Phlorizin

While some complementary and alternative techniques have been studied scientifically, high-quality data regarding safety, effectiveness, and mechanism of action are limited or controversial for most therapies. Whenever possible, it is recommended that practitioners be licensed by a recognized professional organization that adheres to clearly published standards. In addition, before starting a new technique or engaging a practitioner, it is recommended that patients speak with their primary healthcare provider(s). Potential benefits, risks (including financial costs), and alternatives should be carefully considered. The below monograph is designed to provide historical background and an overview of clinically-oriented research, and neither advocates for or against the use of a particular therapy.

Related Terms

  • Dihydrochalcone glucoside, dihydrochalkone, flavonoids, gamma-PGA-phloridzin conjugates, glucosides, phenolic glucoside, phloretic acid d-glucose, phloretin, phloretin 2′-glucoside, phloretin 2′-O-beta-D-glucoside, phloretin 2′-O-glucose, phloridzin dihydrate, phlorin, phlorizin (1-[2-(beta-D-glucopyranosyloxy)-4,6-dihydroxyphenyl]-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-propanone), phloroglucinol, phytoestrogens, polyphenols.

Background

  • Phlorizin, also known as phloridzin, is a compound found in several fruit trees, including apple and cherry, and the bark of pear trees.

  • Experts have suggested that phlorizin may block glucose (sugar) absorption from the intestines and increase glucose loss in the urine.

  • Phlorizin and its analogs (similar chemical compounds) are being investigated for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, and stress hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels). At this time, clinical studies investigating effects of phlorizin are lacking.

Scientific Evidence

Uses

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

No available studies qualify for inclusion in the evidence table.

*Key to grades:

Tradition

The below uses are based on tradition or scientific theories. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious and should be evaluated by a qualified health care professional.

  • Cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, diabetes, food additive, obesity.

Dosing

The below doses are based on scientific research, publications, traditional use, or expert opinion. Many herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested, and safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients, even within the same brand. The below doses may not apply to all products. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy.

Adults (18 years and older)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for phlorizin in adults.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • There is no proven safe or effective dose for phlorizin in children.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Avoid in patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to phlorizin.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • There is currently a lack of information on adverse effects associated with phlorizin. Side effects may include overeating. Phlorizin is considered toxic by some experts.

  • Phlorizin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia, and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may need to be monitored by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

  • Use cautiously in patients with eating disorders, due to the potential for overeating.

  • Use cautiously in patients with lipid disorders or in those taking drugs that lower cholesterol.

  • Use cautiously in patients taking cardiovascular agents (drugs for the heart and vascular system).

  • Use cautiously in patients taking drugs for the central nervous system.

  • Use cautiously in patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, due to insufficient safety evidence.

  • Avoid in patients with a known allergy or hypersensitivity to phlorizin.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Use cautiously in patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding, due to insufficient safety evidence. Although it has not been well studied in humans, phlorizin may have negative effects in pregnancy and lactation.

Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

Interactions with Drugs

  • Phlorizin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also lower blood sugar. Patients taking drugs for diabetes by mouth or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.

  • Phlorizin may also interact with acetaminophen, anticancer agents, antivirals, blood cholesterol-lowering agents, butanediol, cardiovascular agents, central nervous system agents, cetrimide, epinephrine, gentamicin, gold thioglucose, glucagon, glycerol, heparin, hormones, hydrocortisone, osteoporosis medications, respiratory agents, skin products, theophylline, and thyroxine.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Phlorizin may lower blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.

  • Phlorizin may also interact with anticancer herbs and supplements, antivirals, antioxidants, blood cholesterol-lowering herbs and supplements, cardiovascular herbs and supplements, central nervous system herbs and supplements, flavonoids, glycocoll, indoleacetic acid, isoflavones, osteoporosis herbs and supplements, respiratory herbs and supplements, skin products, and thujone-containing herbs and supplements.

Author Information

  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  1. Andlauer, W., Kolb, J., and Furst, P. Phloridzin improves absorption of genistin in isolated rat small intestine. Clin.Nutr. 2004;23(5):989-995. View Abstract
  2. Bradford, B. J. and Allen, M. S. Phlorizin induces lipolysis and alters meal patterns in both early- and late-lactation dairy cows. J Dairy Sci. 2007;90(4):1810-1815. View Abstract
  3. Bradford, B. J. and Allen, M. S. Phlorizin administration does not attenuate hypophagia induced by intraruminal propionate infusion in lactating dairy cattle. J Nutr. 2007;137(2):326-330. View Abstract
  4. Bradford, B. J. and Allen, M. S. Phlorizin administration increases hepatic gluconeogenic enzyme mRNA abundance but not feed intake in late-lactation dairy cows. J Nutr. 2005;135(9):2206-2211. View Abstract
  5. Defronzo, R. A. Acute Effect of Phlorizin on Plasma Glucose Levels & Hepatic Glucose. 2001;
  6. Ehrenkranz, J. R., Lewis, N. G., Kahn, C. R., et al. Phlorizin: a review. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2005;21(1):31-38. View Abstract
  7. Freitas, H. S., D’Agord, Schaan B., da Silva, R. S., et al. Insulin but not phlorizin treatment induces a transient increase in GLUT2 gene expression in the kidney of diabetic rats. Nephron Physiol 2007;105(3):42-51. View Abstract
  8. Gromova, L. V. [Influence of phloretin and phloridzin on digestive and adsorptive characteristics of rat small intestine.]. Zh.Evol.Biokhim.Fiziol. 2006;42(4):365-370. View Abstract
  9. Gupte, A. and Buolamwini, J. K. Synthesis and biological evaluation of phloridzin analogs as human concentrative nucleoside transporter 3 (hCNT3) inhibitors. Bioorg.Med Chem Lett. 2-1-2009;19(3):917-921. View Abstract
  10. Ikumi, Y., Kida, T., Sakuma, S., et al. Polymer-phloridzin conjugates as an anti-diabetic drug that inhibits glucose absorption through the Na+/glucose cotransporter (SGLT1) in the small intestine. J Control Release 1-4-2008;125(1):42-49. View Abstract
  11. Masumoto, S., Akimoto, Y., Oike, H., et al. Dietary phloridzin reduces blood glucose levels and reverses Sglt1 expression in the small intestine in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. J Agric.Food Chem 6-10-2009;57(11):4651-4656. View Abstract
  12. Puel, C., Quintin, A., Mathey, J., et al. Prevention of bone loss by phloridzin, an apple polyphenol, in ovariectomized rats under inflammation conditions. Calcif.Tissue Int. 2005;77(5):311-318. View Abstract
  13. Tian, W. X. Inhibition of fatty acid synthase by polyphenols. Curr Med Chem 2006;13(8):967-977. View Abstract
  14. Wang, Q., Qiu, L., Chen, X. R., et al. Inhibitory effects of phloridzin dihydrate on the activity of mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) tyrosinase. Bioorg.Med Chem 2-1-2007;15(3):1568-1571. View Abstract
  15. Zhao, H., Yakar, S., Gavrilova, O., et al. Phloridzin improves hyperglycemia but not hepatic insulin resistance in a transgenic mouse model of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes 2004;53(11):2901-2909. View Abstract

The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.