Luteolin can be found in a vast amount of plants and an even vaster amount of supplements. The thing with biologically active substances of natural origin is that it is hard to determine, whether it is worth one’s attention.
On a quest for evidence-based answers, Google Scholar, PubMed, and similar resources where you can find and study clinical trials and reviews remain our best friends. Are there real benefits of luteolin supplements and dietary sources? Jump in to discover our findings!
What is Luteolin
Luteolin is a flavone, which is a subclass of flavonoids. It is one of the most prevalent flavones, naturally occurring in various herbs, fruits, and vegetables. In its pure form, luteolin is a crystalline substance of a bright yellow color.
Reseda luteola, a plant rich in luteolin, was used to produce a natural yellow dye known as weld up until the end of the 19th century when synthetic analogs became cheaper.
What are the Benefits of Luteolin
While there is evidence of luteolin health benefits, it is essential to remember that the exact mechanism of action has not been established in the majority of cases, as well as the most efficient dosage and potential side effects.
Therefore, luteolin cannot serve as an alternative to one’s treatment or a substitute for a healthy lifestyle. We recommend you address it rather as a support measure and consult your healthcare provider before starting a new diet or supplement.
Flavonoids are known for their ability to target free radicals. Luteolin is not an exception—the compound can inhibit damage done to lipids, protein, and DNA inflicted by ROS, a subtype of free radicals that contain oxygen. ROS normally serve for cellular signaling; however, their excessive amount causes oxidative damage to tissues and DNA. Luteolin scavenges ROS and inhibits oxidases—enzymes that contribute to ROS production.
Inflammation is a natural immune response that helps our body protect itself. However, chronic inflammation is a sign of an ongoing health issue, such as such as arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and even cancer.
Luteolin suppresses cytokines and their signal transduction pathways, preventing triggering macrophages—cells that have a major function in the inflammatory processes. The evidence of the anti-inflammatory ability of the flavonoid was provided by in vitro and in vivo experiments.
Luteolin benefits for the brain lie in its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be helpful in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease as they have an established connection with oxidative stress. There was also a study PMC4971424 stating that luteolin reduced cognitive aging in mice. As of now, there is a clinical trial in the recruiting stage, aiming at studying the effects of luteolin on schizophrenia.
Immune System Support
Our immune system provides protection against many harmful chemicals and living organisms. Sometimes, however, it can overreact creating something that we know as an allergic reaction. When an allergic reaction occurs, mast cells in our body get triggered by an allergen and release histamine—a compound that creates symptoms of allergy.
Luteolin acts as a mast cell stabilizer so that the reaction will not occur. A study that reviewed luteolin benefits for allergic rhinitis and asthma in mice, showed a strong anti-allergic effect.
Luteolin complex benefits include even a potential for cancer prevention! While we absolutely cannot think of this flavonoid as a cure for cancer, it has the potential to reduce the risk of developing a malignant formation. Luteolin demonstrated several mechanisms of prospective cancer prevention:
- Antioxidant effect prevents cell mutations that can lead to cancer;
- Cell proliferation inhibition prevents growth of a tumor;
- Apoptosis (cell death) induction eliminates transformed cells.
A material published in Frontiers in Pharmacology in 2017, concluded that luteolin might be beneficial for cardiovascular health. It was concluded that the substance improved heart functioning through:
- alleviating oxidative stress;
- reducing ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury (structural and functional damage to the heart);
- reducing cardiomyocyte apoptosis (death of heart muscle cells).
The article states, however, that luteolin intake from food and supplements may work as a preventative measure for CVS, not a treatment method.
Benefits for Testosterone
Luteolin offers certain benefits for testosterone levels. This has to do with its anti-estrogenic properties and ability to inhibit the biosynthesis of estrogen. In AMAB persons, the enzyme called aromatase transforms androgen hormones (such as testosterone) into estrogens. By suppressing estrogen production, luteolin helps maintain healthy testosterone levels in the body.
Dietary Sources of Luteolin
Those who do not wish to bind themselves to supplements may greatly benefit from incorporating luteolin-rich food into their diet. This could be far more tasty and healthy as well!
- kiwi fruits
How to Take Luteolin Supplement
Because there are no FDA-approved standard dosages for luteolin, one should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations provided on the supplement label. The doses can range from 50 mg to 500 mg, so pay attention to the product’s description.
Luteolin is a common flavonoid that can be naturally consumed from various vegan foods. According to the preliminary data (experiments on animals and in vivo), it provides various health benefits, from antioxidant action to support for cardiovascular health. A person can gain luteolin either with food or with supplements.
What does luteolin do for the body?
Its main activities are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, typical of flavonoids.
What food is highest in luteolin?
Plant-based products: green vegetables (e.g. spinach), citruses, and herbs (chamomile, thyme, rosemary).
What are luteolin supplements for cancer?
Luteolin supplements cannot cure cancer; such products can reduce its risk through their effect on the body.
Is luteolin good for memory loss?
There is no evidence provided by trials with human volunteers but luteolin improved cognitive abilities in mice.