RUTIN (VITAMIN P)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
WHAT IS RUTIN
Rutin, which is also known as vitamin P, is a bioflavonoid that’s found in certain foods.
The name of the flavonoid comes from the Latin name of the plant Ruta graveolens, which also contains rutin.
Like all flavonoids, it has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and helps relieve arthritis symptoms. It is used to strengthen blood vessels, improve blood circulation, prevents blood clots, and lower cholesterol.
Rutin is also known for its ability to help the body to use vitamin C more effectively and promote collagen production.
Rutin is a flavonoid that’s found in many foods and plants, including buckwheat (almost 300mg per 1 kilo), citrus fruits, apples, olives, ginkgo biloba, passion flower tea, elderflower tea and extracts, amaranth leaves, figs, onions, grapefruit, plums, asparagus, apricots, cherries, and grapes.
KEY HEALTH BENEFITS
BLOOD CLOTS & DVT
Investigators at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that rutin may prevent blood clotting or thrombosis (according to animal studies). Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) (>) is particularly dangerous because it can cause life-threatening complications, such as pulmonary embolism (blockage of the pulmonary vein), although a clot from deep vein usually doesn’t move to the heart to cause a heart attack or to the brain to cause a stroke.
It was found that rutin inhibits secretion of certain protein namely disulfide isomerase (PDI), which is released by platelets and endothelial cells during thrombosis. By blocking the release of this protein, rutin has proved to block thrombosis in mice. In addition, rutin also prevents the same PDI from entering cells.
Scientists discovered that rutin helped prevent blood clots in both arteries and veins, and claim rutin is the only agent that can prevent both types of clots. (>)
Rutin helps maintain blood vessel elasticity, reduce their brittleness, lower permeability of the capillaries (smallest blood vessels), and prevent complications caused by high blood pressure.
It was found that rutin helps prevent heart disease by signalling a specific protein kinases. The most effective dose of rutin used on pigs with coronary arterie disease was 45 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. The vitamin managed to reduce the amount of dead tissue in the heart and improved blood circulation. (>)
According to a 2014 study, treatment with rutin and quercetin reduced the negative effects of a high-salt diet in rats with high blood pressure. The combination of these two bioflavonoids turned out to be even more effective than the use of high blood pressure drug nifedipin.
CIRCULATION, HAEMORRHOIDS & VARICOSE VEINS
Since rutin is known for its ability to strengthen blood vessels (both arteries and veins) it is often used to prevent and treat haemorrhoids, spider veins and varicose veins, and reduce risk of haemorrhagic strokes that are triggered by broken veins or arteries.
Researchers who reviewed various studies on rutin suggest that due to its anti-inflammatory and circulation promoting properties, rutin has the ability to bring relieve to the leg pain associated with poor circulation. It can also significantly reduce leg cramps, heaviness and itching, and decrease leg swelling.
Rutin had similar benefits in another study with 22 subjects with varicose veins and venous insufficiency. According to the results, the higher dose (2 g/day) had a faster effect than the lower dose (1 g/day), but all patients experienced the benefits in just 8 days (>).
VARICOSE VEINS IN PREGNANCY
Rutoside (a compound found in rutin) helps prevent and reduce varicose veins in pregnant women, according to a 2015 scientific review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. In their in-depth analysis of a previously published clinical studies, scientists found that rutoside appears to help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins in late pregnancy. Unfortunately, the review’s authors concluded that there is not enough data to assess the safety of using rutin during pregnancy.
Rutin supports brain health and cognition because of its neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
According to a 2018, research rutin may be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. (>)
It also protects brain by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines, improving mitochondrial function of the brain cells, and improving antioxidant activities.
Russian scientists discovered that rutin can reduce the overproduction of harmful free radicals in rheumatoid arthritis, thus easing pain and reducing damage to the joints. (>)
According to a 2017 research vitamin P improved the formation of new tissue and regeneration of the damaged joint’s surface. It managed to reduce inflammation and improve cartilage and bone erosion. (>)
Rutin has been shown to induce apoptosis (cancer cell death) and reduce tumour size, thus increasing survival time. A review analysing the potential anticancer properties of this bioflavonoid found that it had demonstrated anticancer effect against various types of cancer, including melanoma, leukaemia, colon and colorectal cancer, lung and liver cancer. (>)
According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research rutin can work as a chemosensitizer against two human breast cancer cell lines. It significantly boosted the anticancer strength of anticancer drugs and helped stop cancer cell cycle progression. (>)
Another study found that rutin can be very beneficial in fighting neuroblastoma, a type of cancer often found in the adrenal glands of children. (>)
DIABETES & METABOLIC DISEASE
Studies on aged rats have demonstrated that Rutin’s ability to reduce the increase of fasting blood glucose spikes, insulin levels and blood pressure.
Rutin has improved ageing-related metabolic dysfunction in rats by reducing inflammation, lipid accumulation, oxidative stress and mitochondrial disease, a disorder that’s caused by failure of the mitochondria that’s found in almost every single cell of the human body. (>)
In postmenopausal rats with osteoporosis, rutin slowed down bone loss and increased bone mineralization (>). Rutin did it by blocking the development of bone-degrading cells in bone marrow and increasing the activity of bone-building cells.
AGING & SKIN
Rutin has the potential to be an effective anti-aging supplement. In rats, it reduced markers of aging linked to collagen and prevented their build-up in skin cells (>).
In addition, rutin can be used in sunscreen as it has SPF effect (>).
Rutin is available in a supplemental form that contain only rutin or combined with other bioflavonoids (bioflavonoid complex).
There is no official recommended rutin dosage. Taking into consideration doses used in some studies 500 milligrams two times a day seems to be reasonable, although some suggest even larger dosages up to four grams per day.
Rutin is considered safe when taken in recommended doses.
One study indicates that ingesting up to 4 grams of rutin per day should be a well-tolerated. However, since this is much higher than the standard dose I would use it only for a shorter time such as one month and reduce to 500mg once or twice daily. (>)
Lower concentration of vitamin C may enhance the antioxidant effects of rutin. However, high vitamin C doses may have the opposite effect (>).
Rutin may reduce effectiveness of some sedative drugs such as phenobarbital or synthetic hormones (>).
If you are on any prescription medication, consult the use of rutin with your health care provider.
Rutin is important during pregnancy because it helps prevent haemorrhoids and varicose veins in pregnant woman.
However, some sources suggest that since we don’t have enough scientific data it’s better to avoid rutin supplements during pregnancy. I have even found one reference according to which, “Rutin supplements can cause miscarriage so should not be used during pregnancy” (Pasillas, 2012). Unfortunately, I can’t find access to this source in order to find on what basis this statement was written and how much rutin was used in that trial (studies often use very high doses of tested nutrient).
I personally wouldn’t recommend pregnant women avoiding rutin in multivitamins or prenatal supplements if its amount per tablet/capsule is small (not more than 50mg per daily dose), unless high in rutin unrefined plant foods such as buckwheat groats are consumed on a regular basis.
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.