Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the citrus flavonoids hesperidin and hesperetin: an updated review of their molecular mechanisms and experimental models

Phytother Res. 2015 Mar;29(3):323-31. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5256. Epub 2014 Nov 13.


Inflammation and oxidative stress are two major causes of various life-threatening diseases. Hesperidin (Hsd) and its aglycone, hesperetin (Hst), are two flavonoids from citrus species that have numerous biological properties, particularly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. New findings showed that the antioxidant activity of Hsd/Hst was not only limited to its radical scavenging activity, but it augmented the antioxidant cellular defenses via the ERK/Nrf2 signaling pathway as well. Various in vitro and in vivo studies have been conducted to evaluate Hsd, its metabolites, or its synthetic derivatives at reducing inflammatory targets including NF-κB, iNOS, and COX-2, and the markers of chronic inflammation. In this review, new findings regarding the molecular targets of Hsd and Hst in the reduction of oxidative stress are discussed. Also, in the anti-inflammatory section, we provide a summary of significant investigations concerning the mechanisms of action based on the studied inflammation models.

Keywords: allergy; antioxidant; flavonoid; hesperetin; inflammation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Hesperidin / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • NF-kappa B
  • Hesperidin
  • hesperetin