Luteolin is a kind of flavonoid found in a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants. Flavonoids shield plants from pests, bacteria, ultraviolet light, and other threats. They were used as antimicrobials and antioxidants in people. Traditional medicinal practices worldwide use herbs high in Luteolin to boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and even fight cancer.

Let’s take a look at Luteolin and its potential benefits and drawbacks.

Luteolin Supplement Benefits

Luteolin is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, it is currently under investigation for many possible benefits. While more research may be needed to confirm some of these benefits, potential benefits of Luteolin include the following:

1. Diabetes

Luteolin has antioxidant properties that can alleviate oxidative damage in diabetic rats, potentially preventing the disease’s neurologic and urinary tract problems. [1] In a test tube study, Luteolin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties reduced diabetic osteopathy, often known as bone loss. [2]

2. Inflammation and Allergies

Luteolin’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce inflammation and allergy reactions in the lungs and nose by suppressing inflammatory cytokines. [3]

It can also stabilize mast cells responsible for releasing histamine and initiating allergic responses. Lutein is being studied as a possible supplemental therapy for multiple sclerosis due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. [4]

3. Cancer

The anti-inflammatory effects of Luteolin may also help prevent long-term diseases like arthritis and cancer. The flavonoids suppress the cytokines and interfere with their signal-inducing pathways, which is the reason behind the spread of cancer cells.

A unique molecular mechanism is implicated in the anticancer impact of Luteolin, supporting its potential therapeutic utility as a chemosensitizer in cancer treatment. [5]

In animal studies, Luteolin is said to help prevent the growth of the following cancer conditions:

  • Prostate cancer. Luteolin significantly affected prostate cancer cells by inhibiting cell growth and inducing cell death. [6]
  • Breast cancer. Researchers found that Luteolin significantly reduced the spread of breast cancer. [7]
  • Lung cancer. Research implies that Luteolin has an antitumor effect by considerably lowering the expression of a certain cell antigen. [8]
  • Stomach cancer. Luteolin increased cell death and dramatically reduced cancer cell proliferation, invasion, and migration over time and at high concentrations. It also inhibited tumor development in test tube studies. [9]
  • Colon cancer. Luteolin inhibits the growth of cancer cells and acts as a chemopreventive agent in induced colon cancer. [10]
  • Ovarian cancer. Luteolin promoted tumor growth inhibition and the death of tumor cells. A study provides preliminary evidence that Luteolin with cisplatin might be an effective new treatment regimen for ovarian cancer. [11]
  • Liver cancer. Luteolin dramatically slowed tumor development in a dose-dependent manner. [12]

5. Memory and Nerve Protection

Luteolin is known to have anti-anxiety and memory-improving effects, suggesting that it can penetrate the brain.

Depression

Studies in mice also suggest that Luteolin can alleviate depression by activating GABA receptors and preventing damage to nerve cells in the brain’s memory center. [13]

Seizures

Luteolin can raise glutathione and minimize oxidative brain damage, promote beneficial proteins, reverse cognitive impairment, prevent seizures, and lessen the severity of seizures. [14]

Alzheimer’s Disease

Luteolin’s anti-inflammatory and brain-protecting can help treat Alzheimer’s in rats. It can help improve their mental capabilities and protect the human brain cells from free radical damage and inflammatory proteins. [15]

Neuroprotective Agent

Luteolin can prevent brain damage and promote healthy nerve growth. It assisted in reducing symptoms associated with brain injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. [16, 17]

7. Estrogenic and Anti-Estrogenic Activity

Some animal studies on ovarian, prostate, and endometrial cancer show that estrogen causes one of the diseases. And since Luteolin can also cause anti-estrogenic effects, it can be used to treat cancers associated with estrogen.

8. Reduces Uric Acid

Luteolin lowers uric acid levels in the liver. Scientific studies show that Luteolin seems to have the same uric acid-lowering potential as a medication frequently used to treat acute gouty arthritis. [18]

9. Hypertension

Luteolin can decrease inflammation and fat buildup in blood arteries, protecting them against atherosclerosis or plaque buildup. [19] Aside from that, Luteolin can also strengthen heart cells, prevent tissue damage, and protect the cells against oxidative stress during a heart attack. [20]

10. Antimicrobial Properties

Evidence from animal research suggests that Luteolin can inhibit inflammation and provide protection from potentially fatal infections. It’s been shown to improve survival rates by as much as 44%.

