Naringenin vs. Naringin

What's the Difference?

Naringenin and Naringin are both flavonoids found in citrus fruits, but they differ in their chemical structure and properties. Naringenin is the aglycone form of Naringin, meaning it lacks the sugar moiety attached to it. This makes Naringenin more readily absorbed by the body compared to Naringin. Naringenin has been studied for its potential health benefits, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. On the other hand, Naringin is known for its bitter taste and has been primarily investigated for its potential cholesterol-lowering effects. While both compounds have shown promising health benefits, further research is needed to fully understand their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic applications.


Chemical FormulaC15H12O5C27H32O14
Molecular Weight272.25 g/mol580.54 g/mol
StructureNaringenin StructureNaringin Structure
SolubilitySoluble in ethanol, methanol, and DMSOSoluble in water
SourceFound in citrus fruits, especially grapefruitsFound in citrus fruits, especially grapefruits
Biological ActivityAntioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer propertiesAntioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer properties

Further Detail


Naringenin and naringin are two naturally occurring flavonoids found in various citrus fruits. While they share a similar chemical structure, they differ in terms of their biological activities and health benefits. In this article, we will explore the attributes of naringenin and naringin, highlighting their unique properties and potential applications.

Chemical Structure

Naringenin and naringin belong to the flavanone class of flavonoids and share a common backbone structure. However, naringenin is the aglycone form, meaning it lacks a sugar moiety, while naringin is the glycoside form, consisting of naringenin attached to a disaccharide (neohesperidose). This structural difference affects their solubility, bioavailability, and interactions with enzymes and receptors in the body.

Health Benefits


Naringenin has been extensively studied for its potential health benefits. It exhibits antioxidant properties, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. This flavonoid has also shown anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory molecules and reducing inflammation in various tissues.

Furthermore, naringenin has been found to have anti-cancer properties. It can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, induce apoptosis (programmed cell death), and prevent the formation of new blood vessels that supply tumors. Studies have also suggested that naringenin may have neuroprotective effects, potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Like naringenin, naringin also possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can scavenge free radicals, protect against oxidative damage, and modulate inflammatory pathways. Additionally, naringin has been investigated for its potential cholesterol-lowering effects. It can inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver and enhance the excretion of bile acids, leading to a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.

Moreover, naringin has shown promise in managing diabetes. It can improve insulin sensitivity, enhance glucose uptake by cells, and regulate blood sugar levels. Some studies have also suggested that naringin may have anti-obesity effects by reducing fat accumulation and promoting fat breakdown.



Due to its aglycone form, naringenin is more readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract compared to naringin. It can easily cross cell membranes and enter systemic circulation. However, naringenin has relatively low bioavailability, as it undergoes extensive metabolism in the liver, leading to the formation of various metabolites. This metabolism can limit its therapeutic potential.


Naringin, being a glycoside, has lower absorption and bioavailability compared to naringenin. The presence of the sugar moiety makes it less soluble and less likely to be absorbed intact. However, naringin can be hydrolyzed by gut bacteria into naringenin and other metabolites, which can then be absorbed and exert their biological effects.

Food Sources


Naringenin is found in various citrus fruits, including grapefruits, oranges, and lemons. It is also present in smaller amounts in tomatoes, cherries, and cocoa.


Naringin is primarily found in grapefruits, particularly in the bitter white membranes and seeds. It is also present in other citrus fruits, such as oranges and tangerines, albeit in lower concentrations.


In summary, naringenin and naringin are two flavonoids with distinct attributes and potential health benefits. Naringenin, as the aglycone form, exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties. On the other hand, naringin, the glycoside form, possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering, and potential anti-diabetic effects. While naringenin is more readily absorbed, it undergoes extensive metabolism, whereas naringin has lower bioavailability but can be converted into naringenin by gut bacteria. Both compounds can be obtained from citrus fruits, providing a natural source of these beneficial flavonoids.

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