Top 5 Benefits of Onion Extract
The benefits of onion extract have not only been associated with dietary supplements but also with the food, medicine, cosmetic, and personal care industry as well. Onions are grown and eaten as a vegetable worldwide. It’s also often considered a weaker version of garlic and has been used in medicine since ancient times. The extract derived from onions has been associated with several health benefits ranging from increased bone density to improved cardiovascular health to better insulin resistance. But how does it work? Keep reading to learn more.
This article will explore the top 5 benefits of onion extract supplements along with important safety precautions. But before we get into how onion extract can benefit human health, we’ll need to learn what onions are and what nutritional value they have. So, let’s get started.
What are onions?
Onions refer to the plants botanically known as Allium cepa which is a part of the lily family related to garlic, leeks, and shallots. It has a stem and an underground bulb which is considered one of the most widely consumed vegetables in the world. Onions are used to prepare a wide variety of delicious dishes, whether eaten raw, baked, boiled, steamed, or cooked with other ingredients.
Onions have been found to have a varying range of phytochemical (plant chemical) compounds that are known to be highly beneficial for human health. It’s why onions are valued in medicine for centuries. Today, to reap most of its potential benefits, onion extract is widely used in supplements, medicines, and cosmetics. Let’s take a quick look at what nutritional value onions have:
Nutritional value of onion extract
Onions are densely packed with plant nutrients, especially vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and sulphuric components, all of which are considered super-healthy for humans. A major antioxidant flavonoid in onions, quercetin, plays a crucial role in maintaining good health.
Key minerals found in onions include calcium, potassium, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and sodium, just to name a few. Potassium is a mineral that most people get a shortage of, while it’s essential for many bodily functions such as muscle contraction, nerve transmission, fluid balance, and proper cellular function.
Onions are also a good source of B vitamins such as vitamin B6 and folate, which play an important role in maintaining nerve function, metabolism, and the production of red blood cells. In essence, onions and the compounds it contains have tremendous potential to benefit human health in a range of different ways.
Top 5 benefits of onion extract supplements
Onion extract and the organic compounds it contains have been shown to possess many different pharmacological properties that can benefit human health in a number of ways. It has proven antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antibacterial, and antiseptic benefits. Here are some common ways onion extract benefits human health:
Onion extract increases the body’s antioxidant status
Onion extract is rich in plant compounds, particularly flavonoids and sulfur-containing components, which have been shown to have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Antioxidants are vital for protecting cells, tissues, and even organs, from oxidative damage caused by unstable oxygen-containing molecules called free radicals. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting the body against serious chronic conditions.
Onion extract may support cardiovascular health
Onion extract may improve and protect the functionality of the heart and blood vessels in various ways. Multiple clinical studies have shown that onion extract has the ability to lower blood lipid levels, reduce blood pressure, decrease platelet aggregation, and increase fibrinolysis, a natural bodily process in which blood clots are broken down and prevented further complications.
According to a 2014 randomized controlled clinical study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research, regular consumption of onions significantly lowered bad cholesterol in obese and overweight women with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) .
Onion extract may support digestion and immunity
Onions are loaded with dietary fibers, particularly the non-digestible type. Healthy bacteria present in the human gut (gut microbiota) produce a subset of fatty acids called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) during the fermentation of undigested or partially digested fiber content in the colon.
Research suggests that SCFAs act as major players in maintaining the integrity of gut health and supporting digestion and immunity, which are vital for the maintenance of overall health and preventing the development of disease .
Onion extract may support bone health
Regular intake of onions has been linked to improved bone density. Researchers assume this might result from the exceptional antioxidant properties, effectively reducing oxidative stress and suppressing age-related bone loss.
A 2016 randomized controlled trial showed that onion juice supplementation improved bone mineral density (BMD) and reduced bone loss in middle-aged women .
Onion extract may provide antibacterial support
Onion and the active compounds it contains, especially quercetin, phenolics, and other flavonoids have been found to have significant antibacterial properties. Studies suggest that the antibacterial activities of onions are effective in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The antibacterial properties of onions have been found to increase with age, the more aged the onions are, the more potent they become against bacteria .
How to use onion extract supplements
Various supplementary forms are available out there in the market including onion bulb extract, onion peel extract, onion juice, and onion dry powder. Doses are individual and vary from person to person depending on personal health goals and needs.
However, a dosage range of 500 mg to 1000 mg of standardized onion extract per day is most often recommended by clinicians. Work with a qualified naturopath to find out your best dose.
Side effects and precautions
Onion extract seems to be likely safe for most people. Though rare, some people may have sensitivity to onions and find it difficult to tolerate them in their digestive system. As a result, they may have digestive issues like bloating and heartburn.
Besides, onion extract may slow blood clotting and interfere with blood sugar control. Therefore, it’s highly recommended to consult with a qualified herbalist or naturopath prior to adding onion supplements into your daily diet regimen, especially if you’re on medications, pregnant, or nursing mom.
Onion extract contains diverse active compounds that have several medicinal properties. Adding onion extract supplements into a diet regimen may provide a number of health benefits such as increased antioxidant status, improved cardiovascular health, increased bone density, and better gut and immune response, just to name a few. Consider working with a qualified herbalist or naturopath to benefit your overall health with onion extract.