Comprehensive review on naringenin and naringin polyphenols as a potent anticancer agent

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2022 May;29(21):31025-31041. doi: 10.1007/s11356-022-18754-6. Epub 2022 Feb 4.


Though the incidence of several cancers in Western societies is regulated wisely, some cancers such as breast, lung, and colorectal cancer are currently rising in many low- and middle-income countries due to increased risk factors triggered by societal and development problems. Surgery, chemotherapy, hormone, radiation, and targeted therapies are examples of traditional cancer treatment approaches. However, multiple short- and long-term adverse effects may also significantly affect patient prognosis depending on treatment-associated clinical factors. More and more research has been carried out to find new therapeutic agents in natural products, among which the bioactive compounds derived from plants have been increasingly studied. Naringin and naringenin are abundantly found in citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits. A variety of cell signaling pathways mediates their anti-carcinogenic properties. Naringin and naringenin were also documented to overcome multidrug resistance, one of the major challenges to clinical practice due to multiple defense mechanisms in cancer. The effective parameters underlying the anticancer effects of naringenin and naringin include GSK3β inactivation, suppression of the gene and protein activation of NF-kB and COX-2, JAK2/STAT3 downregulation, downregulation of intracellular adhesion molecules-1, upregulation of Notch1 and tyrocite-specific genes, and activation of p38/MAPK and caspase-3. Thus, this review outlines the potential of naringin and naringenin in managing different types of cancers.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Citrus; Human cancer; Lung cancer; Naringenin; Naringin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Citrus*
  • Flavanones* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms*
  • Polyphenols


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Flavanones
  • Polyphenols
  • naringenin
  • naringin