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      Chemistry and Biological Activities of Flavonoids: An Overview

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      The Scientific World Journal
      Hindawi Publishing Corporation

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          Abstract

          There has been increasing interest in the research on flavonoids from plant sources because of their versatile health benefits reported in various epidemiological studies. Since flavonoids are directly associated with human dietary ingredients and health, there is need to evaluate structure and function relationship. The bioavailability, metabolism, and biological activity of flavonoids depend upon the configuration, total number of hydroxyl groups, and substitution of functional groups about their nuclear structure. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids for humans, along with tea and wine. Most recent researches have focused on the health aspects of flavonoids for humans. Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, while some flavonoids exhibit potential antiviral activities. In plant systems, flavonoids help in combating oxidative stress and act as growth regulators. For pharmaceutical purposes cost-effective bulk production of different types of flavonoids has been made possible with the help of microbial biotechnology. This review highlights the structural features of flavonoids, their beneficial roles in human health, and significance in plants as well as their microbial production.

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          Polyphenols: chemistry, dietary sources, metabolism, and nutritional significance.

          Polyphenols constitute one of the most numerous and ubiquitous groups of plant metabolites and are an integral part of both human and animal diets. Ranging from simple phenolic molecules to highly polymerized compounds with molecular weights of greater than 30,000 Da, the occurrence of this complex group of substances in plant foods is extremely variable. Polyphenols traditionally have been considered antinutrients by animal nutritionists, because of the adverse effect of tannins, one type of polyphenol, on protein digestibility. However, recent interest in food phenolics has increased greatly, owing to their antioxidant capacity (free radical scavenging and metal chelating activities) and their possible beneficial implications in human health, such as in the treatment and prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other pathologies. Much of the literature refers to a single group of plant phenolics, the flavonoids. This review offers an overview of the nutritional effects of the main groups of polyphenolic compounds, including their metabolism, effects on nutrient bioavailability, and antioxidant activity, as well as a brief description of the chemistry of polyphenols and their occurrence in plant foods.
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            Flavonoids as antioxidants in plants: location and functional significance.

            Stress-responsive dihydroxy B-ring-substituted flavonoids have great potential to inhibit the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduce the levels of ROS once they are formed, i.e., to perform antioxidant functions. These flavonoids are located within or in the proximity of centers of ROS generation in severely stressed plants. Efficient mechanisms have been recently identified for the transport of flavonoids from the endoplasmic reticulum, the site of their biosynthesis, to different cellular compartments. The mechanism underlying flavonoid-mediated ROS reduction in plants is still unclear. 'Antioxidant' flavonoids are found in the chloroplast, which suggests a role as scavengers of singlet oxygen and stabilizers of the chloroplast outer envelope membrane. Dihydroxy B-ring substituted flavonoids are present in the nucleus of mesophyll cells and may inhibit ROS-generation making complexes with Fe and Cu ions. The genes that govern the biosynthesis of antioxidant flavonoids are present in liverworts and mosses and are mostly up-regulated as a consequence of severe stress. This suggests that the antioxidant flavonoid metabolism is a robust trait of terrestrial plants. Vacuolar dihydroxy B-ring flavonoids have been reported to serve as co-substrates for vacuolar peroxidases to reduce H(2)O(2) escape from the chloroplast, following the depletion of ascorbate peroxidase activity. Antioxidant flavonoids may effectively control key steps of cell growth and differentiation, thus acting regulating the development of the whole plant and individual organs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              Protein kinases and phosphatases: the yin and yang of protein phosphorylation and signaling.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                ScientificWorldJournal
                TSWJ
                The Scientific World Journal
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                1537-744X
                2013
                29 December 2013
                : 2013
                : 162750
                Affiliations
                Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, Allahabad 211002, India
                Author notes

                Academic Editors: K. P. Lu and J. Sastre

                Article
                10.1155/2013/162750
                3891543
                24470791
                cdc5d148-231c-448e-a43b-88894f0f4ff1
                Copyright © 2013 S. Kumar and A. K. Pandey.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                History
                : 24 August 2013
                : 7 October 2013
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