Naringenin is a type of flavonone – that is, it contains both Vitamin P and citrin. Flavanoid refers to a specific class of diverse biological natural produce that contains the aromatic heterocyclic structure of the component flavan, but, without the nitrogen present in the plants. Flavanoids are basically the organic pigmentation that provides the blue to red colors in flowers, leaves and fruits.
Apart from the plant pigmentation, flavonoids play a major role in plant development and growth, protects the plant against UltraViolet-B Radiation, helps to form antifungal barriers, and assists in oestrogenic activities, anti-microbial activities and insecticidal properties. It also helps in plant reproduction.
It also portrays a number of properties that are beneficial to humans. For instance, it acts as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. It boosts up the immune system as well as speeds up the metabolism rate of carbohydrates – that is, the rate at which carbohydrates are burned out for energy. In addition, it can prevent ulcer and reduce the formation of estrogen in the body by hampering the chemical reactions through which estrogen is formed.
Of all these benefits, the anti oxidizing feature of naringenin is most widely known – which has been responsible for the recent rise in the use of this substance. This feature can be attributed to the structure of naringenin. Each mole of naringenin is made of naringin. This part is responsible for preventing the reaction (called oxidation) of body cells with free radicals. Although the oxidation by free radicals has a number of benefits – such as preventing germs by killing microbial organisms – it can also bring about a number of “side reactions”. These reactions hamper the normal activities carried out by body cells – and thus may lead to a number of serious health conditions, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Free radicals react mostly with cells and molecules of nucleic acids, proteins and lipids. Due to their reactions with proteins, they may speed up the process of aging. With the help of antioxidant enzymes, the body can successfully inhibit the actions of free radicals – a process known as “defense mechanism”. A few of these enzymes are superoxide dismutase, thioredoxin reductase, catalase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase. Antioxidant substances work similarly to enzymes. Both of them give one electron to or receiving one electron from the reactive free radicals – removing the latter’s power to oxidize other cells. Almost all such anti oxidizing substances are made of three types of vitamins – namely vitamin A, C and E. They also contain uric acid, bilirubin and polyphenol compounds. Although these substances are naturally produced in the body, they can be taken as food and medicine. In the latter case, the antioxidant supplements are mostly “synthetic” rather than “natural”.
One such type of synthetic antioxidant is naringenin. Other antioxidants are vitmanins, selenium, hormones, minerals, cartotenoids, flavonoids, citric acids and a number of other acid molecules. With respect to the structural pattern, there are basically 6 main subgroup classifications of Flavanoids in addition to flavans, flavonols, neoflavanoids, catechins and aurons. The classifications are as follows:
Apart from the component naringin, a naringenin molecule may contain carthamidin, phloretin, methylnaringenin, narirutin, and phenylnaringenin.
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