European journal of pharmacology

Dihydroquercetin: More than just an impurity?

PMID 22513183


Dihydroquercetin (taxifolin) is a potent flavonoid found in onions, French maritime bark, milk thistle, tamarind seeds and commercially available semi-synthetic monoHER marketed as Venoruton. This review focuses on the therapeutic promise of dihydroquercetin in major disease states such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and liver disease by reviewing the proposed mechanism(s) of action, including the activation of the antioxidant response element (ARE) and detoxifying phase II enzymes, inhibition of cytochrome P(450) and fatty acid synthase in carcinogenesis. TNF-alpha and NF-ĸB dependent transcription in hepatitis C infections, the scavenging effect of myeloperoxidase (MPO) derived reactive nitrogen species and subsequent effects on cholesterol biosynthesis as well as the effects on apob/apoA-I, HMG-CoA reductase and apoptosis are reviewed. The stereochemistry and pro-oxidant effect of dihydroquercetin are also considered. Although the majority of research on dihydroquercetin to date has focused on the identification of molecular targets in vitro, this review will bring together evidence of the potency and mode of action of dihydroquercetin and will propose a role for the therapeutic potential of flavonoid antioxidants.

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