7,8-Dihydroxyflavone: Benefits & Side Effects

Written on January 27, 2023 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
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7,8-Dihydroxyflavone is a natural type of flavonoid that is found in some plants in the genus Sophora. It has a variety of reported uses including as an antioxidant, anxiety reducer and sleep aid.

In this article, we will discuss 7,8-dihydroxyflavone, its benefits, its uses and potential side effects.

What is 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone?

7,8-Dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF, tropoflavin) is a naturally occurring type of flavonoid that is found in some plants in the genus Sophora.

It has a number of reported uses including as an anti-inflammatory agent, antioxidant, anxiety reducer and sleep aid.

7,8-DHF is the most common and effective flavone identified in Sophora plants.

Aside from its use as an anti-inflammatory agent, it is also able to induce the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 (a zinc-dependent endopeptidase involved in extracellular matrix degradation) and consequently increase the bioavailability of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a nuclear inflammatory factor.

It is used by pericytes and macrophages to generate free radicals that serve as signals for macrophages to engulf necrotic (dead) cells or pathogens. It is also involved in the modulation of angiogenesis and tissue regeneration, and in that sense it is considered as an anti-cancer agent.

7,8-DHF is also reported to have anti-stress effects and as such it has been studied for treating anxiety, depression and insomnia alongside commonly prescribed treatments such as SSRIs.

How does 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone work?

7,8-DHF activates a receptor called orphan G protein coupled receptor gamma (GPR109A) located on macrophages. This leads to increased production of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) thereby amplifying intracellular inflammatory reactions.

7,8-DHF also leads to the downregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1-alpha), a protein that is involved in regulating glucose and fat metabolism, and promotes insulin sensitivity.

The suppression of PGC1-alpha expression leads to lipid accumulation in white adipose tissues.

This results in an increased expression of leptin receptors, which are responsible for the high calorie burning activity of 7,8-DHF. In this way, 7,8-DHF effectively induces weight loss by increasing thermogenesis.

7,8-DHF also enhances the apoptotic effects of caspase 3 that promote the cell cycle arrest and manifest as a form of death known as apoptosis. 7,8-DHF reduces ROS levels in macrophages which then leads to increased expression of pro-apoptotic proteins such as caspase 3, Bax and p21.

As such, 7,8-DHF controls cell growth and other properties that regulate cell life cycles by promoting cell death.

How much 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone should I take?

7,8-DHF is available in both capsule and powder form.

The recommended dose of 7,8-DHF is between 15 milligrams and 300 milligrams depending on the application for which it has been taken. It can be taken up to three times a day.

Manufacturers also advise against mixing it with any other drugs as there are no clinical studies that have been conducted in combination with other drugs or supplements.

What are the side effects of 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone?

As with any other drug, 7,8-DHF is not without its side effects. However, there are not as many side effects associated with the use of 7,8-DHF as it is a natural product.

The following are some reported side effects associated with the use of 7,8-DHF or products that contain it:

Increased heart rate – This can be remedied by reducing the dosage of 7,8-DHF or avoiding it completely.

Gastrointestinal problems (GI) – These can be resolved by taking the medication with food.

Abdominal pain – This can be remedied with increased hydration.

Epilepsy – In rare cases, 7,8-DHF has been associated with seizures. It is therefore advised that all patients who take 7,8-DHF should have their blood levels monitored to ensure that there are no abnormalities present and they should discontinue use if any abnormalities are noted.

Anxiety – As more studies have revealed the benefits of 7,8-DHF for anxiety, more people are using it today. So if you are on 7,8-DHF and happen to develop anxiety, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor as there are other treatment options.

7,8-DHF is also known to lower blood pressure and cause headaches. This can be remedied by avoiding the medication and increasing your hydration.

Acne – It has been reported that some users of 7,8-DHF experienced a reduction in acne after taking the supplement. However, as stated by the manufacturer, it is a common occurrence and could be due to other factors such as age or hormonal changes.


7,8-Dihydroxyflavone is a relatively new supplement that has been in the news for its positive effects on various age-related conditions including cognitive decline, weight gain, anxiety and mood disorders.

The ability of 7,8-DHF to act as an anti-oxidant and promote neurogenesis makes it a potential treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Clinical trials have also shown that the use of 7,8-DHF results in weight loss as well as reduced blood pressure. It has also been linked to improvements in mood disorders.

This review has outlined some of the side effects associated with 7,8-DHF and other dietary supplements containing it.

However, it is important to remember that there are no official clinical studies that have been conducted with 7,8-DHF or any other product on the market.

All information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please seek a medical professional regarding the use of any supplement.


  1. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/3/578
  2. https://selfhacked.com/blog/7-8-dihydroxyflavone-benefits/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/7-8-dihydroxyflavone
  4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnins.2020.00467/full