Flavonoids, secondary plant products which could be essential for normal physiology in humans and animals, may be the vitamins of the next century. Flavonoids belong to the polyphenols and possess antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic properties. Among the various flavonoid species, tea flavonoids such as apigenin (from camomile) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG from green tea) can be used for the prevention of intestinal neoplasia, especially for adenoma and cancer prevention in the gastrointestinal tract. Numerous experimental studies with molecular and biological end points support the therapeutic efficacy of bioflavonoids. Clinical studies with cohorts and case-control trials suggest that flavonoids are effective in tertiary bioprevention but, as yet, there are no controlled randomized clinical trials. Flavonoids can inhibit inflammatory pathways and could be useful for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases. Flavonoid deficiency syndromes could be therapeutic targets in the future
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