The citrus flavonoid hesperidin and the soya isoflavone daidzein protect against both heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis

  • It is well known for several decades now that rheumatoid arthritis is a risk factor for heart disease,  both being inflammatory diseases
  • In a new study published this week, scientists examined if the combination of hesperidin, a citrus flavonoid, and daidzein, a soya isoflavone, can inhibit markers of both arthritis and heart disease
  • Administration of the two phytochemicals for 21 days resulted in reducing multiple markers of inflammation, free radical damage and atherosclerosis / heart disease:
    • elastase, the enzyme that breaks elastin
    • the inflammatory protein TNF-alpha
    • the free radical damage markers malondialdehyde, DPPH and ABTS
    • LDL and VLDL cholesterol
    • triglycerides
  • On the other hand, hesperidin and daidzein increased the beneficial HDL cholesterol and total antioxidant levels
  • Inclosing the study authors state that the consumption of two compounds, especially hesperidin, "may be helpful in prevention or at least delaying the onset of these diseases in susceptible individuals"
  • Source: Anti-arthritogenic and cardioprotective action of hesperidin and daidzein in collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis
  • Abstract: Atherosclerosis has been linked to chronic inflammatory processes. Changes in the levels of lipoproteins, especially low-density lipoprotein or its variants, as well as inflammatory markers, are risk factors for the atherosclerosis. In the present study, an experimental model of rheumatoid arthritis was developed by administrating collagen suspension intradermally in the tail region of Wistar albino rats. At the same time, a suspension of hesperidin (50 mg/kg body weight) and daidzein (20 mg/kg body weight) was orally administrated. The compounds were given in the morning and evening for 21 days. Levels of inflammatory markers in the homogenate of knee joints of experimental rats as well as plasma lipoproteins were investigated. The administration of hesperidin and daidzein caused significant (p < 0.001) decrease in articular elastase activity, TNF-α, and malondialdehyde levels. Further, arthritis scoring and histological findings supported the anti-inflammatory actions of the test compounds. Interestingly, the test compounds also lowered the plasma low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride but increased the level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. The test compounds thus ameliorated the risk factors of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, antioxidant roles of hesperidin as well as daidzein were evident from decrease in free radical load demonstrated as increase in total antioxidant level in plasma of arthritic animals treated with hesperidin and daidzein. In a separate in vitro experiment, enhanced free radical scavenging activity of hesperidin was demonstrated against 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2-azinobis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid. The anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic, and antioxidant actions of the naturally occurring test compounds, particularly hesperidin, seem to be quite effective against rheumatoid arthritis and atherosclerosis. Thus, their consumption may be helpful in prevention or at least delaying the onset of these diseases in susceptible individuals.

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