Naringenin is a flavonoid belonging to flavanones subclass. It is widely distributed in several Citrus fruits, bergamot, tomatoes and other fruits, being also found in its glycosides form (mainly naringin). Several biological activities have been ascribed to this phytochemical, among them antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiadipogenic and cardioprotective effects. Nonetheless, most of the data reported have been obtained from in vitro or in vivo studies. Although some clinical studies have also been performed, the main focus is on naringenin bioavailability and cardioprotective action. In addition, these studies were done in compromised patients (i.e., hypercholesterolemic and overweight), with a dosage ranging between 600 and 800 μM/day, whereas the effect on healthy volunteers is still debatable. In fact, naringenin ability to improve endothelial function has been well-established. Indeed, the currently available data are very promising, but further research on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic aspects is encouraged to improve both available production and delivery methods and to achieve feasible naringenin-based clinical formulations.
Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; chemopreventive; citrus; flavanones; flavonoids; nutraceutics; phytochemicals.