Antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of cinnamic acid derivatives

Mini Rev Med Chem. 2012 Jul;12(8):749-67. doi: 10.2174/138955712801264792.


Cinnamic acid is an organic acid occurring naturally in plants that has low toxicity and a broad spectrum of biological activities. In the search for novel pharmacologically active compounds, cinnamic acid derivatives are important and promising compounds with high potential for development into drugs. Many cinnamic acid derivatives, especially those with the phenolic hydroxyl group, are well-known antioxidants and are supposed to have several health benefits due to their strong free radical scavenging properties. It is also well known that cinnamic acid has antimicrobial activity. Cinnamic acid derivatives, both isolated from plant material and synthesized, have been reported to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Acids, esters, amides, hydrazides and related derivatives of cinnamic acid with such activities are here reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / chemistry*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Cinnamates / chemistry*
  • Cinnamates / pharmacology*
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Virus Diseases / drug therapy
  • Viruses / drug effects


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Cinnamates
  • cinnamic acid