The Use of Natural and Derived Sources of Flavonoids and Antioxidants in Saudi Arabia

Review Article

Austin J Nutri Food Sci. 2014;2(7): 1037.

The Use of Natural and Derived Sources of Flavonoids and Antioxidants in Saudi Arabia

Khan N*

Department of Biochemistry, King Saud University, KSA

*Corresponding author: :Khan N, Department of Biochemistry, College of Science, King Saud University, PO Box: 2455, Riyadh, 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Received: June 19, 2014; Accepted: July 31, 2014; Published: Aug 04, 2014


Several epidemiological evidences suggest that dietary factors, including increased intake of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages, may play a meaningful role in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk by improving vascular function and modulating inflammation. In recent decades, Saudi Arabia has rapidly developed economically and socially. This pace of change has affected the dietary intake pattern of the general population, pushing them towards increased consumption of energy dense and processed foods. Accumulated evidences on the different sources of flavonoids and antioxidants generally consumed by the Saudi population and their health effects are summarized in the present review.

Keywords: Flavonoids; Antioxidant; Chocolate; Tea, Saudi Arabia


CHD: Coronary Heart Disease; TC: Total Cholesterol; TG: Triglycerides; LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol; VLDL: Very Low Density Lipoprotein; DPHH: 2,2,-Diphenyl-1-Picrylhydrazyl; FC: Folin-ciocalteu; eNOS: Nitric Oxide Synthase; ORAC: Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity; GAE: Gallic Acid Equivalents; MIC: Minimum Inhibitory Concentration; FRAP: Ferric Reducing Ability of Plasma


The dietary pattern in Saudi Arabia is changing rapidly from its traditional form to a more Western-influenced diet as a result of fast economic growth. These unhealthy dietary changes may pose as a public health threat in the general Saudi population in increasing onset of various chronic, non-communicable diseases. It is essential therefore for the Saudi people to eat a balanced diet which will provide the dietary requirements of all nutrients.

The potential health benefits of dietary flavonoids are gaining interest due to its several beneficial effects. For instance, epidemiological studies revealed that fruits, vegetables tea, and cocoa are rich natural sources of flavonoids and their consumption could probably reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases [1-6]. Apart from these, there are several sources of flavonoids and antioxidants that could prove beneficial for human health.

In this review, the recent studies done in Saudi Arabia regarding the different sources of flavonoids and antioxidants and their health effects are identified. In addition, this review will report on plant extracts and other natural sources common in the Saudi region that contains flavonoids and/or exhibit antioxidant activity.

Flavonoid Basics

Plants contain a large and heterogeneous group of biologically active compounds, including a subgroup of phytochemicals known as phenolic compounds. Flavonoids are a family of phenolic compounds with strong antioxidant activity present in fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods. More than 5000 structurally unique flavonoids have been identified in plants, and several hundred occur commonly in consumed foods. Flavonoids may be divided into six different major classes (flavonols, flavanones, flavones, isoflavones, flavonols and anthocyanidins) based on differences in molecular backbone structure (Figure 1) [7].

Citation: Khan N. The Use of Natural and Derived Sources of Flavonoids and Antioxidants in Saudi Arabia. Austin J Nutri Food Sci. 2014;2(7): 1037. ISSN: 2381-8980.