Chemopreventive Agents and Inhibitors of Cancer Hallmarks: May Citrus Offer New Perspectives?

Nutrients. 2016 Nov 4;8(11):698. doi: 10.3390/nu8110698.


Fruits and vegetables have long been recognized as potentially important in the prevention of cancer risk. Thus, scientific interest in nutrition and cancer has grown over time, as shown by increasing number of experimental studies about the relationship between diet and cancer development. This review attempts to provide an insight into the anti-cancer effects of Citrus fruits, with a focus on their bioactive compounds, elucidating the main cellular and molecular mechanisms through which they may protect against cancer. Scientific literature was selected for this review with the aim of collecting the relevant experimental evidence for the anti-cancer effects of Citrus fruits and their flavonoids. The findings discussed in this review strongly support their potential as anti-cancer agents, and may represent a scientific basis to develop nutraceuticals, food supplements, or complementary and alternative drugs in a context of a multi-target pharmacological strategy in the oncology.

Keywords: Citrus; cancer; complementary and alternative medicines; flavonoids; functional foods; natural product; nutraceuticals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents*
  • Citrus*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Flavonoids / administration & dosage
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Fruit / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Vegetables


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Flavonoids