A review of the genetic effects of naturally occurring flavonoids, anthraquinones and related compounds

Mutat Res. 1980 May;75(3):243-77. doi: 10.1016/0165-1110(80)90029-9.


Two classes of common phenolic plant pigments, the anthraquinones and the flavonols, contain many members mutagenic in the Salmonella/mammalian microsome assay. Several reports on the mutagenicity or other genetic or "carcinogenic" effects of these compounds have appeared in the literature or have been presented at various scientific meetings. The object of this review paper is to assess the present state of knowledge with respect to the genetic toxicity of these agents and their dietary intake and metabolic fate in man. Such information is necessary for formulating an assessment of genetic or carcinogenic risk to man posed by these agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthraquinones / metabolism
  • Anthraquinones / pharmacology*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Carcinogens
  • DNA / genetics
  • Diet
  • Flavonoids / metabolism
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Food Preservatives
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Humans
  • Mutagens*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Anthraquinones
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Carcinogens
  • Flavonoids
  • Food Preservatives
  • Mutagens
  • DNA