Chemopreventive and therapeutic potential of "naringenin," a flavanone present in citrus fruits

Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(1):27-42. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.976320. Epub 2014 Dec 16.


Cancer is one of the major causes of deaths in developed countries and is emerging as a major public health burden in developing countries too. Changes in cancer prevalence patterns have been noticed due to rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles. One of the major concerns is an influence of dietary habits on cancer rates. Approaches to prevent cancer are many and chemoprevention or dietary cancer prevention is one of them. Therefore, nutritional practices are looked at as effective types of dietary cancer prevention strategies. Attention has been given to identifying plant-derived dietary agents, which could be developed as a promising chemotherapeutic with minimal toxic side effects. Naringenin, a phytochemical mainly present in citrus fruits and tomatoes, is a frequent component of the human diet and has gained increasing interest because of its positive health effects not only in cancer prevention but also in noncancer diseases. In the last few years, significant progress has been made in studying the biological effects of naringenin at cellular and molecular levels. This review examines the cancer chemopreventive/therapeutic effects of naringenin in an organ-specific format, evaluating its limitations, and its considerable potential for development as a cancer chemopreventive/therapeutic agent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / analysis
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Citrus / chemistry
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Flavanones / analysis
  • Flavanones / metabolism
  • Flavanones / therapeutic use*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Functional Food / analysis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / diet therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Solanum lycopersicum / chemistry


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • naringenin