Hesperidin: A Citrus Flavonoid That Does So Much

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Hesperidin, a flavonoid found in citrus fruits, has been catching attention for its range of health benefits. This natural compound offers support for your heart, skin, and immune system, among other aspects of health. While hesperidin is present in many citrus-based foods, supplements can help you get a consistent amount daily. This article delves into how hesperidin works within the body and the research-backed advantages of incorporating it into your wellness routine.

What Is Hesperidin?

Hesperidin is a flavonoid, a type of compound with antioxidant properties, predominantly found in citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. It’s responsible for giving these fruits their vibrant color and plays a part in their array of health-promoting benefits. Beyond its presence in whole fruits, hesperidin is also available as a dietary supplement, which can be an easier option for those looking to ensure they receive a consistent amount.

What Are the Benefits of Hesperidin?

Hesperidin has been extensively researched in animal models but hasn’t yet had most of its effects tested in human trials.

  • Cardiovascular Health:
    • Inflammation: In a clinical trial of people with metabolic syndrome who took 500 mg of hesperidin, researchers found improved nitric oxide and lowered inflammatory markers. These findings suggest that hesperetin may improve heart health by improving endothelial function and reducing inflammation. [PMC3085197]
    • Heart Health: A meta-analysis of 13 studies reported that Hesperidin supplementation decreased blood cholesterol levels, the inflammatory molecule TNF-α, and systolic blood pressure.† [PMC10369082]
    • Supports Cholesterol Balance: It may help regulate cholesterol levels by reducing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol). [PMC10369082]
    • Blood pressure: In a clinical trial, adults with type 2 diabetes showed significant improvements in blood pressure and inflammation, after supplementing with Hesperidin for 6 weeks.† [PMID: 29468764]
    • Metabolic Syndrome: The results in one clinical trial in patients with metabolic syndrome showed that 500 mg twice per day of Hesperidin improved blood sugar, insulin, and cholesterol as well as inflammatory status. [PMID: 31844967] However, a review of other trials did not show this effect. [PMC6983511]

In various preclinical studies, hesperidin has provided significant protective actions in a variety of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, neuropathic pain, etc. as well as their underlying mechanisms. 

Neuroprotective Potential of Hesperidin as Therapeutic Agent in the Treatment of Brain Disorders: Preclinical Evidence-based Review [PMID: 36959141]
  • May Improve Brain Health:
    • Neurodegenerative Diseases: Some research suggests hesperidin could have a positive impact on brain function and may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases. [PMID: 35379141][PMID: 36628819] In an animal model, Hespiridin helped preserve the hippocampus memory center of the brain by increasing Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which has been described as miracle grow for the brain. (PMID: 34826046)
    • Depression: In preclinical studies with animal models, researchers found that hesperidin could improve depressive symptoms and downregulate inflammatory pathways related to depression. [PMID: 37169143]
  • Skin Health: Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to healthier skin and protect against signs of aging. [PMC6466919] Hesperidin treatment effectively reduced oxidative stress, and inhibited sun-induced inflammation (UVA radiation), in an in-vitro study. [PMID: 27816646]
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties: It helps reduce inflammation in the body, which is beneficial since chronic inflammation can lead to various health issues. A review of 18 clinical trials revealed Hesperidin reduced several markers of inflammation.†[PMID: 35762134]
  • Boosts Immune Function: Hesperidin can support the immune system by enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens. [PMC7282260]
  • Antioxidant Effects: This flavonoid combats oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals, which can damage cells and lead to chronic diseases.
  • Exercise Performance: Researchers who reviewed animal exercise experiments concluded that hesperidin could be used to enhance muscle recovery between training sessions, optimize oxygen and nutrient supplies to the muscles, and improve anaerobic performance. [PMC9316530]
  • Supports Digestive Health: Hesperidin may enhance gut health by influencing the function of the digestive system and maintaining a balance of beneficial bacteria. In an animal model of colitis, Hesperidin protected against intestinal inflammation and improved gut barrier function. [PMC6412496]
  • May Offer Protection Against Cancer: While research is ongoing, there’s interest in hesperidin’s role in cancer prevention due to its antioxidant properties and potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. [PMC10343639]
  • Supports Bone Health: There’s growing interest in hesperidin’s potential to promote bone density and protect against osteoporosis. In a small clinical study, when hesperidin was taken with calcium, it was shown to increase bone calcium retention by 5.5%. [PMID: 26751193]
  • Being Studied in Weight Management: There’s evidence that hesperidin can influence metabolism and fat processing, potentially assisting in weight control efforts. There is no human data to support this use currently. [PMC6859214]

