Naringenin: A potential flavonoid phytochemical for cancer therapy

Life Sci. 2022 Sep 15:305:120752. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120752. Epub 2022 Jun 29.


Naringenin is an important phytochemical which belongs to the flavanone group of polyphenols, and is found mainly in citrus fruits like grapefruits and others such as tomatoes and cherries plus medicinal plants derived food. Available evidence demonstrates that naringenin, as herbal medicine, has important pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, neuroprotective, hepatoprotective, and anti-cancer activities. Collected data from in vitro and in vivo studies show the inactivation of carcinogens after treatment with pure naringenin, naringenin-loaded nanoparticles, and also naringenin in combination with anti-cancer agents in various malignancies, such as colon cancer, lung neoplasms, breast cancer, leukemia and lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate tumors, oral squamous cell carcinoma, liver cancer, brain tumors, skin cancer, cervical and ovarian cancer, bladder neoplasms, gastric cancer, and osteosarcoma. Naringenin inhibits cancer progression through multiple mechanisms, like apoptosis induction, cell cycle arrest, angiogenesis hindrance, and modification of various signaling pathways including Wnt/β-catenin, PI3K/Akt, NF-ĸB, and TGF-β pathways. In this review, we demonstrate that naringenin is a natural product with potential for the treatment of different types of cancer, whether it is used alone, in combination with other agents, or in the form of the naringenin-loaded nanocarrier, after proper technological encapsulation.

Keywords: Cancer therapy; Nanomedicine; Naringenin; Phytochemicals; Polyphenols; Tumor.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / drug therapy
  • Flavanones* / pharmacology
  • Flavanones* / therapeutic use
  • Flavonoids
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mouth Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phytochemicals / pharmacology
  • Phytochemicals / therapeutic use


  • Flavanones
  • Flavonoids
  • Phytochemicals
  • naringenin