Nutritional relevance of flavonoids in disease prevention

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Flavonoids are not essential nutrients in that their absence from the diet does not produce deficiency conditions in animals and man. However, many have important similarities to pharmacological agents used in the treatment of disease. Their role as dietary components in disease prevention is less clear. Many potentially anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic effects observed in cell cultures will not be of nutritional relevance unless flavonoids gain access to appropriate cellular sites. The bloavailability of flavonoids will depend on numerous factors including molecular structure, the amount consumed, the food matrix, degree of bioconversion in the gut and tissues, the nutrient status of the host and genetic factors. Moreover, extensive and rapid intestinal and hepatic metabolism of flavonoids suggests that the body may treat them as xenobiotic and potentially toxic compounds requiring rapid elimination. Consequently, in addition to potential health benefits, possible adverse effects of flavonoids in the diet also need to be considered when assessing their roles in the prevention of degenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1049-1060
Number of pages12
JournalNatural Product Communications
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006


  • flavonoids
  • dietary intakes
  • heart disease
  • cancer
  • disease prevention
  • low-density-lipoprotein
  • coronary-heart-disease
  • potentially anticarcinogenic flavonoids
  • cholsterol-fed rabbits
  • red wine consumption
  • induced DNA-damage
  • dietary flavonoids
  • lipid-peroxidation
  • antioxidant activity
  • plant polyphenols


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