Hesperidin methyl chalcone (HMC) is a methylated derivative of the flavonoid compound hesperidin. It is found in several fruits, particularly citrus fruits, the majority of which are grown in Spain.
The compound takes the form of a pale yellow, slightly bitter, water-soluble powder. It is widely-used in Japan, as well as in Europe both as a nutritional supplement and an ingredient in cosmetics. It is also available in pharmacies, mainly in combination with other plants such as butcher’s broom, for treating circulation problems. Unlike hesperidin itself, HMC is easily solubilised, facilitating its absorption in the gastrointestinal tract.
Benefits for circulation
• Like all flavonoids, HMC is a powerful antioxidant, and is thus excellent for optimising eye health and protecting the cardiovascular system from oxidative attack. Its main activity, widely-supported by clinical studies, lies in maintaining blood vessel integrity and strengthening the capillary network. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of healthy volunteers showed that HMC acts on circulation and vein thrombosis by reducing capillary filtration levels and increasing blood volume. Other research has shown a general improvement in circulation, and decreases in viscosity and swelling of the legs. Together, these properties contribute to cardiovascular health protection, even if the effect is not specific to the components of HMC.
Powerful synergy with other natural products
• A number of compounds act synergistically with HMC, significantly boosting the effects mentioned above. Of particular note here is butcher’s broom (Ruscus aculeatus), as well as vitamin C. Similarly, at a conference in San Diego in August 2016, scientists reported considerable progress from combining HMC with DHA (one of the three omega-3 fatty acids the body needs to function properly), and with 90% caffeine-free green tea extract, luteolin and apigenin. This was in the context of evaluating how neurogenesis occurs, the process by which functional neurons are generated from neural stem cells. In other words, the researchers found that these combinations are likely to result in the creation of new brain cells.
Recognised use in the pharmaceutical industry
• With a long history of popular use in Asia, hesperidin methyl chalcone has now made a ‘grand entrance’ in Europe. Drawing on the many studies conducted on the compound, hesperidin has been formulated into venotropic drugs and nutritional supplements aimed at improving the circulation and combatting certain venous disorders. In a short space of time, hesperidin has come to be seen as an effective treatment for symptoms of venous insufficiency, such as cramps or ‘heavy legs’. It is used in certain drugs as an effective solution to haemorrhoids, particularly in reducing incidence of attacks. In addition to its pharmaceutical use, hesperidin has also proved of interest to the cosmetics industry. This is primarily because of its antioxidant potency which may combat free radical damage, prevent the effects of oxidative stress, and thus delay cellular ageing. As it helps improve the circulation, hesperidin has also been suggested as a skincare ingredient, aimed at easing the sensation of heavy, tired legs and making them feel lighter and more toned.
These latter developments suggest that HMC may also play a key role in approaches to age-related disorders – in preventing or even treating them. But it is really the compound’s overall effects, particularly those related to general circulatory problems, which make such a strong case for supplementing with this very safe product - ideally at a dose of 500-1000mg/day for 2-3 months.
Adults. Take two capsules a day, one in the morning and one in the evening.
Each capsule contains 500mg of extract of Citrus aurentium standardised to 98% hesperidin methyl chalcone.