Background: The benefits of the Mediterranean diet for protecting against many diseases are usually attributed to high consumption of certain foods, characterized by the presence of bioactive substances such as polyphenols. Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases such as arthritis, allergies or neurodegenerative disorders. Dietary polyphenols constitute a large family of bioactive substances with potential beneficial effects against a broad group of diseases. Citrus fruits and juices are a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, with a potential effect on the inflammatory response.
Objective: The aim was to evidence the potential anti-inflammatory effects of the flavonoids hesperidin for its possible therapeutic application against diverse pathologies.
Method: In the present review, available literature about the anti-inflammatory effects of hesperidin is reported and discussed. Moreover, we also discuss the chemistry, bioavailability and proposed mechanisms of action of hesperidin.
Results: Hesperidin is a flavonoid present in high concentration in citrus species and has numerous biological properties, principally antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Several studies have been performed in order to evaluate the effects of hesperidin as anti-inflammatory agent using cellular and animal models and few clinical trials. Hesperidin treatment decreased inflammatory mediators and exerted significant antioxidant effects. The molecular basis for its anti-inflammatory effects seems to be mediated by signalling pathways especially the nuclear factor κβ pathway.
Conclusion: Although hesperidin evidenced anti-inflammatory effects, the specific mechanism of action is not completely known and additional studies are required for elucidation of the molecular targets.