Apigenin is one of the natural bioactive compounds found in chamomile flowers. In its pure form, it looks like a yellow crystalline powder, and it belongs to the flavonoid family — a group of polyphenolic compounds found in the plant kingdom that have been studied for their role in supporting health and wellness.
In this deep dive, we'll explore the various facets of apigenin, sometimes called chamomile extract, delving into the scientific literature to help us better understand how this compound interacts with the body and how it may contribute to brain function, sleep quality, immune health, and more.
Furthermore, we'll discuss practical ways to add apigenin supplements to your daily routine. Whether through a soothing cup of chamomile tea or as a concentrated supplement, various methods exist to integrate this compound into your life.
How Apigenin Works
Apigenin, scientifically known as 4′,5,7-trihydroxy flavone, is a natural compound that exerts its effects through various interactions within the body's biological systems. Its actions span from influencing inflammatory responses to supporting normal cell functioning.
Here's an expanded view of its mechanisms:
- Interaction with Inflammatory Pathways: Apigenin has anti-inflammatory properties by affecting various signaling molecules and enzymes involved in the inflammatory process .
- Supporting Normal Cell Functioning: Apigenin may influence cell growth, differentiation, and death, which is vital for maintaining healthy tissues. Its role in regulating the cell cycle helps cells grow and divide healthily . This mechanism has been an exciting field for research on cancer cells.
- Antioxidant Properties: As a flavonoid, apigenin possesses antioxidant properties that help neutralize free radicals — the unstable molecule that causes damage to cells .
The Potential Benefits of Apigenin
Let's look closely at some studies supporting apigenin supplements and their potential health benefits.
Apigenin For Sleep Quality
Given its presence in chamomile, a herb commonly used to promote relaxation and sleep, apigenin may improve sleep quality. Apigenin supplements may interact with GABA receptors in the brain and could be one mechanism through which it aids in sleep .
Apigenin and Stress Reduction
The same reason why apigenin may help support sleep quality is the same as why it may reduce stress, and it has to do with GABA — the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, which is tasked with relaxation.
Apigenin binds to GABA receptors, thereby potentially enhancing GABA's natural calming effects. This action may contribute to a reduction in anxiety and promote a state conducive to sleep.
There's also some research to suggest that the effects of apigenin on GABA receptors are similar to those of benzodiazepines, a class of drugs often used for their soothing properties. However, unlike benzodiazepines, apigenin doesn’t seem to cause dependency or significant side effects .
While there is promising evidence from animal studies and observational human studies, there is a need for more rigorous clinical trials in humans to conclusively determine the effectiveness of apigenin as a sleep aid and for generalized anxiety disorder.
Apigenin and Hormonal Balance
One of the critical areas where apigenin is believed to impact hormonal balance is its interaction with estrogen receptors.
Estrogen, a primary female sex hormone, plays a crucial role in both women's and men's health. Apigenin may act as a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM). It can act like estrogen in some tissues and block estrogen effects in others.
This modulation can be particularly significant in conditions that are sensitive to estrogen levels, such as certain types of breast cancer .
Apigenin and Prostate Health
While the research is still evolving, several studies have explored the potential effects of apigenin on prostate cells and its mechanisms in combating prostate cancer.
Apigenin has shown potential to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. Studies indicate that it can induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in these cells, a crucial mechanism in cancer treatment and prevention .
This research is preliminary and has been conducted in laboratory settings or using animal models. Human clinical trials are necessary to confirm the effectiveness and safety of apigenin for prostate health, particularly in the context of prostate cancer treatment and prevention.
Apigenin and Heart Health
Apigenin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may also benefit heart health. It could help reduce blood pressure and prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, which is a risk factor for heart disease [7, 8].
This research suggests apigenin treatment may contribute to reducing inflammation that could be present in health conditions.
That being said, apigenin supplementation should not be your only line of defense when it comes to inflammation. We recommend reaching out to your healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Apigenin and Brain Health
One of the most promising aspects of apigenin concerning brain health is its neuroprotective properties.
This refers to the ability to protect nerve cells from damage and degeneration. Apigenin is thought to exert these effects through several mechanisms we've already discussed:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Antioxidant role
- Supporting cell formation
Animal models have shown that apigenin can enhance brain function and provide neuroprotection.
For instance, studies on mice have demonstrated improved memory and learning abilities after apigenin supplementation, which may have positive implications for potential treatments of Alzheimer's disease in the future .
While all this research on apigenin benefits is exciting, we want to underscore that these findings are still in their early stages of research and should not be your sign to forgo professional advice in favor of an apigenin supplement.
What Are The Side Effects of Apigenin?
While apigenin is generally considered safe, some individuals might experience mild side effects. These can include allergic reactions or interactions with certain medications.
