroprotection: The neuroprotective properties of apigenin stem from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities. It’s thought to shield brain cells from damage and may have a therapeutic effect in neurodegenerative diseases by modulating key pathways involved in neuronal survival. [PMC2569027] [PMID: 20443170, PMID: 37038672, PMID: 34705188]
  • Antioxidant Properties: Apigenin’s ability to scavenge free radicals helps mitigate the oxidative stress that contributes to cellular damage and aging. By protecting cells from oxidative harm, it supports the body’s natural defenses against chronic diseases, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Inflammation is a natural immune response, but chronic inflammation can lead to various health issues. Apigenin is found to inhibit enzymes and cytokines that promote inflammation, possibly helping manage conditions like arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and even neurological disorders. [PMC6472148]
  • Anxiety and Depression: Apigenin can bind to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which may have a calming effect similar to that of anti-anxiety medication. It could potentially help regulate mood and anxiety disorders by affecting neurotransmitter GABA and possibly serotonin and dopamine as well. [PMC8698856] Other sources say Apigenin acts by binding to benzodiazepine receptors present in the brain. [PMC9611340]
  • Supports Heart Health: By reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, apigenin contributes to the protection of cardiovascular health. It may help in lowering blood pressure and improving blood lipid profiles, which are key factors in the prevention of heart disease. [PMC10188251]
  • Bone Health: Apigenin may stimulate osteoblasts, the cells responsible for bone formation, and help to inhibit osteoclasts, the cells involved in bone resorption. This could mean a potential role for apigenin in the prevention of osteoporosis. [PMID: 33645251]
  • Hormonal Balance: This flavonoid might exert a balancing effect on estrogen activity, which can be significant for those with estrogen-related conditions. It may act as a natural modulator for hormone therapies. [PMC6222006]
  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Apigenin may influence carbohydrate metabolism and insulin sensitivity, thereby aiding in the management of blood glucose levels. This action could be particularly beneficial for preventing and managing type 2 diabetes. [PMC9051485, PMID: 26801071]
  • Anti-microbial Effects: Studies have suggested that apigenin possesses anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making it a compound of interest in the fight against infections and in supporting the immune system. [PMC6817918]
  • Kidney Protection: Recent studies have shown that apigenin can counteract the effects of CD38 – a protein that can degrade the important coenzyme NAD+ and cause oxidative stress in kidney cells.  [PMC7343471]
  • May Have A Role In Autoimmunity: [PMC4857760]
  • May Boost NAD+: Apigenin reduces the activity of CD38 (the NAD+ destroyer) so that there is more NAD+ to power the cellular repair enzymes. [PMC3609577]
The Therapeutic Potential of Apigenin PMC6472148

Apigenin As An Anti-Aging Sirtuin Activator

Sirtuins are a fascinating group of enzymes that play multiple roles in cellular function, including repairing DNA, regulating gene expression, reducing inflammation, and increasing longevity. In other words, sirtuins are enzymes that repair cell damage and keep cells healthy. Their ability to influence the aging process by preserving cellular health is a significant discovery in aging research.

Sirtuins, especially SIRT1, are believed to control the anti-aging effects of caloric restriction. Calorie restriction has been proven in multiple studies to extend lifespan, and sirtuins are believed to be a key to this effect. By influencing processes such as DNA repair, inflammation, and oxidative stress, SIRT1 and other sirtuins are believed to contribute to the health benefits and potential lifespan extension associated with caloric restriction.

Apigenin is suggested to have sirtuin-activating properties. It’s proposed that apigenin’s structure enables it to bind to sirtuins, particularly SIRT1, thereby enhancing their activity. Increased SIRT1 activity, akin to the effects of caloric restriction, could theoretically delay the onset of age-related cellular damage.

By activating sirtuins, apigenin may help maintain a balance between cellular repair and damage, influencing metabolic regulation, reducing inflammation, and even promoting a longer lifespan. The role of apigenin in activating sirtuins links diet and cellular aging, providing a molecular pathway by which a nutrient-rich diet might promote health and longevity. [PMC10459499]

It’s a promising theory. However, most current knowledge is based on in vitro (test tube) studies or in vivo (living organism) studies conducted on animals. Many years will likely pass before apigenin’s full potential and its role in human health are understood and clinical research is completed.

