Luteolin Sources and Benefits
Luteolin is a common flavonoid. Its sources include many varieties of plants including fruits, vegetables, and medicinal herbs. Plants sources rich in luteolin have appeared in Chinese traditional medicine for treating many diseases such as hypertension, inflammatory disorders, and cancer. Luteolin may even help to reduce niacin-induced flush.
Luteolin is considered by some to be a supper nutrient as it helps reduce inflammation, and promotes nerve and muscle function. It is found in artichoke leaves, parsley, celery, peppers, olive oil, rosemary, lemons, sage, peppermint, thyme and other foods. Basic research results indicate luteolin as an anti-inflammatory agent with other potential effects on septic shock.
Luteolin is a natural anti-oxidant with not as much pro-oxidant (inducing oxidative stress) potential than the most studied flavonoid quercetin, but apparently with a better safety profile.
It exhibits outstanding radical scavenging and cytoprotective properties, especially when tried in complex biological systems where it can interact with other anti-oxidants like vitamins. It has been suggested for multiple sclerosis on the basis of in vitro work.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently without an effective treatment in spite of intense research. Interferon-beta (IFN-β) reduces duration and severity of symptoms in many relapsing-remitting MS patients, but its mechanism of action is still not well understood.
Moreover, IFN-β and other available treatments must be given by injection and have a number of side effects. Certain flavonoids, such as luteolin, have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, including inhibition of activated peripheral blood leukocytes from MS patients.
Luteolin also inhibits mast cells, as well as mast cell-dependent T cell activation, recently implicated in MS pathogenesis.
Moreover, luteolin and structurally similar flavonoids can inhibit experimental allergic allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE).
Flavonoids such as Quercetin and Luteolin have potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Quercetin and luteolin also inhibit human cultured mast cell release of histamine, leukotrienes and prostaglandin D2, as well as IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and tryptase .
Quercetin and Luteolin are safe. However, less than 10% of flavonoids are absorbed orally . Innovative ways of delivering select flavonoid combinations would be required to assure sufficient plasma levels, especially if luteolin can inhibit brain inflammation. Such a test nutraceutical formulation has been done on a number of relapsing-remitting MS patients treated with INF-β with encouraging positive results.
Having multiple biological effects such as anti-inflammation, anti-allergy and anticancer, luteolin functions as either an antioxidant or a pro-oxidant biochemically. The biological effects of luteolin could be functionally related to each other. For instance, the anti-inflammatory action may be linked to its anticancer property. Luteolin’s anticancer property is related with the induction of apoptosis, and inhibition of cell proliferation, metastasis and angiogenesis.
Observations propose that luteolin could be an anticancer agent for various cancers. Furthermore, recent epidemiological studies have accredited a cancer prevention property to luteolin.
Luteolin has also been found to have antitumor properties and poses special interest for the development of preventive and/or therapeutic agent for cancers. Many studies have shown the antiproliferative actions of luteolin on cancer cells. However, the effects of luteolin on incursion of cancer cells remain unclear.
- Sternberg Z, Chadha K, Lieberman A, Hojnacki D, Drake A, Zamboni P, Rocco P, Grazioli E, Weinstock-Guttman B, Munschauer F: Quercetin and interferon-beta modulate immune response(s) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells isolated from multiple sclerosis patients. J Neuroimmunol 2008, 205:142-147. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text Return to text
- Kempuraj D, Tagen M, Iliopoulou BP, Clemons A, Vasiadi M, Boucher W, House M, Wolfberg A, Theoharides TC: Luteolin inhibits myelin basic protein-induced human mast cell activation and mast cell dependent stimulation of Jurkat T cells. Br J Pharmacol 2008, 155:1076-1084. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text
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