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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2013, Article ID 157240, 11 pages
Review Article

Red Orange: Experimental Models and Epidemiological Evidence of Its Benefits on Human Health

1Section of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of G.F. Ingrassia, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia No. 85-95123, Catania, Italy
2Section of Biochemistry, Department of Drug Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
3Department of Biology, Piemonte Orientale University, Alessandria, Italy
4Department of Internal Medicine, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
5Section of Pharmacology and Biochemistry, Department of Clinical and Molecular Biomedicine, University of Catania, Catania, Italy
6Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Rome “Sapienza”, Rome, Italy
7Department of Agri-Food and Environmental Systems and Management (DIGESA), University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Received 27 February 2013; Accepted 10 April 2013

Academic Editor: Narasimham L. Parinandi

Copyright © 2013 Giuseppe Grosso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In recent years, there has been increasing public interest in plant antioxidants, thanks to the potential anticarcinogenic and cardioprotective actions mediated by their biochemical properties. The red (or blood) orange (Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck) is a pigmented sweet orange variety typical of eastern Sicily (southern Italy), California, and Spain. In this paper, we discuss the main health-related properties of the red orange that include anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular protection activities. Moreover, the effects on health of its main constituents (namely, flavonoids, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, hydroxycinnamic acids, and anthocyanins) are described. The red orange juice demonstrates an important antioxidant activity by modulating many antioxidant enzyme systems that efficiently counteract the oxidative damage which may play an important role in the etiology of numerous diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. The beneficial effects of this fruit may be mediated by the synergic effects of its compounds. Thus, the supply of natural antioxidant compounds through a balanced diet rich in red oranges might provide protection against oxidative damage under differing conditions and could be more effective than, the supplementation of an individual antioxidant.