The term varicose vein refers to the twisted and swollen vein visible under the skin surface which occurs most commonly in the leg. Epidemiological studies report a varying percentage of incidences from 2 to 56% in men and <1-60% in women. Venous insufficiency is most often caused by the damage to the valves and walls of the veins. The mechanism of varicose vein formation is complex. It is, however, based on hypotensive blood vessels, hypoxia, and other mechanisms associated with inflammation. This work describes mechanisms related to the formation and development of the varicose vein. It discusses risk factors, pathogenesis of chronic venous disease, markers of the epithelial and leukocyte activation, state of hypoxia and inflammation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and oxidative stress. Additionally, this paper describes substances of plant origin used in the treatment of venous insufficiency. It also considers the structure of the molecules, their properties, and their mechanisms of action, the structure-activity relationship and chemical properties of flavonoids and other substances. The flavonoids include quercetin derivatives, micronized purified flavonoid fraction (Daflon), natural pine bark extract (Pycnogenol), and others such as triterpene saponine, extracts from Ruscus aculeatus and Centella asiatica, Ginkgo biloba extract, coumarin dereivatives that are used in chronic venous insufficiency. Flavonoids are natural substances found in plants, including fruits, vegetables, flowers, and others. They are important to the circulatory system and critical to blood vessels and the blood flow. Additionally, they have antioxidant, antiinflammatory properties.
Keywords: Bioavailability; Flavonoids; Oxidative stress; Plant polyphenols; Saponins; Venous insufficiency.
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