Vitamin P Benefits, Sources, Dosage And Deficiency

Bioflavonoids are officially not classified as vitamins but still they have been given the name of Vitamin P. This article covers the benefits, sources, dosage levels and deficiency symptoms associated with this Vitamin P.

What Is Vitamin P?

Bioflavonoids were identified in the 1930s, and for a very long time they were called Vitamin P. This component was used in studies related to the permeability of the vascular capillaries in the 1930s and therefore, was given the name of Vitamin P. However, the term flavonoids or bioflavonoid today is more popular than the term Vitamin P. Bioflavonoids are considered as a special class of nutrients rather than a vitamin.

The term Bioflavonoid was derived from Latin where it means yellow colored. Bioflavonoid is a large family of chemicals found specifically in plants. In short, bioflavonoids are phytochemicals or plant derivatives that are needed for the proper functioning of the human body. They are indeed a type of secondary metabolites that do not directly influence the human health. However, the absence of bioflavonoids may give rise to many types of ailments in the human body in the long run. There are more than 4000 known bioflavonoids with over 20 million structures. Popular bioflavonoids include – flavonoids such as rutin and quercetin, flavanoids, flavonols and flavanols.

Flavonoids are found in plants and are the main reason for their bright colors.  Vitamin P cannot be manufactured in our body and we have to depend on plants for this vitamin. The diet that we take usually contains high amounts of flavanoids such as the catechins than flavonols such as quercetin. Since, bioflavonoids are plant based they are generally non-toxic in nature.

Two of the main Bioflavonoids include rutin and quercetin. Rutin is extracted from buckwheat and is used as an artificial sweetener. Quercetin is the chemical that gives the yellow color to fruits and vegetables. Quercetin has been researched extensively in clinical studies and has shown many benefits for the human body.

Vitamin P is water soluble and hence excess amounts of this vitamin are flushed out from our system regularly. For best results, Vitamin P based food sources or supplements must be taken along with Vitamin C.

Food Sources Of Bioflavonoids Or Vitamin P

Vitamin P

Vitamin P can be found in the following – fruits such as lemon, grapes, blue and red berries, oranges, mangoes, cherries, plums and apricot, vegetables such as green pepper, broccoli, onion, garlic, carrot and tomatoes, red wine, green tea, buckwheat, ginko and milk thistle. Flavonoids are also found in large amounts in unprocessed dark chocolates.

Benefits Of Bioflavonoids Or Vitamin P

Bioflavonoids are known as natural biological response modifiers as they have the ability to modify how our body reacts to allergens, viruses, bacteria and carcinogens. Bioflavonoids play many important roles in our body, such as:

For Cancer Treatment

Quercetin, the bioflavonoid has been studied in some clinical experiments for its ability to inhibit cancer cell growth. More research, however, is needed.

For Treating Common Cold

Benefits of Vitamin P

Source :

While we know that Vitamin C helps in bringing down some of the symptoms associated with common cold, few studies have found that quercetin when taken along with Vitamin C fights the common cold virus effectively. Apart from its anti-viral properties, some studies have highlighted its anti-bacterial properties as well.

For Blood Capillaries

Bioflavonoids also help in increasing the strength of capillaries and in promoting capillary resistance to hemorrhaging or bleeding. This ability of flavonoids may help in treating or preventing the following – miscarriages, hemorrhoids, nose bleed, retinal bleeding in diabetes patients, menstrual disorders, blood clotting, platelet clumping and high BP.

For Lowering Cholesterol Levels

According to some studies, when Vitamin P is taken along with Vitamin C it significantly reduces the cholesterol levels in the body. This vitamin plays an important role in the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system and may help in treating blurred claret pressure.

Has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Bioflavonoids have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that help in healing wounds faster and in reducing the associated pain. Flavonoids effectively fight histamines, prostaglandins and leukotrienes in our body. Many herbal remedies contain bioflavonoids and they are used extensively in treating sport injuries. This vitamin also helps in relieving pain in the legs, shoulder and back.

Has Anti-oxidant Properties

Bioflavonoids also have antioxidant properties and play an important role in fighting free radicals and in preventing cell damage. The anti-oxidant properties of vitamin P are currently studied for preventing premature aging. Flavonoids have greater anti-oxidant properties than Vitamin C, Vitamin E, selenium and Zinc.

Other Benefits

Benefits Of Vitamin P

Source :

Bioflavonoids help in the prevention and/or treatment of the following conditions – asthma, high blood sugar levels, herpes type 1, allergies, cataracts, disorders related to bile production, circulatory problems, high BP, varicose vein, hay fever etc.


So far, no daily recommended allowance has been determined for Vitamin P. However, a dosage level of 500 mg per day has been observed in some clinical studies. To treat cold sores, one can take 1000 mg of Vitamin C along with 1000 mg of Bioflavonoids. This level can be later reduced to 500 mg for the next few days. Quercetin supplements can be taken at the following dosage levels – 200 to 400 mg, three times a day and atleast 20 minutes before food. Also, about 2000 to 6000 mg of citrus bioflavonoid supplements can be taken every day.

Few studies also highlight the fact that taking atleast 5 servings of (brightly colored) fruits and vegetables makes sure that the body has the right amount of Vitamin P every day. Also, taking green tea for lunch and red wine during dinner helps in restoring the optimum balance of this vitamin in the body.

Deficiency Symptoms Of  Vitamin P Or Bioflavonoids

Deficiency of vitamin p

Source :

Deficiency of Vitamin P in humans is usually rare. Bruising is the only known deficiency symptom of Vitamin P.

Overdose & Side Effects

Vitamin P or bioflavonoids are plant based chemicals and hence they are not toxic and well tolerated in humans. Excess intake of Vitamin P supplements has not shown any adverse side effects in humans so far. However, in a few isolated cases diarrhea and allergic reactions were reported due to Vitamin P over dosage.

How To Store?

Vitamin supplements must be stored away from direct sunlight, heat or moisture. Vitamin P in natural food sources such as fruits and vegetables is usually lost due to refrigeration. Fresh fruits and vegetables have more Vitamin P than frozen & processed food materials.

Drug Interactions

Bioflavonoids usually do not interact with any drugs. However, citrus flavonoids may interact with nifedipine, felodipine, verapamil and terfenadine. It may also reduce the effect of caffeine, coumarins, and estrogens.