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Flavonoids are chemical compounds with antioxidant properties that are found widely distributed in plants, including fruits and vegetables. They accomplish many varying functions. Their roles include producing yellow or red/blue pigmentation in flowers and protecting cells from the attacks of microbes and insects. The widespread distribution of flavonoids and their low toxicity, when compared to other active plant compounds, allows animals—including humans—to ingest significant quantities in their diet safely.
There are different groups of flavonoids, each with different levels of antioxidant power. Flavonoids are divided into several subgroups:
The xanthones that occur in the mangosteen are related to the flavonoids.