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Encyclopedia > Limonoids

Limonoids are phytochemicals, abundant in citrus fruit and other plants of the classes Rutaceae and Meliaceae. They account for the scent of fresh lemon or orange peel. Many of the plants used in traditional healing, such as Neem, are rich in limonoids. Currently limonoids are under investigation for a wide variety of therapeutic effects such as antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, antineoplastic and antimalarial. They also show effectiveness as insecticides both in traditional farming cultures and modern biochemistry labs.


Chemically the limonoids are varied but the prototypical structure consists of 4 benzene rings and a furan ring. Limonoids are classed as tetranortriterpenes.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Limonoids: Pesticide to anticancer applications from secondary metabolites of the Rutaceae and Meliaceae (2922 words)
Abstract Limonoids are described as modified triterpenes with or derived from a precursor with a 4,4,8-trimethyl-17-furanylsteroid skeleton.
Limonoids are usually grouped according to changes they undergo in one or more of their four-ring structures.
The role of limonoids in a speculated coevolutionary relationship between plants and insects would have to be examined in the context of the adapted insect species feeding on limonoid containing plants (4).
BBC News | Health | The citrus cancer beaters (436 words)
Researchers think citrus limonoids may be responsible for health effects that may previously have been attributed to vitamin C. The substance is present in commercially produced citrus fruit drinks at about the same level as the vitamin.
Limonoids are compounds found in citrus fruits, usually in the peels.
The researchers tested the limonoids in the juices and their results suggest the compounds were responsible for the drop.
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