Flavonoids are a group of naturally occurring phytochemicals abundantly present in fruits, vegetables, and beverages such as wine and tea. In the past two decades, flavonoids have gained enormous interest because of their beneficial health effects such as anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective and anticancer activities. These findings have contributed to the dramatic increase in the consumption and use of dietary supplements containing high concentrations of plant flavonoids. The pharmacological effect of flavonoids is mainly due to their antioxidant activity and their inhibition of certain enzymes. In spite of abundant data, structural requirements and mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully understood. This review presents the current knowledge about structure-activity relationships (SARs) and quantitative structure- activity relationships (QSARs) of the antioxidant activity of flavonoids. SAR and QSAR can provide useful tools for revealing the nature of flavonoid antioxidant action. They may also help in the design of new and efficient flavonoids, which could be used as potential therapeutic agents.
Keywords: SAR, QSAR, flavonoids, antioxidant activity, free radical scavenging, metal chelation, enzyme inhibition, prooxidant activity, mechanisms, modelling
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