Flavonoid Friday: Everything You Need to Know About Fisetin Flavor, Fragrance, and Benefits
In this post:
- What are flavonoids like fisetin?
- Fisetin is a “Senolytic”
- Benefits of fisetin
- Foods high in fisetin
Flavonoids are a class of plant metabolites that you ingest primarily from fruits and vegetables. They regulate plant development and pigment but are also extraordinarily therapeutic to humans due to their antioxidant properties. While flavonoids are most prevalent in produce, they also occur in hemp and cannabis.
The flavonoid fisetin is found in various common fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, apples, persimmon, grapes, onions, and cucumbers. Several studies demonstrate fisetin's disease-fighting powers through its anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and neuroprotective properties.
Let’s explore everything you need to know about fisetin.
What are Flavonoids Like Fisetin?
Flavonoids, like fisetin, are a type of phytonutrient that exhibit several beneficial properties for plants and the animals that eat them. There are over 6,000 different flavonoids in nature.
In plants, flavonoids like fisetin play an essential role in protecting against disease and pests by working as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Flavonoids can also help to protect the plant from damage by UV radiation. Finally, they’re primarily responsible for the plant’s pigment.
For humans, fisetin has been shown to have several benefits, including reducing inflammation, protecting against heart disease, and improving cognitive function. Additionally, fisetin is often marketed as an anti-aging supplement. However, its true healing potential far supersedes this cosmetic designation.
Fisetin has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling and pain, in addition to its ability to improve cognitive function and memory. Research also suggests that fisetin may protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Fisetin is a “Senolytic”
Did you know that as humans age, some of our cells stop dividing and become “stuck” within the body? “Senescent cells,” as scientists call them, are old cells with damaged DNA that no longer act like normal healthy cells. Also known as “zombie cells,” senescent cells never die. Instead, they linger, amass, and inflame surrounding cells, making the body more susceptible to age-related disease.
Ready for the good news? Senolytic compounds work to abolish these damaging senescent cells, preventing disease and mitigating existing conditions. And yes, you guessed it–fisetin is a powerful senolytic compound.
In fact, out of ten compounds tested in a study, fisetin was the most potent and natural senolytic at eliminating senescent cells. In addition, the study showed fisetin directly increased antioxidant production, including superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione–the most potent anti-inflammatory substance in the body.
Fisetin Benefits & Research
Fisetin has the potential to treat a variety of chronic human diseases. Through years of research, scientists have started to understand the role these phytonutrients play in keeping our bodies healthy.
Fisetin as an Anti-Inflammatory
As an anti-inflammatory, fisetin shows considerable promise. It not only decreases pain and swelling in the body but acts as a potent antioxidant, breaking down cells that lead to inflammatory disease.
Prolonged and dysregulated immune responses cause chronic inflammation. This leads to various conditions such as neurological abnormalities, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, pulmonary diseases, immunological diseases, and cancer. Therefore, treating and preventing inflammation reduces the risk of many chronic diseases.
- An animal study published in 2018 showed promising results in treating allergic asthma with fisetin by inhibiting airway inflammation.
- In 2021, a study confirmed that the dietary flavonoid, fisetin, inhibited inflammation and endotoxic shock in immune cells.
- A study performed in 2006 showed that fisetin is a potential medicine for the treatment of inflammatory diseases through the down-regulation of mast cell activation - which controls allergic response via histamines.
Fisetin for Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a common degenerative skeletal disorder that causes low bone mass. As a result, those with osteoporosis are at a much greater risk for bone fractures.
- In research published in 2012, fisetin appeared to exhibit bone health benefits that could support osteoporosis treatment.
Fisetin as an Anti-Cancer Agent
Research on fisetin’s potential to treat or prevent cancer garners impressive results. For example, significant research surrounding melanoma, breast cancer, and many other forms of cancer shows that fisetin helps “clean out” toxic, dead cells.
- In a 2020 research review, fisetin showed promising anticancer activity in many cancers. Fisetin suppressed the cancer cell stages, prevented progression in cycle and growth, and induced apoptosis.
- In a 2011 study, fisetin successfully inhibited tumor development in mice, and subsequent data suggested fisetin could be effective against melanoma.
- An overview of medical research on fisetin noted that it has the potential to treat breast cancer by encouraging autophagy (cell death).
Foods High in Fisetin
Fortunately, fisetin is found in common (and delicious) fruits and vegetables. Most people already know that consuming fruits and vegetables is vital for well-rounded health. However, not everyone knows that molecules (like fisetin) work behind the scenes to keep our bodies in an optimal state.
To add fisetin-rich foods to your diet, try any of the following:
Strawberries have the highest concentration of fisetin, followed by apples and persimmons. Fisetin also appears in nuts and wines but in much smaller quantities.
Fisetin is a potent polyphenol possessing powerful properties. It’s an antioxidant that helps the body break down and remove dead cells that contribute to inflammation and disease. By doing this, fisetin plays a role as a treatment for various cancers, along with osteoporosis and autoimmune diseases.
Fisetin even helps the body combat allergies by inhibiting the inflammatory immune response.
All that said, it’s important to note researchers still don’t fully understand the mechanisms by which fisetin functions within the body. Therefore, more research is needed to harness the full potential of flavonoids like fisetin.