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Effect of Flavonoids on Human Health: Old Subjects but New Challenges

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Flavonoids are highly diversified plant pigments that are present in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beverages. They are regularly consumed in the human diet and have various biological activities including anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antiviral properties. The flavonoids maybe one of the safest non-immunogenic drugs because they are small organic compounds which have been normally absorbed by the human body for long time. During the past decades, the patents on their health effects have inflated very much and the yearly number of the patents is on an increasing trend. This review summarizes the current patents on the health effects of various flavonoids, and suggests the possible expectation that a wide variety of diseases are successful treated with newly-developed specific flavonoids or their derivatives in the near future. In recent patents, specific flavonoids were described to function as antioxidants, enzyme inhibitors, hormones, or immune modulators. Moreover, the recent patents also tried to provide the molecular mechanism of the flavonoid compounds on treating or preventing various human diseases. Recent mechanistic studies in molecular level make it possible that specific flavonoids are identified to have a wide range of biological properties that can contribute to the beneficial effects on human health.

Keywords: Polyphenol; anti-cancer; anti-diabetic; anti-oxidant; anti-viral; cardiovascular disease; flavonoids

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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