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J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6185-205. doi: 10.1021/jf8006568. Epub 2008 Jul 2.

Update on uses and properties of citrus flavonoids: new findings in anticancer, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory activity.

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  • 1Research and Development Department of Nutrafur-Furfural Español S.A., Camino Viejo de Pliego s/n, 80320 Alcantarilla, Murcia, Spain. laboratorio@nutrafur.com

Abstract

Significantly, much of the activity of Citrus flavonoids appears to impact blood and microvascular endothelial cells, and it is not surprising that the two main areas of research on the biological actions of Citrus flavonoids have been inflammation and cancer. Epidemiological and animal studies point to a possible protective effect of flavonoids against cardiovascular diseases and some types of cancer. Although flavonoids have been studied for about 50 years, the cellular mechanisms involved in their biological action are still not completely known. Many of the pharmacological properties of Citrus flavonoids can be linked to the abilities of these compounds to inhibit enzymes involved in cell activation. Attempts to control cancer involve a variety of means, including the use of suppressing, blocking, and transforming agents. Suppressing agents prevent the formation of new cancers from procarcinogens, and blocking agents prevent carcinogenic compounds from reaching critical initiation sites, while transformation agents act to facilitate the metabolism of carcinogenic components into less toxic materials or prevent their biological actions. Flavonoids can act as all three types of agent. Many epidemiological studies have shown that regular flavonoid intake is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. In coronary heart disease, the protective effects of flavonoids include mainly antithrombotic, anti-ischemic, anti-oxidant, and vasorelaxant. It is suggested that flavonoids decrease the risk of coronary heart disease by three major actions: improving coronary vasodilatation, decreasing the ability of platelets in the blood to clot, and preventing low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) from oxidizing. The anti-inflammatory properties of the Citrus flavonoids have also been studied. Several key studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory properties of Citrus flavonoids are due to its inhibition of the synthesis and biological activities of different pro-inflammatory mediators, mainly the arachidonic acid derivatives, prostaglandins E 2, F 2, and thromboxane A 2. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Citrus flavonoids can play a key role in their activity against several degenerative diseases and particularly brain diseases. The most abundant Citrus flavonoids are flavanones, such as hesperidin, naringin, or neohesperidin. However, generally, the flavones, such as diosmin, apigenin, or luteolin, exhibit higher biological activity, even though they occur in much lower concentrations. Diosmin and rutin have a demonstrated activity as a venotonic agent and are present in several pharmaceutical products. Apigenin and their glucosides have been shown a good anti-inflammatory activity without the side effects of other anti-inflammatory products. In this paper, we discuss the relation between each structural factor of Citrus flavonoids and the anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection activity of Citrus flavonoids and their role in degenerative diseases.

PMID:
18593176
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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