Chemisty Research Journal

A Peer Review International Journal

Flavonoids: The Bioactive Phytochemical Agent–A Review

Abstract Plant, being the major source of medicine is fundamental to the well being of mankind. Today, approximately 80% of world’s population relies on plants-based medicines as their primary source of medications. Therefore, it is evident that “there is a plant for every disease condition on every continent”. Being a bioactive natural products, phytochemicals [fight-o-chemicals] fight to protect ones health through numerous mechanisms including the antioxidants properties. Phenolic is one of the major and important groups of phytochemicals known amongst the alkaloids, carotenoids, nitrogen containing compounds and organo-sulphur compounds. Flavonoids chemically called benzo-γ-pyrone are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom (gymnosperms and angiosperms) and their use in the treatment of many infectious diseases such as cardiotonic, CNS, lipid lowering and hepatoprotective effects; others are anti-ulcer, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant have been related to their polyphenolic nature. The damaging effects of free radicals have been attributed to many ailments including the neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, aging, atherosclerosis, inflammation among others. The exposure route to free radicals had been through: tobacco smoke, alcohol, radiation, excess sunlight, strenuous exercise and high fat or spicy fried foods. The mechanism of action of most flavonoids as potent anti-oxidants had been counteracting the damaging effects of reactive oxygen species in tissues/cells through its scavenging properties, through metal chelation or generating balanced redox reactions. Therefore, it is timely to kick-off the trapped reactive oxygen species by eating natural fruits and vegetables – Natural Phytotherapy.

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