Sources and Chemistry of Flavonoids: An Overview of their Biological and Therapeutic Potential

  • Shabbir Hussain Institute of Chemistry, Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology, Rahim Yar Khan 64200, Pakistan
  • Waqar Mirza Department of Chemistry, Lahore Garrison University, DHA Phase VI, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Mufliha Murtaza Department of Chemistry, Lahore Garrison University, DHA Phase VI, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Ansa Nazir Department of Chemistry, Lahore Garrison University, DHA Phase VI, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Iram Hanif Department of Chemistry, Lahore Garrison University, DHA Phase VI, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Ahmad Department of Chemistry, Division of Science and Technology, University of Education, Lahore 54770, Pakistan
Keywords: antioxidant potential, flavonoids, structure-activity relationship, working mechanism


Flavonoids are natural polyphenolic compounds responsible for the taste and color of medicinal plants, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Fruits (for example, berries, cherries, plums, apples, lemons, oranges, and grapes) and vegetables (for example., broad beans, olives, onions, spinach, and shallot) are the main sources of flavonoids. They also exist abundantly in cocoa products, black and green tea, red wine, red pepper, chamomile, celery, parsley, ginkgo, and mint. Flavonoid derivatives could also be synthesized through esterification, halogenation, alkoxylation, alkylation, aromatic hydroxylation, acylation, and conjugation with various organic compounds. Flavonoids could  also be supplemented  as a staple of food  which act as a nutraceutical agents and  play an important role in the human diet. They possess diverse biological activities including anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, anti-obesity, antimutagenic, neuroprotective, and also have beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, insulin resistance, lipid metabolism, and neurodegenerative diseases (for example., amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease). Flavonoids contain a 15-carbon skeleton; the basic structure consists of a flavan nucleus, a combination of two benzene and one pyran ring.  They are divided into eight important groups namely flavones, flavanols, isoflavones, flavan-3-ols, flavanonols, anthocyanidins, chalcones, and flavanones. A structure-activity relationship exists between flavonoids and their antioxidant activities. Flavonoids are effective in chelating metal ions and scavenging free radicals. Their antioxidant properties are governed by their –OH groups, differences in hydrophobicity, and molecular planarity.


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How to Cite
Hussain S, Waqar Mirza, Murtaza M, Nazir A, Hanif I, Ahmad M. Sources and Chemistry of Flavonoids: An Overview of their Biological and Therapeutic Potential. Sci Inquiry Rev. [Internet]. 2022May25 [cited 2022Dec.5];6(2):32-8. Available from: