Citrus flavanones: what is their role in cardiovascular protection?

J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Sep 12;60(36):8809-22. doi: 10.1021/jf300669s. Epub 2012 Jun 1.


Flavanones, including hesperidin and naringin, are polyphenolic compounds highly and almost exclusively present in citrus. Epidemiological studies reported an inverse relationship between their intake and the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Clinical and experimental data further showed their antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, insulin-sensitizing, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory properties, which could explain their antiatherogenic action in animal models. Although flavanones may be promising compounds that are particularly active in cardiovascular disease prevention, clinical data are still scarce and most in vitro data have been obtained under nonphysiologically relevant conditions. Moreover, the mechanisms responsible for flavanone action are not fully elucidated. Therefore, further research is needed to better evaluate and understand the protective effects of flavanones in cardiovascular diseases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • Flavanones
  • Plant Extracts
  • flavanone