Background: Nowadays, ionizing radiations are used for various medical and terroristic aims. These purposes involve exposure to ionizing radiations. Hence, people are at risk for acute or late effects. Annually, millions of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy during their course of treatment. Also, some radiological or nuclear events in recent years pose a threat to people, hence the need for radiation mitigation strategies. Amifostine, the first FDA approved radioprotector, has shown some toxicities that limit its usage and efficiency. Due to these side effects, scientists have researched for other agents with less toxicity for better radioprotection and possible mitigation of the lethal effects of ionizing radiations after an accidental exposure. Flavonoids have shown promising results for radioprotection and can be administered in higher doses with less toxicity. Studies for mitigation of ionizing radiation-induced toxicities have concentrated on natural antioxidants. Detoxification of free radicals, management of inflammatory responses and attenuation of apoptosis signaling pathways in radiosensitive organs are the main mechanisms for radiation protection and mitigation with flavonoids and natural antioxidants. However, several studies have proposed that a combination in the form of some antioxidants may alleviate radiation toxicities more effectively in comparison to a single form of antioxidants.
Conclusion: In this review, we focus on recent findings about natural radioprotectors and mitigators which are clinically applicable for radiotherapy patients, as well as injured people in possible radiation accidents.