Flavonoids in adipose tissue inflammation and atherosclerosis: One arrow, two targets

Manal Muin Fardoun, Dina Maaliki, Nabil Halabi, Rabah Iratni, Alessandra Bitto, Elias Baydoun, Ali H. Eid

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables, in addition to beverages such as tea and coffee. Flavonoids are emerging as potent therapeutic agents for cardiovascular as well as metabolic diseases. Several studies corroborated an inverse relationship between flavonoid consumption and cardiovascular disease (CVD) or adipose tissue inflammation (ATI). Flavonoids exert their anti-atherogenic effects by increasing nitric oxide (NO), reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS), and decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, flavonoids alleviate ATI by decreasing triglyceride and cholesterol levels, as well as by attenuating inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, flavonoids inhibit synthesis of fatty acids and promote their oxidation. In this review, we discuss the effect of the main classes of flavonoids, namely flavones, flavonols, flavanols, flavanones, anthocyanins, and isoflavones, on atherosclerosis and ATI. In addition, we dissect the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms of action for these flavonoids. We conclude by supporting the potential benefit for flavonoids in the management or treatment of CVD; yet, we call for more robust clinical studies for safety and pharmacokinetic values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1403-1432
Number of pages30
JournalClinical Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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