Hesperidin is a compound in orange peels that gives the flavonoid hesperitin to the body, and this flavonoid mediates most benefits of hesperidin including a possible increase in circulation (but unclear effects on blood pressure) and possible brain protective effects. Hesperidin, alongside naringenin, are known as the main citrus flavonoids.
Hesperidin is most often used for
Hesperidin is a bioflavonoid glycoside commonly found in citrus fruits (most notoriously oranges) and is a sugar-bound form of the flavonoid hesperitin. Hesperitin is known to mediate the actions of hesperidin in the body, and since hesperidin needs to progress to the colon to be 'released' by intestinal bacteria it acts as a time-release for hesperitin; one serving of hesperidin seems to increase blood levels for over the course of a day or so when consumed in this manner.
If we are to look at the human evidence on orally ingested hesperidin, it appears to promote blood flow (minorly to moderately) although it's unclear if it has a notable influence on blood pressure; the current research isn't supportive overall, though it hasn't been studied in severe hypertension yet. It is pretty much ineffective for cholesterol and triglycerides from the available evidence. Not much other human evidence exists aside from the cardiovascular parameters mentioned above, and it seems pretty weak at improving parameters of diabetes as well (with exception to the eyes, diabetic retinopathy, as preliminary evidence suggests that hesperidin is quite protective of them).
That being said, in animal studies oral intake of hesperidin at a dose similar to that used in humans seems to be a very potent cardioprotection agent and is quite protective of the brain in response to various stressors; the protection is antioxidative in nature, but it seems to work through a currently not identified antioxidant responses from the genome. Aside from the protective effects (most notable in the heart and brain, but extend to every organ), hesperidin may be able to reduce a lack of appetite and have minor anti-allergic properties.
Orange peels can actually be used to get the supplemental dosage of hesperidin seen in the human studies, and hesperidin is known to interact with a variety of drug metabolizing enzymes so it should be approached cautiously if also using pharmaceuticals.
- Hesperitin glycoside
- glucosyl hesperidin
- Vitamin P
- 3' 5 7-trihydroxy-4'-methoxyflavanone
- Hesperitin (its aglycone)
- Eriodictyol (another flavonoid known as Vitamin P)
Most studies using hesperidin tend to use 500mg of supplemental hesperidin, and use the standard form of hesperidin if taking it as a daily preventative.
If using it for acute improvements in blood flow (ie. before a workout) then the form of G-Hesperidin may be preferred since it is absorbed faster and reaches higher levels in the blood. It does not have significantly better absorption overall, but it is faster at peaking in the blood.
Supplementation of hesperidin should be around 500mg and preferably taken with food
In regards to food products, the lowest known beneficial dose of hesperidin in rodent studies is around 25mg/kg oral intake daily. This is approximately 4mg/kg oral intake for an adult human which may be a bit too high to consume via orange juice products (in optimal conditions, a 150lb man would need to consume 1,800mL) and orange fruits (1,800g of the fresh fruit). The exception to the above is the antiallergic effects, which have occurred at a fifth of the aforementioned dose.
The peels of tangerines, however, appear to have 5-10% of their weight as hesperidin after 5-7 days of drying (to remove water content and concentrate the hesperidin) and as such a 500mg supplemental dose of hesperidin can be achieved by 5-10g of the dried tangerine peel. This is a low cost alternate assuming that the peel is thoroughly scrubbed prior to drying to remove possible contamination and grime collected on the peel.
When looking at food products, it is unlikely that the benefits of hesperidin can be mediated by standard orange consumption except maybe for antiallergic effects. Sundrying the peels of tangerines or oranges, however, can yield enough hesperidin for supplemental purposes