Avoid Free Radicals And More With Vanillin

Vanillin is a phenolic acid that is found in vanilla beans. It is a powerful antioxidant (a substance that can protect your body’s cells from damaging free radicals) which may also have the potential to prevent various health disorders. In this article I will be taking a detailed look at vanillin and its various health benefits.


vanillin crystal

1) DISCOVERY:Awareness of vanilla and vanillin dates back to Aztec times where it was used as a flavouring for chocolate. Vanilla arrived in Europe around 1520 but it was not extracted until over 300 years later. In1858 the French chemist Nicholas-Theodore Gobley became the first person to isolate pure vanillin by evaporating and recrystallizing a vanilla extract. In 1874 the German scientists Ferdinand Tiemann and Wilhelm Haarmann followed up on Gobley’s work and managed to determine the chemical structure for vanillin and also synthesise it.


Vanillin’s main health benefits is as a potent antioxidant which can keep your body’s cells safe from free radicals. These harmful compounds have been linked with an increased risk of cancer (a disease where the deoxyribonucleic acid in your body’s cells become disrupted and causes them to grow in a rapid, out of control way), an increased risk of diabetes (a disease that causes your blood glucose levels to become extremely high), increased visible signs of ageing and a weak immune system. Antioxidants can help you avoid all these nasty effects.

In addition to this, provisional evidence suggests that vanillin may have a role to play in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (a mental disorder which leads to loss of memory, loss of thought and loss of speech), Parkinson’s disease (a degenerative brain disorder that leads to a loss of mobility and a loss of speech), cancer and sickle cell disease (a disease that leads to your body producing sickle shaped blood cells that prevent proper blood flow). However, further evidence is needed before these health benefits can be validated.

free radicals3) FOOD SOURCES:

Vanilla beans are the only natural food source of vanillin and contain around 2 grams (g) of vanilla per 100g. This phenolic acid can also be found in vanilla extract and vanillin supplements but the exact amount found in these products varies by product type.


The research on vanillin and its health benefits is still in the early stages. However, using vanilla as a spice or flavouring agent is safe, offers you antioxidant protection and may potentially keep you safe from a wide range of other health disorders. It is definitely worth adding to your spice rack and could give you a serious health kick.