Individuals with allergies to plants that contain apigenin, particularly those belonging to the Asteraceae/Compositae family, like chamomile, may experience allergic reactions.
Symptoms can range from skin rashes to more severe reactions like difficulty breathing.
High doses of apigenin, especially when not used to its intake, may cause mild gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If this happens, you could adjust your apigenin intake to a lower dose.
Given its potential interaction with estrogen receptors, apigenin might affect hormone-sensitive conditions. This is particularly relevant for individuals with hormone-related cancers or those on hormone therapy.
Individuals interested in taking apigenin supplements should consult with a healthcare provider, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, those taking medication, or pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Is Apigenin Chamomile Extract?
Apigenin is a compound, while chamomile extract is a product derived from the chamomile plant, which contains apigenin, among other constituents.
The presence of apigenin in chamomile contributes to many of the plant's reputed health benefits, such as promoting relaxation and sleep and providing anti-inflammatory effects. However, these effects are also due to the synergistic action of all the compounds in chamomile.
Chamomile Extract vs. Pure Apigenin Supplements
Standardized chamomile extract means you're getting a blend of all the active compounds in chamomile, not just apigenin.
This is beneficial as the combined effects of these compounds enhance the overall health benefits, while apigenin supplements focus solely on delivering apigenin in a concentrated form. While this means a higher dose of apigenin, it lacks the other beneficial compounds in chamomile.
The exact amount of apigenin in chamomile tea can vary. A cup of chamomile tea might contain approximately 0.3 to 1.2 milligrams of apigenin. However, these values can fluctuate based on steeping time and the amount of chamomile used.
The choice between chamomile extract and pure apigenin supplements depends on whether one seeks the specific effects of apigenin or the combined benefits of all compounds present in chamomile.
How to Take Apigenin
First, it's important to find a high-quality apigenin supplement that usually comes in tablets or capsules.
Look for supplements that independent third-party laboratories have tested. This testing ensures that the product meets quality standards and is contaminant-free. Third-party testing also verifies the accuracy of the apigenin content listed on the label.
How Much Apigenin Should You Take?
The optimal dosage of apigenin can vary. Most supplements offer doses ranging from 50 to 500 mg per day. The specific dose can depend on the reason for taking apigenin and individual health factors.
It’s essential to consult a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage, particularly for those with existing health conditions or taking other medications.
For new users, it's advisable to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it if needed, observing how the body responds. This can help mitigate potential side effects like stomach upset that can come with high apigenin intake.
Best Time To Take Apigenin
Most people seek to use apigenin to support sleep and relaxation. The best time to take it for this purpose is typically around 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This timing allows the body to metabolize the compound and enhance its calming and sleep-inducing effects.
Regular intake at the same time each evening can help establish a routine, potentially promoting sleep more effectively.
Incorporating apigenin into your routine, especially for sleep enhancement, requires careful consideration of the quality of supplements, appropriate dosages, and optimal intake timing.
While apigenin is generally considered safe, its interactions with other medications and its effects on specific health conditions should be discussed with a healthcare professional to ensure safe and effective use.
The Takeaway: The Potential Benefits of Apigenin
Apigenin, a naturally occurring compound found in various plants, has captured the health and wellness community's interest for its potential benefits, from sleep support to stress management and antioxidant effects.
The Neurogan Health Apigenin Tablets are crafted with 100% traceable ingredients to ensure quality and purity. Each tablet delivers a concentrated dose of 100 mg of apigenin, allowing for precise dosage control.
For optimal sleep support and stress management, Neurogan Health recommends taking two tablets, providing a total serving of 200 mg of apigenin. This dosage is based on understanding apigenin's effects and its role in promoting relaxation and sleep. The tablet form makes incorporating apigenin into your daily routine convenient, especially for those seeking a natural way to support sleep and manage stress.
FAQ on Apigenin
Does apigenin help with sleep?
Apigenin, found in plants like chamomile, is believed to support sleep due to its potential calming effects. Research suggests it may interact with neurotransmitters that help a healthy sleep cycle without becoming a habit-forming compound.
What is apigenin used for?
Apigenin is primarily recognized for its potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties. It is often explored for its possible role in supporting sleep, managing stress, and contributing to overall wellness.
What is the best time to take apigenin?
It's generally recommended to take apigenin about 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime for sleep support. This timing can help align its calming effects with your natural sleep cycle.
What foods are high in apigenin?
Apigenin is found in various foods, including chamomile tea, parsley, celery, and some other fruits and vegetables. Chamomile tea is particularly known for its high apigenin content.
Does apigenin increase testosterone?
There is limited evidence to suggest that apigenin significantly impacts testosterone levels.
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