Can grapefruits and oranges be used for treatment of endometriosis?

Can grapefruits and oranges be used for treatment of endometriosis?

Naringenin, a flavonoid predominantly found in grapefruit and oranges, is a promising therapeutic compound for endometriosis

Key Points


  • Naringenin, a plant-based nutrient found in grapefruits and oranges has well-known anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties; could modify the estrogen receptor signaling, suggesting a role for naringenin in endometriosis treatment.
  • This study found anti-proliferative and apoptotic effects on endometriosis cells, indicating that naringenin may be a valuable therapeutic for patients with endometriosis.


  • The discovery of natural compounds that can control the pathogenesis of endometriosis without causing any adverse effects might overcome the limitations of current therapies.

What’s done here?

  • Effects of naringenin on viability, cell death, and oxidative stress were determined in well-established endometriosis cell models.

Key results:

  • Naringenin was found to suppress proliferation and increase apoptosis of endometriosis cells.

Limitations of the study:

  • Lack of animal studies to validate the results obtained with endometriosis cell lines.

Lay Summary

Naringenin is a plant-based nutrient found abundantly in grapefruits and oranges with well-known anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. Previous studies showed that naringenin could modify the estrogen receptor signaling, suggesting a role for naringenin in endometriosis. The current study performed by Park et al., from College of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Korea University, Seoul, aimed to investigate whether naringenin affects the viability of endometriosis cells, and identify the signaling molecules that mediate naringenin’s effects on these cells. The authors utilized several techniques to evaluate the role of naringenin in cell death and in cell proliferation (rapid reproduction) using 2 well-established endometriosis cell models. The results showed that naringenin increased the cell death and reduced the proliferation of endometriosis cells. These anti-proliferative and cytotoxic effects of naringenin were found to be mediated by phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cell signaling pathways.

These results suggested that naringenin may slow the progression of endometriosis, and should be further investigated as a therapeutic agent for endometriosis. The fact that naringenin is a chemical naturally found in plants indicates fewer side effects than other possible synthetic drugs. However, additional studies with animal models and humans are required to elucidate the therapeutic properties of naringenin for endometriosis patients.

Research Source:

Naringenin cell death proliferation


EndoNews highlights the latest peer-reviewed scientific research and medical literature that focuses on endometriosis. We are unbiased in our summaries of recently-published endometriosis research. EndoNews does not provide medical advice or opinions on the best form of treatment. We highly stress the importance of not using EndoNews as a substitute for seeking an experienced physician.