The antioxidant and antigenotoxic properties of citrus phenolics limonene and naringin

Food Chem Toxicol. 2015 Jul:81:160-170. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2015.04.015. Epub 2015 Apr 17.


Phenolic compounds not only contribute to the sensory qualities of fruits and vegetables but also exhibit several health protective properties. Limonene and naringin are the most popular phenolics found in Citrus plants. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant capacities of limonene and naringin by the trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assay and the cytotoxic effects by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay in Chinese hamster fibroblast (V79) cells. The genotoxic potentials of limonene and naringin were evaluated by micronucleus (MN) and alkaline COMET assays in human lymphocytes and V79 cells. Limonene and naringin, were found to have antioxidant activities at concentrations of 2-2000 µM and 5-2000 µM respectively. IC50 values of limonene and naringin were found to be 1265 µM and 9026 µM, respectively. Limonene at the concentrations below 10,000 µM and naringin at the all concentrations studied, have not exerted genotoxic effects in lymphocytes and in V79 cells. Limonene and naringin at all concentrations revealed a reduction in the frequency of MN and DNA damage induced by H2O2.

Keywords: COMET; Limonene; MTT; Micronucleus; Naringin; Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Comet Assay
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclohexenes / pharmacology*
  • DNA Damage / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / toxicity
  • Limonene
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Phenols / pharmacology*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cyclohexenes
  • Flavanones
  • Phenols
  • Terpenes
  • Limonene
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • naringin