Chemistry and biological activities of flavonoids: an overview

ScientificWorldJournal. 2013 Dec 29;2013:162750. doi: 10.1155/2013/162750. eCollection 2013.

Abstract

There has been increasing interest in the research on flavonoids from plant sources because of their versatile health benefits reported in various epidemiological studies. Since flavonoids are directly associated with human dietary ingredients and health, there is need to evaluate structure and function relationship. The bioavailability, metabolism, and biological activity of flavonoids depend upon the configuration, total number of hydroxyl groups, and substitution of functional groups about their nuclear structure. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids for humans, along with tea and wine. Most recent researches have focused on the health aspects of flavonoids for humans. Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, while some flavonoids exhibit potential antiviral activities. In plant systems, flavonoids help in combating oxidative stress and act as growth regulators. For pharmaceutical purposes cost-effective bulk production of different types of flavonoids has been made possible with the help of microbial biotechnology. This review highlights the structural features of flavonoids, their beneficial roles in human health, and significance in plants as well as their microbial production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Infective Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Infective Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / chemistry*
  • Flavonoids / metabolism*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal / metabolism
  • Yeasts / metabolism

Substances

  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavonoids