Flavonoids and Cancer

Flavonoids, a group of naturally occurring compounds found in various plant-based foods, have been studied for their potential role in cancer prevention (1). These compounds possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which are believed to contribute to their health benefits (2). Consuming flavonoids in your diet may lower your chance of developing breast, colon, lung, prostate, and pancreatic tumors, according to epidemiological studies. 

Research suggests that flavonoids may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer through several mechanisms. Firstly, their antioxidant activity allows them to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, preventing DNA damage and mutations that can lead to cancer development (3).

Flavonoids also exhibit anti-inflammatory effects, which are significant as chronic inflammation is associated with cancer development. By reducing inflammation, flavonoids may help lower the risk of cancer – inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells (4).

In addition, certain flavonoids have been found to possess direct anticancer properties. They can inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells, and suppress the formation of new blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors (anti-angiogenesis) (5).

It is important to note that the research on flavonoids and cancer prevention is still ongoing, and the evidence is not conclusive. Additionally, the impact of flavonoids may vary depending on the specific type of flavonoid, dosage, individual variations, and overall dietary patterns (6).



  1. Manach C, et al. (2004). Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79(5), 727-747.
  2. Kumar S, Pandey AK. (2013). Chemistry and biological activities of flavonoids: an overview. The Scientific World Journal, 2013, 162750.
  3. Boots AW, Haenen GR, Bast A. (2008). Health effects of quercetin: from antioxidant to anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic actions. Eur J Pharmacol. 585(2-3):325-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.03.008
  4. nutraceutical. European Journal of Pharmacology, 585(2-3), 325-337.
  5. Lin Y, Shi R, Wang X, Shen HM. (2008). Luteolin, a flavonoid with potential for cancer prevention and therapy. Current Cancer Drug Targets, 8(7), 634-646.
  6. Cushnie TP, Lamb AJ. (2005). Antimicrobial activity of flavonoids. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 26(5), 343-356.
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