Lignanamides are natural plant secondary metabolites derived from oxidative coupling mechanism with hydroxycinnamic acid amides as intermediates. These compounds display powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-hyperlipidemic capacities in vitro, cell culture and in vivo studies. With strong potential to be utilized as protective agents against human chronic diseases, these compounds have attracted the interest of researchers. This review aims to discuss current understanding on the sources, classification, biosynthesis of lignanamides in plants, and importantly their biological activity and potential health benefits. The general biosynthesis pathway for lignanamides is comprehensively summarized, though some details in molecular regulation of the coupling process have yet to be elucidated. Lignanamides deserves additional clinical studies involving animal and human subjects, to prove its health benefits.
Keywords: Biological activities; biomass; biosynthesis; health benefits; lignanamides.