Onion: nature protection against physiological threats

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015;55(1):50-66. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.646364.


Onion (Allium cepa L.) is found in various regions of Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa. It is one of the classic examples of Allium species used not only for culinary preparations but also for medicinal purposes. Onion with a variety of purposes is often used as a raw material in many dishes and accepts almost all of the traditions and culture. Owing to its storage characteristics and durability of shipping, onions have been traded more widely than most vegetables. The pungent fractions of garlic are mostly sulfur-containing moieties while its two chemical groups have marked effect on human health. These are flavonoids and ALK (EN)-based cysteine sulfoxides (ACSOs). Compounds in onions have been reported with a range of health benefits, including anticancer properties, antiplatelet activity, antithrombotic activity, antiasthmatic activity, and antibiotic effects.

Keywords: Allium cepa; functional benefits; health promoting potential; nutritional benefits; physicochemical characteristics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Food Analysis
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Onions / chemistry*
  • Plants, Medicinal*
  • Sulfoxides / chemistry


  • Flavonoids
  • Sulfoxides