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Open AccessReview

Flavonoids as Anticancer Agents

1
Institute of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
2
Department of Pharmacognosy, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
3
Department of Drug Technology and Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Sukileliu pr. 13, LT-50161 Kaunas, Lithuania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(2), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020457
Received: 29 January 2020 / Revised: 9 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 12 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Flavonoids and Cancer Prevention)
Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds subdivided into 6 groups: isoflavonoids, flavanones, flavanols, flavonols, flavones and anthocyanidins found in a variety of plants. Fruits, vegetables, plant-derived beverages such as green tea, wine and cocoa-based products are the main dietary sources of flavonoids. Flavonoids have been shown to possess a wide variety of anticancer effects: they modulate reactive oxygen species (ROS)-scavenging enzyme activities, participate in arresting the cell cycle, induce apoptosis, autophagy, and suppress cancer cell proliferation and invasiveness. Flavonoids have dual action regarding ROS homeostasis—they act as antioxidants under normal conditions and are potent pro-oxidants in cancer cells triggering the apoptotic pathways and downregulating pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. This article reviews the biochemical properties and bioavailability of flavonoids, their anticancer activity and its mechanisms of action.
Keywords: flavonoids; cancer; ROS; antioxidants; pro-oxidants; mitochondria flavonoids; cancer; ROS; antioxidants; pro-oxidants; mitochondria
MDPI and ACS Style

Kopustinskiene, D.M.; Jakstas, V.; Savickas, A.; Bernatoniene, J. Flavonoids as Anticancer Agents. Nutrients 2020, 12, 457.

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