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INTRODUCTION

Activities:

Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory,1 antibacterial,1 anticancer,2 penetration enhancement, photoprotection, skin lightening

Important Chemical Components:

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) designation is 3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-(2,4,6-trihydroxyphenyl)-1-propanone.3 It is also known as 2′,4′,6′-trihydroxy-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-propiophenone. Its molecular formula is C15H14O5.

Origin Classification:

Phloretin is natural and found in various foods.

Personal Care Category:

Photoprotection

Recommended for the following Baumann Skin Types:

DRNW, DRPT, DRPW, DSNW, DSPW, ORPT, ORPW, OSPT, OSPW, and OSNW

SOURCE

Reportedly capable of demonstrating antioxidant activity, phloretin (also known as dihydronaringenin, phloretol, and naringenin chalcone) is a plant-derived dihydrochalcone polyphenol primarily found in various species of apple (in copious supply), pear, and other plants in the Rosaceae family, and recently found in much smaller quantities in various tomato species and strawberries.2,4 Phloretin and its glucoside phloridzin have also been identified in tomatoes and are considered an important source of dietary flavonoids.5

HISTORY

Phloridzin was first isolated from apple tree bark in 1835 by DeKonnick.6 Of course, the health benefits of apples and other sources of phloretin have been passed down anecdotally for centuries. In the late 1980s, botanically-derived flavonoid compounds, specifically phloretin and the structurally related compound nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA), were found to strongly inhibit keratinocyte growth and were therefore thought to exhibit antipsoriatic activity.7 The preponderance of research on phloretin and phloridzin has taken place in an in vitro setting.

CHEMISTRY

Phloretin occurs as a glycoside, particularly in the Rosaceae and Ericaceae families.1 Phloridzin, the glucoside form of phloretin, has been found to display potent antioxidant activity in peroxynitrite, hydroxyl, and 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging and the suppression of lipid peroxidation.8 Along with its glucoside phloridzin, phloretin is believed to be an important contributor to the health benefits of apples.9 In addition, it was once used as a substitute for quinine. Notably, dihydrochalcones are among five polyphenolic groups that have been identified in apples, also including hydroxycinnamic acids, flavan-3-ols/procyanidins, anthocyanins, and flavonols.9–11 One of the main biological actions of phloretin is the inhibition of glucose cotransporter 1.4 It is also thought to exert antithrombotic activity.4

ORAL USES

Phloretin is consumed regularly as a key active ingredient in several fruits. In a study of eight different apple cultivars (Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland, Empire, Ida Red, McIntosh, Mutsu, and Northern Spy), a much greater concentration of polyphenols was found in the peel as compared to the flesh.9

TOPICAL USES

Phloretin has been studied as a key ingredient in a combination topical solution. In 2008, Oresajo et al. assessed the effects of a topical antioxidant formulation including 10 percent L-ascorbic acid, 2 percent phloretin, and 0.5 percent ferulic acid in mitigating ultraviolet (UV)-induced harm in 10 normal, healthy ...

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