Out of more than 4,000 bioflavonoids that have been discovered by scientists, Luteolin happens to be among most widespread ones in nature. Luteolin is actually a flavone, a specific type of flavonoid with a unique structure. A wide range of fruits, herbs and vegetables, such as artichoke, celery, citrus fruits, thyme, and more, contain Luteolin.
At the University of Illinois, the animal-based study “Luteolin Inhibits Microglia” was conducted, which involved aged mice and the use of luteolin. It was observed that luteolin helped lower inflammation in the mice’s brains and improved their memory to levels similar to those of younger mice.
Apparently normal aging results in dysregulation of microglial cells in the brain, leading to the excessive production of inflammatory cytokines. The researchers believe that this is the reason cognitive aging and neurodegenerative diseases occur.
A bacterial toxin was applied to microglial cells, which resulted in the production of inflammatory cytokines that can destroy the neurons in the brain. When the affected microglial cells were exposed to luteolin, it protected and prevented the neurons from dying. Basically, luteolin does not directly protect the neurons, but it does inhibit neurotoxic inflammatory mediators from developing by affecting the microglial cells.
In the mentioned study, when spatial memory of aged mice, which were fed a luteolin-enhanced diet, was observed, it was discovered that their learning and recall had in creased. Additionally, luteolin also decreased inflammatory markers in the hippocampus of the brain, which is the region of the brain associated with spatial awareness and memory.
The researchers conclude that luteolin targets the brain and lowers and/or prevents microglial cells and the production of inflammatory cytokines from being activated. Hence, luteolin acts on microglial cells, increasing cognitive function that naturally declines with age due to inflammation in the brain.
Every cell has an energy center known as the mitochondria. Aging is believed to be a direct result of decline in mitochondrial function. The study “Luteolin promotes mitochondrial protection” indicates that luteolin activates cellular antioxidants, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase, in order to prevent the aging of cellular mitochondria.
Luteolin is most commonly available in the form of 50 milligram and 100 milligram capsules. For optimal efficacy, the ideal active dose of luteolin is 100 milligrams per day. So, when taking 50 milligram capsules, one should be taken in the morning and one in the evening. Since other flavonoids tend to maximize the effects of luteolin, so it is best if the capsules are taken with main meals.
Luteolin Side Effects
It has been seen in the animal study “Luteolin, a non-selective competitive inhibitor” that taking luteolin may result in gastrointestinal adverse side effects, including gastric hypersecretion, nausea, and vomiting. Laboratory studies like “Common autism supplement affects” have also revealed that another potential adverse effect of luteolin is that it may block the endocrine effects of progesterone, which is an endogenous steroid hormone associated with the female menstrual cycle.
As a natural substance, luteolin is absolutely non-toxic. It must be noted that some luteolin capsules tend to contain arachide.
- Journal of Nutrition: Luteolin Inhibits Microglia and Alters Hippocampal-Dependent Spatial Working Memory in Aged Mice.
- The Egyptian Heart Journal: Luteolin promotes mitochondrial protection during acute and chronic periods of isoproterenol induced myocardial infarction in rats.
- European Journal of Pharmacology: Luteolin, a non-selective competitive inhibitor of phosphodiesterases 1–5.
- Hormones and Cancer: Common autism supplement affects endocrine system.