Food Sources of Hesperidin

Food SourceAmount of Hesperidin Per Serving
Oranges50-100 mg per medium orange
Orange Juice40-150 mg per 8 ounces (237 ml)
Grapefruit30-70 mg per half grapefruit
Grapefruit Juice25-50 mg per 8 ounces (237 ml)
Lemons35 mg per medium lemon
Lemon Juice3-10 mg per tablespoon
Mandarin Oranges80 mg per medium fruit
Tangerines30 mg per medium fruit
Lime1-2 mg per medium lime
Lime JuiceTrace amounts per tablespoon
Sweet Peppers5-10 mg per pepper
Tomatoes4 mg per medium tomato
Cherry Tomatoes0.5 mg per cherry tomato
Amounts are approximate and can depend on a variety of factors.

Are Hesperidin Supplements Safe?

Hesperidin, as a naturally occurring compound in many citrus fruits, is generally considered safe when consumed as part of a regular diet. The body is adept at handling the amounts one would typically ingest from food sources. Even when taken as a supplement, hesperidin has a good safety profile; it’s well-tolerated by most people when used in recommended amounts. Side effects are rare, but as with any dietary supplement, it’s best to consult with a healthcare provider before starting hesperidin to ensure it’s appropriate for your specific health circumstances. They can provide guidance based on your personal health history and current condition, ensuring that hesperidin is a safe addition to your health regimen.

Medication Interactions with Hesperidin

  • Blood Thinners (Anticoagulants) such as Warfarin (Coumadin): Hesperidin may enhance the effects of these medications, increasing the risk of bleeding.
  • Blood Pressure Medications: Since hesperidin can lower blood pressure, it may have an additive effect with blood pressure-lowering drugs, which could result in blood pressure becoming too low.
  • Calcium Channel Blockers: Hesperidin’s blood vessel-relaxing properties could potentially increase the effects of these drugs, leading to lower blood pressure.
  • Antidiabetic Drugs: Because hesperidin might affect blood sugar levels, it could interact with diabetes medications, necessitating adjustments to medication doses to prevent blood sugar from going too low.
  • Sedatives (Central Nervous System Depressants): There’s a possibility that hesperidin could increase the sedative effects of medications that depress the central nervous system.

Supplement Interactions with Hesperidin

  • Iron Supplements: Hesperidin may enhance the absorption of iron, which could be beneficial for those with iron deficiency but could pose a risk of iron overload for those with conditions like hemochromatosis.
  • Calcium Supplements: There is some evidence that flavonoids like hesperidin can form complexes with calcium, potentially affecting the absorption and bioavailability of both compounds.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin can increase the absorption of hesperidin. When taken together, they may work synergistically to enhance antioxidant protection.
  • Antioxidant Formulas: When taken with other antioxidants, hesperidin may contribute to a more potent overall antioxidant effect, which might influence how these supplements work in the body.
  • High Fiber Supplements: A high fiber diet or supplements might hinder the absorption of hesperidin, as fiber can bind to flavonoids and other polyphenols, reducing their bioavailability.
  • St. John’s Wort: This herb is known to affect the metabolism of various compounds and could potentially alter the metabolism of hesperidin, affecting its levels and effectiveness.
  • Green Tea Extract: The catechins in green tea may interact with hesperidin, possibly affecting the absorption and efficacy of either supplement due to their similar properties.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): As a fellow antioxidant, CoQ10 might work alongside hesperidin to bolster antioxidant defenses, but the interaction is not well studied and could affect the absorption of both substances.

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Hesperidin by Ecological Formulas/Cardiovascular Research

Hesperidin is a scientifically designed dietary supplement which contains a natural bioflavonoid compound from citrus fruits. Each capsule contains 500mg of Hesperidin.

Suggested Use: Take one capsule daily or as directed by a physician.

Amount Per 1 Capsule Serving

  • Hesperidin … 500mg
  • Ascorbic Acid … 30 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

Hesperidin supplements, derived from the essence of citrus, carry a promise of supporting your health in a variety of ways. From the heart to the skin, the benefits of this potent flavonoid span across many aspects of well-being. It’s shown promise in supporting vascular health, managing inflammation, boosting immune function, and even protecting brain health. The potential advantages extend to aiding in blood sugar control, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, and even offering support to your body’s circulatory system. Incorporating hesperidin into your diet through citrus fruits or as a supplement might be a step toward tapping into these natural benefits.

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

Founder of NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph Figon has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Connect on Linkedin

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