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The risk of suffering from many chronic diseases seems to have made no improvement despite the advancement in medications available in the modern world. Moreover, the use of synthetic chemicals as medications has proved to worsen the scenario due to the various adverse side effects associated with them. Extensive research on natural medicines provides ample evidence on the safety and efficacy of phytochemicals and nutraceuticals against diverse chronic ailments. Therefore, it is advisable to use natural products in the management of such diseases. This article aims to present a comprehensive and critical review of known pharmacological and biological effects of butein, an important chalcone polyphenol first isolated from Rhus verniciflua Stokes, implicated in the prevention and treatment of various chronic disease conditions. An extensive literature search was conducted using PubMed, ScienceDirect, Scopus and Web of ScienceTM core collections using key words followed by evaluation of the bibliographies of relevant articles. Butein has been preclinically proven to be effective against several chronic diseases because it possesses a wide range of biological properties, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic, hypotensive and neuroprotective effects. Furthermore, it has been shown to affect multiple molecular targets, including the master transcription factor nuclear factor-κB and its downstream molecules. Moreover, since it acts on multiple pathways, the chances of non-responsiveness and resistance development is reduced, supporting the use of butein as a preferred treatment option. Based on numerous preclinical studies, butein shows significant therapeutic potential against various diseases. Nevertheless, well-designed clinical studies are urgently needed to validate the preclinical findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.


Ganesan Padmavathi, Nand Kishor Roy, Devivasha Bordoloi, Frank Arfuso, Srishti Mishra, Gautam Sethi, Anupam Bishayee, Ajaikumar B Kunnumakkara. Butein in health and disease: A comprehensive review. Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology. 2017 Feb 15;25:118-127

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PMID: 28190465

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