The anti-inflammatory properties of Luteolin also protect mice from bacterial-induced breast and lung inflammation. Additionally, it can prevent the transmission of viruses like Epstein-Barr virus, which is linked to developing cancers of the throat and nasal cavity. It is also effective against the hepatitis B virus, which may cause severe liver damage if left untreated.

Luteolin Supplement Side Effects

The safety profile of Luteolin is uncertain due to a lack of well-designed clinical research. However, there have been reports of Luteolin causing adverse effects in a few animal trials. For example, one study found that therapy with Luteolin and other flavonoids temporarily enhanced irritability in 50% of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. [21]

Luteolin has shown no substantial toxicity or adverse effects on healthy cells in a few animal and cell investigations.

Luteolin Supplement Dosage

Labels typically list per-serving dosages between 100 and 300 milligrams, 100mg taken once or thrice a day. The dose should be adjusted based on the desired effects. The majority of these products combine Luteolin with quercetin-derived flavonoid rutin.

Is Luteolin Supplement Safe?

The safety and efficacy of luteolin supplements have not been established, and the FDA has not authorized their use for any medical purpose. There is also no universal guarantee that dietary supplements are safe and effective, as regulatory organizations provide no such assurance.

For now, taking Luteolin is safe as long as you follow the recommended dosage by the manufacturer. Pregnant women and children are especially advised to avoid it.

