C-Glycosyl Flavonoids from Beta vulgaris Cicla and Betalains from Beta vulgaris rubra: Antioxidant, Anticancer and Antiinflammatory Activities-A Review

Phytother Res. 2017 Jun;31(6):871-884. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5819. Epub 2017 May 2.


The green beet (Beta vulgaris var. cicla L.) and red beetroot (B. vulgaris var. rubra L.) contain phytochemicals that have beneficial effects on human health. Specifically, the green beet contains apigenin, vitexin, vitexin-2-O-xyloside and vitexin-2-O-rhamnoside, while the red beetroot is a source of betaxanthins and betacyanins. These phytochemicals show considerable antioxidant activity, as well as antiinflammatory and antiproliferative activities. Vitexin-2-O-xyloside, in combination with betaxanthins and betacyanins, exerts antiproliferative activity in breast, liver, colon and bladder cancer cell lines, through the induction of both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. A significant body of evidence also points to the role of these phytochemicals in the downregulation of the pro-survival genes, baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis repeat-containing 5 and catenin beta-1, as well as the genes controlling angiogenesis, hypoxia inducible factor 1A and vascular endothelial growth factor A. The multi-target action of these phytochemicals enhances their anticancer activity. Vitexin-2-O-xyloside, betaxanthins and betacyanins can be used in combination with conventional anticancer drugs to reduce their toxicity and overcome the multidrug resistance of cancer cells. In this review, we describe the molecular mechanisms that enable these dietary phytochemicals to block the proliferation of tumor cells and inhibit their pro-survival pathways. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: C-glycosyl flavonoids; anticancer; antiinflammatory; antioxidant; betalains; vitexin-2-O-xyloside.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology*
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Apigenin
  • Beta vulgaris / chemistry*
  • Betacyanins
  • Betalains / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Glycosides
  • Humans
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • Antioxidants
  • Betacyanins
  • Flavonoids
  • Glycosides
  • Phytochemicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • vitexin-2-O-rhamnoside
  • vitexin-2-O-xyloside
  • vitexin rhamnoside
  • Betalains
  • Apigenin
  • vitexin