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The Potential Toxic Side Effects of Flavonoids


School of Biology and Food Engineering, Guangdong University of Petrochemical Technology, Maoming, 525000, China

* Corresponding Author: QIANG ZHANG,

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Biomonitoring of Toxic Effects Using OMICs Markers)

BIOCELL 2022, 46(2), 357-366.


Flavonoids are a class of phytochemical molecules abundant in many plants, fruits, vegetables, and leaves. Flavonoids possess a series of significant biological activities, including anticancer, antioxidant, antiviral, and antiinflammatory properties. They become an important source of dietary supplements and natural health products. Though many studies confirmed the safety of flavonoids, the potential toxicity of flavonoids is still a remarkable field of research to be explored. The enthusiasm for flavonoids expressed by the public has sometimes overlooked their toxicity and also consumed the flavonoids exceeding the body requirements. The current review focused on the potential toxicity of flavonoids to make the public consume flavonoids with caution. This review summarizes the current toxicity which has been reported in vivo and in vitro experiments. The toxicity involves carcinogenicity and mutation, liver and kidney toxicity, and the influence on the thyroid and reproductive function and intestinal flora disorders. The mechanism of toxicity is fully complicated, and current evidence indicates that natural flavonoid glycosides act on different targets with different doses in vivo and in vitro experiments. Though most kinds of flavonoids are considered safe, flavonoids proposed as food supplements need to be assessed their tolerable upper intake level as there have been reports of toxic flavonoids.


Cite This Article

TANG, Z., ZHANG, Q. (2022). The Potential Toxic Side Effects of Flavonoids. BIOCELL, 46(2), 357–366.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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