Naringenin chemically known as 5,7-dihydroxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)chroman-4-one is a common dietary polyphenolic constituent of the citrus fruits. It has received considerable attention for pharmaceutical and nutritional development due to potent pharmacological activities and therapeutic potential. Accruing evidence from both in vitro and in vivo studies have unraveled numerous biological targets along with complex underlying mechanisms suggesting possible therapeutic applications of naringenin in various neurological, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, rheumatological, metabolic and malignant disorders. Functionally, this ameliorative effect of naringenin is primarily attributed to its antiinflammatory (via inhibiting recruitment of cytokines and inflammatory transcription factors) and anti-oxidant (via scavenging of free radicals, bolstering of endogenous antioxidant defense system and metal ion chelation) effects. The present article provides a comprehensive review of the various studies that have evaluated the therapeutic potential of naringenin and its actions at the molecular level. It also summarizes the pharmacokinetic data and issues and challenges involved in pharmaceutical development and suggest that it may be a potential agent for further exploration as well as may be useful as a dietary adjunct in treatment of various human ailments.
Keywords: Naringenin, animals, drug design, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, phytochemicals, natural compounds, cancer.