They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and when a fruit is packed with so many nutrients, it’s not hard to see why. Choice among them is rutin, a bioflavanoid with strong antioxidant properties.
You can also find rutin in figs and some citrus fruits, along with buckwheat, and green and black teas. In addition to its natural presence in these foods, rutin is also available as an oral supplement. As of 2013, there were over 130 registered therapeutic medicinal preparations containing rutin.
Antioxidants perform many important functions in the body. They can protect the body from disease as well as fight off any free radicals that accumulate. Because of this, rutin has attracted the interest of doctors and scientists looking to explore additional health benefits, and learn more about its potential anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties.
Rutin's anti-inflammatory properties might make it useful as a treatment for certain intestinal issues, and experiments on mice have shown its potential for people suffering from colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. In humans, rutin has been used to treat edema, which occurs when too much fluid is trapped in your body's tissues.
There is also some strong scientific evidence to suggest that rutin can help prevent blood clots, which can be deadly, but more research is needed to confirm this.
No More Varicose Veins?
Some of rutin's health benefits come from its chemical derivatives, which are available as supplements. For example, oxerutins do not occur naturally, but can be chemically derived from rutin. They’ve been in use in Europe since the 1960s and are commonly used to treat or prevent varicose veins, as well as hemorrhoids and leg ulcers.
In most studies, oxerutin has been proven effective in treating varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and in strengthening blood vessels. Tests also show that they are safe to take during pregnancy — happy news, as varicose veins often occur in pregnant women. That being said, you should always consult with a doctor before taking any supplements, particularly if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Reducing the Risk of Disease
Osteoarthritis is the breakdown of cartilage in the joints. This causes lesions to develop in the cartilage, and in turn, severe joint pain. It’s possible that rutin, in combination with other compounds, could help slow this process down. In one study, doses of rutin given to guinea pigs suffering from osteoarthritis managed to slow down the development of lesions. Scientists also saw evidence to suggest that rutin, in combination with other substances, can have anti-inflammatory effects. Additional studies are needed to explore rutin's health benefits in treating osteoarthritis.
Scientists have seen some correlation between high levels of flavonoids (including rutin) in the diet and a reduced risk for certain chronic diseases, including cancer.
Rutin shows potential in a lot of areas, but you should always consult with a doctor before adding supplements to your diet. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t regulate supplements in the same way they regulate other pharmaceutical drugs. While no serious side effects have been reported, it can interfere with other medications.
That being said, there’s no danger in getting rutin from natural sources. Keep chomping away at your daily apple, and make sure to eat the skin — that’s where most of the rutin is.