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What Are the Health Benefits of Hesperidin and Diosmin?

by
author image Michael R. Peluso, Ph.D.
Michael Peluso is a semi-retired scientist in the field of nutritional biochemistry. He received his M.S. in nutrition from the University of California, Davis and Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of Missouri. Peluso's work has appeared in scholarly publications such as the "Journal of Nutrition," "Lipids" and "Experimental Biology and Medicine."
What Are the Health Benefits of Hesperidin and Diosmin?
Diosmin and hesperidin are naturally found in citrus fruit. Photo Credit Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The naturally occurring flavonoid compounds diosmin and hesperidin are used to treat health problems associated with inflammation and swelling in the veins. An oral prescription medication called diosmiplex (Vasculera) contains diosmin with hesperidin constituents. The flavonoid complex is also available as a dietary supplement. Clinical studies have examined the use of the drug formulation for conditions of chronic venous insufficiency, leg ulcers, varicose veins and inflamed hemorrhoids. Consult your doctor before using diosmin plus hesperidin to treat a health problem.

Diosmin Plus Hesperidin Complex

Diosmin and hesperidin are flavonoid compounds found in citrus fruits, such as oranges and lemons. Hesperidin is the predominant citrus flavonoid in sweet oranges. Diosmin is present in much lower amounts. A commercial manufacturing process has been developed that converts hesperidin -- extracted from citrus rinds -- into diosmin.

Diosmiplex (Vasculera) is an FDA-approved "medical food." Each tablet contains approximately 600 mg of diosmin with lesser amounts of related hesperidin compounds. Diosmiplex is used to treat chronic venous insufficiency, characterized by ongoing high pressure in the veins. It is considered a phlebotonic drug, which means it improves the tone and health of veins. A mixture of diosmin plus hesperidin is also available as a dietary supplement in the U.S. and is sold under various brand names. The effectiveness of commercial dietary supplements containing diosmin plus hesperidin have not been evaluated in large-scale human research studies.

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How Diosmin Plus Hesperidin Works

Abnormally high blood pressure in the veins causes fluid leakage into the surrounding tissues. The accumulating tissue fluid must be returned to the circulation through the lymphatic system. In chronic venous insufficiency, the lymphatic system becomes overloaded, leading to tissue swelling, or edema. A subsequent inflammatory response involving white blood cells causes deterioration of blood vessel integrity and vessel swelling, which further increases fluid leakage from the veins. The diosmin plus hesperidin complex inhibits inflammatory processes and reduces fluid loss into surrounding tissues. These flavonoids also stimulate lymphatic function and the return of tissue fluid back into the blood circulation, thereby reducing edema.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Your veins return blood from your body to your heart. They contain 1-way valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards. These valves are particular important in the legs, where the pull of gravity tends to encourage backward blood flow. Chronic venous insufficiency commonly occurs in leg veins when blood vessel walls or valves stop working properly, causing increased vein blood pressure in the lower limbs and excessive fluid leakage into surrounding tissues. Symptoms include swelling in lower legs and varicose veins. Severe chronic venous insufficiency sometimes leads to the development of leg ulcers.

The oral diosmin plus hesperidin drug formulation may improve symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. Prescription citrus flavonoids have been shown to accelerate the process of leg ulcer healing in people with chronic venous insufficiency, according to an analysis of five clinical studies published in the September-October 2005 supplement to the medical journal "Angiology."

Inflamed Hemorrhoids

It may surprise you to learn that hemorrhoids are a normal part of your anatomy. This tissue, which is rich in blood vessels, cushions the anal canal and helps you control your bowel movements. However, hemorrhoid veins can become inflamed and cause pain, swelling, bleeding and itching. Inflamed hemorrhoids often protrude outside the anus.

An analysis of 14 clinical trials cautiously suggests that oral intake of several types of flavonoids may decrease pain, risk of bleeding, itching and recurrence of hemorrhoid inflammation, according to the August 2006 issue of "The British Journal of Surgery." Several small research studies using the drug formulation of diosmin plus hesperidin have reported similar benefits in people with inflamed hemorrhoids.

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