Bottomline: Luteolin Benefits and Side Effects

Luteolin is an intriguing flavonoid because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Luteolin may be abundant in foods, including citrus fruits, greens, cruciferous vegetables, and spices. Its therapeutic potential and advantages are promising. However, further human studies and trials are required to prove certain claims.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Li M, Li Q, Zhao Q, Zhang J, Lin J. Luteolin improves the impaired nerve functions in diabetic neuropathy: behavioral and biochemical evidence. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Sep 1;8(9):10112-20. PMID: 26617718; PMCID: PMC4637533.
  • Suh KS, Chon S, Choi EM. Luteolin alleviates methylglyoxal-induced cytotoxicity in osteoblastic MC3T3-E1 cells. Cytotechnology. 2016 Dec;68(6):2539-2552. doi: 10.1007/s10616-016-9977-y. Epub 2016 May 24. PMID: 27221336; PMCID: PMC5101326.
  • Jang TY, Jung AY, Kyung TS, Kim DY, Hwang JH, Kim YH. Anti-allergic effect of Luteolin in mice with allergic asthma and rhinitis. Cent Eur J Immunol. 2017;42(1):24-29. doi: 10.5114/ceji.2017.67315. Epub 2017 May 8. PMID: 28680328; PMCID: PMC5470611.
  • Theoharides TC. Luteolin as a therapeutic option for multiple sclerosis. J Neuroinflammation. 2009 Oct 13;6:29. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-6-29. PMID: 19825165; PMCID: PMC2768692.
  • Shi R, Huang Q, Zhu X, Ong YB, Zhao B, Lu J, Ong CN, Shen HM. Luteolin sensitizes the anticancer effect of cisplatin via c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-mediated p53 phosphorylation and stabilization. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Apr;6(4):1338-47. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-06-0638. PMID: 17431112.
  • Fang J, Zhou Q, Shi XL, Jiang BH. Luteolin inhibits insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling in prostate cancer cells. Carcinogenesis. 2007 Mar;28(3):713-23. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgl189. Epub 2006 Oct 25. PMID: 17065200.
  • Chiang CT, Way TD, Lin JK. Sensitizing HER2-overexpressing cancer cells to luteolin-induced apoptosis through suppressing p21(WAF1/CIP1) expression with rapamycin. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Jul;6(7):2127-38. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0107. PMID: 17620442.
  • Kim JH, Lee EO, Lee HJ, Ku JS, Lee MH, Yang DC, Kim SH. Caspase activation and extracellular signal-regulated kinase/Akt inhibition were involved in luteolin-induced apoptosis in Lewis lung carcinoma cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2007 Jan;1095:598-611. doi: 10.1196/annals.1397.102_2. PMID: 17410645.
  • Zang MD, Hu L, Fan ZY, Wang HX, Zhu ZL, Cao S, Wu XY, Li JF, Su LP, Li C, Zhu ZG, Yan M, Liu BY. Luteolin suppresses gastric cancer progression by reversing epithelial-mesenchymal transition via suppression of the Notch signaling pathway. J Transl Med. 2017 Feb 27;15(1):52. doi: 10.1186/s12967-017-1151-6. PMID: 28241766; PMCID: PMC5327575.
  • Manju V, Nalini N. Protective role of Luteolin in 1,2-dimethylhydrazine induced experimental colon carcinogenesis. Cell Biochem Funct. 2007 Mar-Apr;25(2):189-94. doi: 10.1002/cbf.1305. PMID: 16850523.
  • Wang H, Luo Y, Qiao T, Wu Z, Huang Z. Luteolin sensitizes the antitumor effect of cisplatin in drug-resistant ovarian cancer via induction of apoptosis and inhibition of cell migration and invasion. J Ovarian Res. 2018 Nov 19;11(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s13048-018-0468-y. PMID: 30454003; PMCID: PMC6241043.
  • Selvendiran K, Koga H, Ueno T, Yoshida T, Maeyama M, Torimura T, Yano H, Kojiro M, Sata M. Luteolin promotes degradation in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 in human hepatoma cells: an implication for the antitumor potential of flavonoids. Cancer Res. 2006 May 1;66(9):4826-34. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-4062. PMID: 16651438.
  • Ishisaka M, Kakefuda K, Yamauchi M, Tsuruma K, Shimazawa M, Tsuruta A, Hara H. Luteolin shows an antidepressant-like effect via suppressing endoplasmic reticulum stress. Biol Pharm Bull. 2011;34(9):1481-6. doi: 10.1248/bpb.34.1481. PMID: 21881237.
  • Zhen JL, Chang YN, Qu ZZ, Fu T, Liu JQ, Wang WP. Luteolin rescues pentylenetetrazole-induced cognitive impairment in epileptic rats by reducing oxidative stress and activating PKA/CREB/BDNF signaling. Epilepsy Behav. 2016 Apr;57(Pt A):177-184. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2016.02.001. Epub 2016 Mar 8. PMID: 26967006.
  • Yu TX, Zhang P, Guan Y, Wang M, Zhen MQ. Protective effects of Luteolin against cognitive impairment induced by infusion of Aβ peptide in rats. Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015 Jun 1;8(6):6740-7. PMID: 26261557; PMCID: PMC4525891.
  • Xu J, Wang H, Lu X, Ding K, Zhang L, He J, Wei W, Wu Y. Posttraumatic administration of Luteolin protects mice from traumatic brain injury: implication of autophagy and inflammation. Brain Res. 2014 Sep 25;1582:237-46. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2014.07.042. Epub 2014 Aug 2. PMID: 25093609.
  • Theoharides TC. Luteolin as a therapeutic option for multiple sclerosis. J Neuroinflammation. 2009 Oct 13;6:29. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-6-29. PMID: 19825165; PMCID: PMC2768692.
  • Lodhi S, Vadnere GP, Patil KD, Patil TP. Protective effects of Luteolin on injury induced inflammation through reduction of tissue uric acid and pro-inflammatory cytokines in rats. J Tradit Complement Med. 2019 Feb 27;10(1):60-69. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2019.02.004. PMID: 31956559; PMCID: PMC6957812.
  • Jia Z, Nallasamy P, Liu D, Shah H, Li JZ, Chitrakar R, Si H, McCormick J, Zhu H, Zhen W, Li Y. Luteolin protects against vascular inflammation in mice and TNF-alpha-induced monocyte adhesion to endothelial cells via suppressing IΚBα/NF-κB signaling pathway. J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Mar;26(3):293-302. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2014.11.008. Epub 2014 Dec 15. PMID: 25577468; PMCID: PMC4334457.
  • Zhang RQ, Li DY, Xu TD, Zhu SS, Pan HJ, Fang F, Wu X, Sun H. Antioxidative effect of luteolin pretreatment on simulated ischemia/reperfusion injury in cardiomyocyte and perfused rat heart. Chin J Integr Med. 2017 Jul;23(7):518-527. doi: 10.1007/s11655-015-2296-x. Epub 2016 Mar 8. PMID: 26956461.
  • Anilia T, Elias Z, Lefteris L, Kostantinos F. An Open-Label Pilot Study of a Formulation Containing the Anti-Inflammatory Flavonoid Luteolin and Its Effects on Behavior in Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders. New Atopic Clinical Entities in Search of Pathogenesis and Treatment Original Research. Vol 35, Issue 5. May 2013. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinthera.2013.04.006

Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.