When researching the hottest longevity supplements, you may come across one called apigenin.
Countless health foods contain trace amounts of this promising molecule.
Could apigenin be a missing link?
Consuming apigenin is associated with:
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved blood glucose
- Healthier heart
- Longer healthspan
But here’s the thing…
Most apigenin supplements don’t work. You excrete them long before the molecule can exert health benefits.
Today’s article will cover the best apigenin supplements with high bioavailability, how it works, and natural food sources.
The Top Bioavailable Apigenin Products
Like other promising bioflavonoid longevity supplements, you won’t actually absorb enough apigenin to make a difference. Your stomach acid and digestive process destroy the delicate molecule before they can improve your wellbeing and extend your healthspan.
As several studies have put it,
“Due to apigenin's limitations on absorption and bioavailability, novel carriers would need to be developed to enhance the oral bioavailability of apigenin”Pharmacokinetic properties and drug interactions of apigenin, a natural flavone
Liposomal encapsulation technology overcomes this very barrier. Liposomes may unlock the well-researched benefits for humans.
Yet today, very few companies make maximum-absorption formulas.
You couldn’t buy a single apigenin supplement on Amazon until 2022.
So if you’re wondering where to buy apigenin, these are your best options.
Renue by Science LIPO Apigenin
Dosage: 35mg liposomal apigenin
Other Ingredients: none
Lab Verified: yes
Serving Cost: $0.56
Manufactured In: USA
Renue by Science (previously Alive by Science) has proven itself over and over again as the world's top source for supplements with maximal bioavailability. Their liposomes have the smallest particle size possible to ensure that you absorb as much as possible.
After production in a cGMP-Certified facility, their liposomal apigenin undergoes rigorous third-party lab testing for both safety and purity.
Since it's a potent liposomal formula, I like that they used a lower apigenin dose. Your body absorbs it slowly over time. Biomimmicking an amount just a tad above what you'd receive from a healthy apigenin-food rich diet. This also minimizes the potential downsides of supplementation.
Renue by Science's liposomal apigenin is the best overall, to maximize benefits while minimizing side effects.
Use the exclusive code URBAN for 10% off
Codeage Liposomal Apigenin
Dosage: 50mg liposomal apigenin
Other Ingredients: none
Lab Verified: no
Serving Cost: $0.33
Manufactured In: USA?
The only other major supplement manufacturer selling apigenin is Codeage. I generally like Codeage's products but quality-wise, but they're a step below Renue.
Codeage started offering this product recently, in November of 2021. Their apigenin comes from Matricaria chamomile extract. Each capsule contains 50mg of liposomal apigenin, which is about the upper limit of what I'd consider supplementing.
They claim to produce the supplement in the USA, but I could not confirm where they source their raw ingredients. If you want proof of their lab testing, you'll have to email their support team.
Overall, Codeage's apigenin is good value but we do not know the efficacy of their liposomal technology.
Cenffitio Liposomal Apigenin
Dosage: 500mg liposomal apigenin
Other Ingredients: 200mg fisetin, 100mg quercetin, 100mg theaflavins, 100mg phosphatidylcholine
Lab Verified: no
Servings: 60 – 240
Serving Cost: $0.37 – $0.43
Manufactured In: China
At the time of this research, the only other primary manufacturer of liposomal apigenin is a company called Cenffitio.
Each soft gel contains a total dose of 1,000mg of powder. If you don't do well with large pills, you'll want something else.
This is the only product that contains other powerful longevity ingredients. Including fisetin, quercetin, and theaflavins. They formulated the supplement as a senolytic activator.
I have several issues with Cenffitio's apigenin complex. First, we have no idea how effective their liposomes are. Second, the senolytics included are not liposomal (and thus won't absorb well). Lastly, they claim to make the products in the USA. But if you follow the paper trail, it appears that the ingredients come from China.
If you're looking for a longevity stack containing liposomal apigenin and other synergistic ingredients, and don't mind that the company engages in false advertising, look into Cenffitio.
What is Apigenin
Apigenin is a bioactive flavone (a subset of polyphenols) that occurs naturally in plants and other foods. Research has discovered notable antioxidant, anti-microbial, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, detoxification, immune health, and cognitive benefits.
A primary way apigenin is thought to work is by inhibiting an enzyme called CD38. Which, in turn, boosts NAD+ levels leading to increased youthfulness, lifespan, and healthspan.
You can get appreciable amounts by eating loads of plants and the following foods.
Natural sources of apigenin
A wide variety of plants, herbs, and other commonly consumed ingredients contain apigenin.
The foods highest in apigenin include:
- Wheat sprouts
- Seasonings (oregano, rosemary, basil, cloves, thyme, corriander, tarragon, cilantro)
- Licorice root
- Lemon balm
Additionally, you can get some in red wine, beer, and as an active ingredient in Gingko Biloba supplements.
I personally consume many of the above foods, and add extra parsley to my smoothies for extra apigenin.
Health benefits of apigenin
Apigenin, like many of the other flavonoids, shows tremendous potential with one glaring issue.
Humans eliminate the molecule before it can exert the benefits found in research.
For this reason, most of the studies have been on animals and/or on chamomile drinks (a natural source) standardized to specific apigenin levels.
Another powerful option is to use bioavailable apigenin supplements.
It’s primarily used for increasing lifespan. Protecting the body against degeneration and disease.
