What is Vitamin P?
We are all familiar with vitamin A, C, and E now. But did you know that there is also a vitamin P? Never seen it on a package? That could be right. In this article, you will learn what this mysterious vitamin is, but especially not. In 5 minutes you will know the answer to the question: What is vitamin P?
There are a total of 13 known vitamins, 8 of which are B vitamins. A vitamin is a group of organic substances found in all kinds of foods. Because a vitamin always contains carbon, it is seen as something ‘ biological ‘ or ‘organic’.
They are also essential nutrients that our body cannot make itself or not enough. Vitamins play an important role in every part of your body. From hair to heart. Only with a varied diet, you will get all the vitamins satisfactory.
Half vitamins and provitamins
Less known is the existence of pro and half vitamins. Chances are you have never heard of it. After all, that is not stated on the labels of products.
A pro-vitamin is a precursor to a vitamin. It is something your body can convert itself into an actual vitamin. This happens, for example, when you eat carrots. The body makes some vitamin A from the beta-carotene in the root.
Half vitamins are vitamins that are no longer considered vitamins today. It used to be. But after years of research, it was decided that they are not, because the body appeared to produce them itself.
Vitamin P is not a vitamin (anymore)
Vitamin P is also a separate case. It is a name that was once used for a group of plant particles: the bioflavonoids. But it turned out to be half a vitamin. Bioflavonoids are not indispensable for our health.
There are 6 classes of bioflavonoids, containing more than 6000 types. And so many more products that contain them. Think of fruits, tea, cocoa, and vegetables. They add color to the plants and protect them from UV radiation. They also attract insects, which benefits pollination.
Products with flavonoids
Check out the following list of products to get a better idea of what these flavonoids are in:
- Olive oil
- Red wine
- Green tea
Of course, not all of them are! But you can see how diverse this shortlist already is.
Health Benefits of vitamin P’
Bioflavonoids may not be completely necessary, but there are a number of possible health benefits. Although… the studies on ‘vitamin P’ are rather limited. So there is not enough evidence to say with certainty that these benefits are true.
Most studies have not looked at the effect in the human body. How? In test tubes. This is the biggest ‘problem’ in claiming health benefits. We know a lot about the human body, but not everything. And so we cannot be sure what the body does with the flavonoids.
What we do know, for example, is that flavonoids are broken down in the body and are subsequently difficult to distinguish from other substances. So you have to do very good research and be sure that you are looking at the right fabrics.
And finally, it is difficult to predict whether the product containing the flavonoids will have an effect on its processing. This is a big problem in all of nutritional science. You can isolate a single substance or vitamin in research, but then you don’t know anything about the effect when it is consumed in a product or together with other products.
The advantages at a glance
Below you can read the possible benefits. These are based on limited studies. As far as we now know, there are three potential major benefits:
- Certain flavonoids may lower the risk of heart disease. It concerns products such as berries, olive oil and kale.
- The flavonoids in cocoa are said to be good for brain health. That does not mean that every form of chocolate has that effect!
- It can lower the risk of diabetes. There is very little evidence for this. However, it never hurts to eat fruits and vegetables with flavonoids in the hope that it will help.