Natural stilbenes have been a hot research topic due to their intricate structures and diverse biological activities. Although their molecular backbone consists only of 1,2-diphenylethylene units, stilbenes show an enormous diversity with regard to the different units present, the degree of polymerisation, and the pattern of oligomer construction. From January 1995 to the end of 2008, more than 400 new naturally occurring stilbenes were isolated and identified, and this review focuses on their structural diversity, distribution, and bioactivity.
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