Best summarized here,
“[A] wide range of pharmacological activity including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, brain protective, anti-diabetic, analgesic, spasmolytic, immunosuppressant, anti-platelet, gastroprotective, cytoprotective, laxative, estrogenic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial and antifungal activities have been exhibited for this plant in modern medicine”A Review of Nutrients to Extend Healthspan and Avoid Cancer by Reducing the Amount of Protein Misfolding, Free Radicals, and Calcification
Apigenin helps the cardiovascular system in various ways.
The heart is rich in energy-producing mitochondria. Its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal to protect these “cellular power plants”.
According to a 2017 study, apigenin also reduces “…the level of blood fat by promoting cholesterol absorption and conversion, and accelerating reverse cholesterol transport. Apigenin also has a role in resisting oxidization and protecting blood vessels.”
Like other flavonoids, apigenin shows promising anti-cancer effects.
This small 2008 trial found that it significantly reduced the recurrence of colon cancer.
Another study showed that apigenin blocked tumor growth and induced apoptotic (“suicide”) in cancer cells.
Apigenin boosts levels of antioxidants involved in cellular detoxification.
These include “catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione (GSH)”.
As this research puts it, “Laboratory studies have demonstrated that apigenin promotes metal chelation, scavenges free radicals, and stimulates phase II detoxification enzymes in cell culture and in in vivo tumor models”.
The better the detox pathways work, the more effectively the body rids itself of toxicants.
Enhanced mood may seem like a strange benefit of a bioflavinoid, but early research is promising.
This paper sums it up nicely (emphasis mine),
“Apigenin possesses anxiolytic effects by acting as a benzodiazepine ligand, and has no muscle relaxant or sedative effects at normal dosages (3-10mg/kg bodyweight) but sedation was observed at 3 and 10-fold said dose.(30-100mg/kg bodyweight)”Apigenin, a component of Matricaria recutita flowers, is a central benzodiazepine receptors-ligand with anxiolytic effects
Meaning that it works like Xanax but without muscle relaxation or sedation in normal doses. Other research found that chamomile (rich in apigenin), exerts “clinically meaningful” antidepressant effects.
Another trial found that chamomile extract has anti-anxiety effects in patients with generalized anxiety disorder.
Apigenin appears to have mild anxiety and depressing-reducing effects.
Chamomile is well-known to promote quality sleep.
Indeed, papers suggest that apigenin specifically improves multiple parameters of sleep quality.
2020 research shows that few other flavonoids provide the same sleep benefits,
“When individual compounds were taken into consideration, an association with sleep quality was observed for naringenin and apigenin among flavonoids”Specific Dietary (Poly)phenols Are Associated with Sleep Quality in a Cohort of Italian Adults
Chamomile, and apigenin in particular, gently calm the brain for relaxation and sleep.
Apigenin has neuroprotective benefits.
These benefits stem from its ability to protect the mitochondria-dense brain. Apigenin prevents mitochondrial toxicity from accumulating too much calcium (which becomes toxic to the cell).
Apigenin also protects the brain against neurodegenerative conditions and actively restores growth pathways.
It appears to reduce neuroinflammation and protect the blood-brain barrier.
If I sustained a TBI/concussion, I would consider supplementing apigenin.
Apigenin shifts the cellular energy balance towards autophagy (also called “cellular recycling”).
It does this by activating AMPK and suppressing mTOR. Apigenin also inhibits cellular replication.
Another paper found that it activates both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways.
Apigenin could nicely complement a cellular senescence/fasting protocol.
Stabilizes blood sugar
Limited evidence suggests that apigenin may help regulate blood glucose.
Apigenin improves the metabolism of glucose and fat.
One study showed that apigenin has anti-diabetic effects, likely by allowing more glucose to enter cells for use (rather than being stored as fat).
It also restores glucose tolerance so that the body can better process sugar.
Apigenin helps the body better process sugar instead of storing it as fat.
One of the better-known effects of apigenin is its potent anti-inflammatory actions.
Back in 1999, scientists detailed a few of the known mechanisms:
- COX-2 inhibition
- iNOS inhibition
- IkB kinase inhibition
Apigenin also decreases inflammatory cytokines and the IgE immune response.
It also might help prevent allergies.
Similar to chamomile, apigenin improves resilience against stress.
One study found that a dose of apigenin decreased the stress hormone cortisol by 47.5 percent.
NAD boosters have become a household name recently.
Yet few people realize use strategies to slow the breakdown of NAD+.
One enzyme responsible for breaking down NAD is called CD38.
Apigenin increases activity of the enzyme CD38, which boosts NAD+ levels. Resulting in more youthful energy, without any additional calorie consumption.
Apigenin also protects energy-generating mitochondria.
Many of the flavinoids have become famous for their healthspan-increasing effects.
In 2019, scientists discovered the pathway dietary restriction increases lifespan.
It does this by reducing how often the body misfolds proteins. Apigenin mimics the effects of calorie restriction.
Scientists often use worms to study longevity. In one such study, apigenin activated genes related to anti-aging. These apigenin-treated worms lived with higher-quality of life and greater stress resilience.
One of apigenin's hypothesized mechanisms is protecting the integrity of genes.
Should You Supplement Apigenin?
Apigenin is a powerful bioflavinoid present in produce and other health foods.
As with others in this class, it suffers from the same low-bioavailability problem. You'll metabolize and excrete most supplements before you have the chance to absorb anything.
Liposomal apigenin, however, drastically increases absorption so that it can produce many of the exciting benefits.
Yet few companies currently offer it.
It's not one of the first longevity supplements I'd consider. If you're new, you can either get a pre-made formula, or start with ingredients like:
Nonetheless, high-quality apigenin can make a great addition to a longevity stack.
At least eat a diet rich in apigenin foods.
Do you take apigenin? Let me know your experience in the comments below.