Flavonol Kaempferol : Chemistry, Natural Occurrences & Health Benefits

Pure kaempferol is a yellow coloured powder. Amphoral is one of the most important and most widespread flavonoids (containing the typical C6-C3-C6 structure). Kaempferol is a flavonoid present in various natural sources including apples, onions, leeks, citrus fruits, grapes, red wines, gingko biloba, St. John’s wort.  Kaempferol is one of the many flavonoids found in foods alongside others like luteolin and quercetin. It is showing promise in and of itself in being an anti-obesity agent and anti-cancer agent. Kaempferol is a flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant.  It can help prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It also helps support heart and brain health. Kaempferol based plant food intake reduces the risk of various types of cancers such as lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer, and gastric cancer and many of the cardiovascular disease. From various epidemiological studies, kaempferol was also proved to possess antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory activity, antidiabetic activity, and antimicrobial activity

Kaempferol, as a polyphenol, is present in many compounds. Common sources include:

  • Apples
  • Citris Fruits
  • Grapes
  • Onions and leeks
  • Tea (camellia sinensis)
  • Ginkgo Bilboa and St.Johns Wort
  • Nymphaea odorata
  • Alpinia officinarum hance, or Galangal Extract
  • Hedyotis verticillata(Source of kaempferitrin, kaempferol’s rhamnoside sugar form)
  • Red beans and pinto beans (husk) generally the species of bean Phaseolus Vulgaris.

Phytochemicals is a term often used to describe the myriad compounds present in plants that we consume that are not well characterized or grouped into other established dietary categories. Polyphenolic compounds are an increasingly researched class of phytochemicals, and kaempferol is one such compound.

And while health organizations don’t yet provide any statements regarding the consensus on health effects of these compounds or provide a recommended dietary intake value, many individuals are looking for kaempferol rich foods to add to their diets to improve their health.

Kaempferol has been found to have hypoglycemic and antioxidant effects. The phytonutrient was also found to have antimicrobial effects. Another study found that Kaempferol-3-O-sophoroside (KPOS) possessed barrier integrity activity, inhibitory activity on cell adhesion, and migration to endothelial cells by blocking the activation of NF-κB expression and production of TNF-α which then endorsed its usefulness as therapy for vascular inflammatory diseases.

It also lessens the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A study found that through alterations in lipoprotein metabolism, oxidative stress, and inflammatory markers, intake of the nutrient beneficially affected key risk factors of coronary heart disease in both pre- and postmenopausal women.

A study also found out that upon the investigation of neuroprotective effects of kaempferol in the mouse model of Parkinson’s disease, kaempferol prevented the loss of TH-positive neurons induced by MPTP, a prodrug to the neurotoxin MPP+, which causes permanent symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Kaempferol was found to be good for people who suffer from osteoporosis. In a study, it was found out that flavonols quercetin and kaempferol significantly increased alkaline phosphate (ALP) activity which then can stimulate osteoblastic activity.

In the research of kaempferol, it was discovered that rats treated with the flavonol exhibited significantly higher bone mineral density in the trabecular regions — femur neck, proximal tibia, and vertebrae — and lowered serum ALP.

In an investigation of moringa oleifera leaf extract, which contains quercetin and kaempferol, it was found that the leaf extracts from the plant had strong antiproliferation and potent induction of apoptosis. This indicated that the plant’s leaf extracts have a potential for cancer chemopreventation and can be claimed as a therapeutic agent against cancer.

Another study found that kaempferol, together with other flavonoids such as apigenin and luteolin, has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects contained in the Cassia siamea Lam. stem bark extracts.

Another study also revealed that kaempferol has a potential clinical use for the treatment of allergic asthma.

So although more research needs to determine what, if any, are the true merits of this particular flavonoid, kaempferol has shown great promise as a natural compound found in a variety of healthy foods that may help combat several of the major chronic diseases we face today.

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