Potential Health Benefits of Limonene

Potential Health Benefits of Limonene


Limonene is a phytochemical which falls in the class of monoterpenes and cyclo terpene. Limonene name derived from the citrus fruit i.e., lemon and it is abundantly found in other plant sources like cherries, spearmint, dill, garlic, celery, maize, rosemary, ginger, basil, etc. This phytochemical generally occurs in two optically active forms, l-limonene and d-limonene. The d-limonene is the compound which is responsible for strong smell of oranges.

There are two commercial ways to obtain d-limonene. These are

  • Centrifugal separation
  • Steam distillation

Limonene is basically formed from geranyl pyrophosphate compound, via cyclization of a neryl carbocation and loss of a proton from the cation to form the alkene.

This chemical compound is rapidly and wholly absorbed in the Gastro Intestine tract after ingestion process, and then it gets distribute to various body tissues after first cycle of metabolism in the liver where it may be metabolized to carveol metabolites or perillyl metabolites by the action of CYP2C enzymes.

Limonene Health Benefits

  • Limonene is having following health benefits
  • Anti-cancer effects
  • Increases liver enzymes levels
  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Anti-bacterial effects
  • Antihyperlipidemic Effects
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Antigenotoxic properties

Other than above applications it can be used for following applications

It is used in cosmetic products

  • Manufacturing medicines
  • Personalcare products
  • Fragrances
  • Insecticides
  • Cleaning products

Limonene is also majorly being used as a solvent for cleaning applications, such as the removal of oil from machine parts. In the paint industry it is used as a paint stripper and also as a fragrant alternative to turpentine. Limonene solvent is used in some model airplane glues. Limonene is also finding increased use as a solvent for latest technology called filament-fused 3D printing. Due its combustible nature it also considered as a biofuel.

Limonene and its oxidation products are acted as skin and respiratory irritants, and limonene-1,2-oxide another oxidation product is having skin sensitization function.

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