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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10(11), 5002-5019; doi:10.3390/ijms10115002
Review

Methylation of Dietary Flavones Increases Their Metabolic Stability and Chemopreventive Effects

Department of Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA
Received: 30 October 2009 / Accepted: 16 November 2009 / Published: 18 November 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenolics and Polyphenolics)
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Abstract

Dietary flavones have promising chemoprotective properties, in particular with regard to cancer, but problems with low oral bioavailability and sometimes unacceptable toxicity have made their use as protective additives to normal diets questionable. However, methylation of free phenolic hydroxyl groups leads to derivatives not susceptible to glucuronic acid or sulfate conjugation, resulting in increased metabolic stability. Methylation also leads to greatly improved transport through biological membranes, such as in intestinal absorption, and much increased oral bioavailability. Recent studies also indicate that methylation results in derivatives with increasing potency to kill cancer cells. They also show high potency towards inhibition of hormone-regulating enzymes, e.g., aromatase, important in the causation of breast cancer. Methylation of the flavones may also result in derivatives with diminished toxic side-effects and improved aqueous solubility. In conclusion, it appears that methylation of dietary flavones as well as of other food products may produce derivatives with much improved health effects.
Keywords: flavonoids; methylation; methoxyflavones; cancer prevention flavonoids; methylation; methoxyflavones; cancer prevention
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Walle, T. Methylation of Dietary Flavones Increases Their Metabolic Stability and Chemopreventive Effects. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2009, 10, 5002-5019.

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