Apigenin is a medicinal plant-flavone that is commonly found in various plant substances and herbs like chamomile, parsley, celery, and guava. It is also abundant in many medicinal mushrooms like agaricus blazei, shiitake, and maitake.
Apigenin is a true wonder substance, with extensive studies that focus on its antineoplastic, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-stress, pro-mitochondrial, neuroprotective, and general adaptogenic effects.
In this particular article, we would like to share with you some of the impressive, science-based benefits of apigenin, and how you can utilize it for your own health.
The Top Science-Based Benefits of Apigenin
Apigenin has many beneficial effects on the skin. It is an antineoplastic substance that is especially helpful for preventing and reversing abnormal skin formations, including moles of various types. It is also proven to help treat and prevent various skin cancers and has an anti-tumor effect.
Additionally, apigenin has a natural "sun blocking" or UV-protective effect. Studies have also found apigenin alleviates cutaneous inflammation on the skin, making it helpful for dermatitis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Lastly, apigenin improves the general health and functioning of the skin. It specifically improves the epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis, meaning it improves the skin's extrinsic immunity.
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One of the major mechanisms behind apigenin's effects is its anti-inflammatory abilities. In a study, rats that were treated with apigenin while being exposed to toxins had reduced inflammatory responses. Additionally, studies have found that apigenin can inhibit inflammation in the colon by blocking inflammatory signaling pathways.
Furthermore, apigenin has anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic qualities. This means it can help with liver, scalp, lung, and skin fibrosis. In other words, apigenin’s anti-fibrotic effects make it a therapeutic substance for reversing skin scarring and scalp fibrosis associated with baldness. 5, 6, 7
The ways in which apigenin reduces inflammation are due to its ability to suppress the release of various inflammatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), Th1 cytokines interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2), amongst others.
Apigenin helps to treat cancer in a few ways. First, apigenin is a COX-2 inhibitor. COX-2 is an inflammatory mediator and enzyme that attributes to tumor formation. In study, apigenin was able to decrease tumor formation by blocking COX-2. 8
Apigenin also blocks GLUT-1, a protein which tends to be elevated in head and neck cancers. 9 It also inhibits the expression of FAK and ERK, two other cancer-causing enzymes. 10
Apigenin also has an androgenic effect, assisting the body in producing protective androgens that keep estrogen, cortisol, and other stress chemicals in check. 11
Additionally, various studies have concluded that apigenin can suppress tumor growth in breast and liver cancer cells. It prevents colorectal cancer cell growth, invasion, and migration while having an apoptosis effect, inducing cancer cell death and preventing cell cycle progression. 12, 13, 14
Apigenin's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can help with hair loss as well. Ultimately, hair loss (especially baldness), is stress and inflammatory-related. Both of these are problems apigenin is known to handle effectively. Oxidative stress and inflammation lead to fibrosis of the scalp, which gives rise to the shiny scalp appearance and injured hair follicles, incapable of normal growth.
In other words, oxidative stress and inflammation have a major inhibitory effect on proper hair follicle function. However, apigenin's anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant effects can help guard against the harmful effects of inflammation and may even help restore coherence to fibrotic tissue in the scalp. 15
One factor in hair loss is the expression of a gene known as TFG-beta1. Basically, TFG-beta1 has a strong hair follicle inhibitory effect. And according to study, apigenin, which is known to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor properties, stimulates hair growth through downregulation of the TGF-beta1 gene. 16
Where to Get Apigenin?
These are not all the beneficial effects of apigenin, but from our view, some of the most important and helpful for people. If you're interested in reaping the benefits we mentioned here, you have a few options.
First, topical apigenin has proven very beneficial for scalp and skin health. So finding topical agents could be one way to reap these benefits. Additionally, you can also find apigenin most abundant in natural plant sources, herbs, and medicinal mushrooms, as mentioned. Some of the best sources are celery, parsley, guava, agaricus, shiitake, maitake and white Button Mushroom.
Interested in learning more about science-backed natural skincare? Download our e-book below to discover the Natural Path to Perfect Skin.
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