Food Sources of Apigenin

Food SourceStandard Serving SizeEstimated Apigenin Content (mg)
Fresh Parsley1 cup chopped (60 g)10-30
Dried Parsley2 teaspoons (1 g)4-7
Chamomile tea1 cup (240 mL)0.8-1.2
Celery1 medium stalk (40 g)0.1-0.3
Oranges1 medium fruit (131 g)0.5-4.5
Grapefruit½ fruit (123 g)0.4-3.6
Onion (raw)1 cup chopped (160 g)0.3-1.5
Oregano (dried)1 teaspoon (1 g)2-4
Tarragon (dried)1 teaspoon (0.6 g)2.5-5
Wheat germ1 tablespoon (7 g)0.2-0.6

Is Apigenin Safe?

When it comes to safety, Apigenin generally holds up well. Many people take Apigenin supplements without encountering negative side effects. It’s considered safe for most adults when consumed in moderation, either through diet or supplements. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to be aware of any interactions with medications or other supplements you might be taking. Overall, Apigenin has a longstanding history of use in traditional medicine, and modern research seems to support its safety.

Medication Interactions with Apigenin

  • Blood Thinners (e.g., Warfarin, Heparin): Apigenin has some blood-thinning properties, which could increase the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulants.
  • Hormonal Medications (e.g., Birth Control, Hormone Replacement Therapy): Apigenin may interfere with the effectiveness of hormonal medications.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (e.g., Ibuprofen, Aspirin): Taking Apigenin with anti-inflammatory drugs could potentially amplify their effects, increasing the risk of stomach issues.
  • Diabetes Medications (e.g., Metformin, Insulin): Apigenin may affect blood sugar levels, and combining it with diabetes medications could cause hypoglycemia.
  • Chemotherapy Drugs: Apigenin has shown some anti-cancer properties, but it’s unclear how it might interact with chemotherapy medications.

Supplement Interactions with Apigenin

  • Fish Oil: Both Apigenin and fish oil have blood-thinning effects, so combining them could increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: This supplement also thins the blood, and taking it with Apigenin might elevate the risk of bleeding.
  • St. John’s Wort: Known for its antidepressant properties, this supplement could interact with Apigenin, affecting mood and hormonal balance.
  • Garlic: Garlic has cardiovascular and blood-thinning benefits. Combining it with Apigenin could lead to an increased risk of bleeding.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Often used for heart health, this supplement combined with Apigenin may lead to changes in blood pressure that should be monitored.
  • Green Tea Extract: Green tea has mild caffeine content and could interact with Apigenin’s effects on mood and alertness.

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Order Apigenin Online

Getting Apigenin from food is a great way to go but it’s difficult to get high levels even if you really like parsley! Dosages have not been well studied in humans. Supplements often range from 50 mg to 500 mg. However, anti-aging

Apigenin — 500 mg from DoNotAge

The advantage of this product is the high dose of 500 mg and the fact that DoNotAge is a trusted company in the anti-aging space. Learn More at DoNotAge.

Adding parsley to your daily recipes is a reasonable alternative to using dietary supplements for apigenin. This holds especially true for folks who are already supplementing with curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, EGCG and Omega-3’s.

Parsley flakes are estimated to contain about 20 mg of Apigenin per tablespoon of dried flakes or 45 mg apigenin per gram.

Liposomal Apigenin — 50 mg from Codeage

Codeage Liposomal Apigenin supplement delivers 50 mg of apigenin extract per capsule, sourced from chamomile. Apigenin belongs to the flavonoid family, a group of polyphenols that can be found in fruits, vegetables, herbs, or plants. This plant-derived compound is known to be used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine.

Our flavonoid apigenin liposomal vegan blend also features liposomes and phospholipids sourced from non-GMO sunflower oil containing phosphatidylcholine. Suggested Use: Take 1 capsule daily with 8 ounces of water or your favorite beverage. May be taken with or without food.

Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving
 … 50 mg

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

“To Sum It Up”

Apigenin supplements offer a wide array of health benefits that can make a positive impact on your wellness journey. From its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to its potential role in cancer prevention and heart health, Apigenin presents numerous advantages. The compound may also help improve brain function, regulate blood sugar, and even relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. With all these benefits, Apigenin is worth considering as part of a balanced approach to health and well-being.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Creator of Supplement Sciences and NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Log in to comment and save this article on your board or send your comments to reviews@supplement-sciences.com

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