Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) comprised of two disorders of idiopathic
chronic intestinal inflammation that affect about three million people worldwide: Crohn’s disease
and ulcerative colitis. Nowadays, the first-line of treatment for patients with mild to
moderate symptoms of IBD is comprised of corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antibiotics,
and biological agents. Unfortunately, none of these drugs are curative, and their long-term use
may cause severe side effects and complications. Almost 40% of IBD patients use alternative
therapies to complement the conventional one, and flavonoids are gaining attention for this
purpose. The biological properties of flavonoids are well documented and their antioxidant
and anti-inflammatory activities have been arousing attention in the scientific community.
Flavonoids are the most widely distributed polyphenols in plants and fruits, making part of
the human diet. Taking into account that all ingested flavonoids are expected to exert biological
actions at the gastrointestinal level, research on the modulatory effect of these compounds
in IBD is of paramount importance. This review intends to summarize, in an integrated and
comprehensive form, the effect of flavonoids, both in vitro and in vivo, in the different phases
of the characteristic IBD inflammatory network.
Keywords: Flavonoids, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, experimental
in vivo models, nutraceuticals.
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