Flavonoids, found in a wide diversity of plant foods from fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, essential oils, and beverages, have the most potential of dietary components for promotion of bone health beyond calcium and vitamin D. Recent epidemiological studies show flavonoid consumption to have a stronger association with bone than general fruit and vegetable consumption. Bioactive flavonoids are being assessed for properties beyond their chemical antioxidant capacity, including anti-inflammatory actions. Some have been reported to enhance bone formation and to inhibit bone resorption through their action on cell signaling pathways that influence osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation. Future research is needed to determine which of the flavonoids and their metabolites are most effective and at what dose, as well as the mechanism of modulating cellular events, in order to set priorities for clinical trials.
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