Flavanones: Citrus phytochemical with health-promoting properties

Biofactors. 2017 Jul 8;43(4):495-506. doi: 10.1002/biof.1363. Epub 2017 May 12.


Citrus fruit and juices represent one of the main sources of compounds with a high potential for health promoting properties. Among these compounds, flavanones (such as hesperetin, naringenin, eriodictyol, isosakuranetin, and their respective glycosides), which occur in quantities ranging from ∼180 to 740 mg/L (depending on the Citrus species and cultivar) are responsible for many biological activities. These compounds support and enhance the body's defenses against oxidative stress and help the organism in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Moreover, among other properties, they also show anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial activities. This review analyzes the biochemistry, pharmacology, and biology of Citrus flavanones, emphasizing the occurrence in Citrus fruits and juices and their bioavailability, structure-function correlations and ability to modulate signal cascades both in vitro and in vivo. © 2017 BioFactors, 43(4):495-506, 2017.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory activity; anticholesterolemic activity; biosynthesis and metabolism; degenerative diseases; flavanones; health promoting properties.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / chemistry
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Citrus / chemistry*
  • Flavanones / chemistry
  • Flavanones / pharmacology*
  • Flavonoids / chemistry
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology
  • Hesperidin / chemistry
  • Hesperidin / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects


  • Antioxidants
  • Flavanones
  • Flavonoids
  • Hesperidin
  • naringenin
  • eriodictyol
  • hesperetin
  • isosakuranetin