Rutin: The hidden gem of flavonoids

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Last updated on May 6th, 2023 at 11:32 am

Bioflavonoids are a subclass of flavonoids which are plant-derived compounds known for their potential health-related beneficial properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunity boosting, cardioprotective, and skin protective properties. Bioflavonoids are found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and plants. These compounds are being studied for their antioxidant properties, as well as their ability to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, and strengthen capillaries.

As a natural substance bioflavonoids may have various potential health benefits and are often used as a dietary supplement or ingredient in skincare products.
One such bioflavonoid is Rutin which is used for various health benefits it comes along with.

What is Rutin?

Rutin is a type of flavonoid under the bioflavonoid sub-class. Rutin, just like other bioflavonoids, is derived from plant sources like buckwheat, asparagus, figs, tea, Japanese pagoda tree, and eucalyptus. Additionally, most citrus fruits, including apples, contain rutin.

Rutin was first synthesized in the first half of the nineteenth century by August Weiss, a German pharmacist, who made rutin from a common garden plant called Ruta Graveolens, hence the name rutin. Currently, rutin is also known as rutoside, quercetin-3-rutinoside, rutinic acid, violaquercetrin, rutinoside trihydrate, sophora, O-(beta-hydroxyethyl)-rutoside and birutan. These different names depending on the origin of rutin and its manufacturer.

Rutin is called ‘Vitamin P’ as it was believed to be helpful in the treatment of scurvy in the early 1930s.

Rutin is used in the preparation of more than 100 U.S. registered therapeutic remedies used for their several health benefits which include better vitamin C absorption to promote collagen production for skin health. Due to its antioxidant properties rutin is used as a prophylactic against oxidative stress-induced inflammation.

Benefits of Rutin

Bioflavonoids and other such plant pigments which are beneficial for our health are in the early stage of being researched and documented. There are thousands of studies that support these claims of amazing health benefits. However much more research is needed to fully understand the mechanism and function of such dietary nutrients. Some of the science-backed health benefits of rutin are:


Rutin is a well-known antioxidant bioflavonoid that is used medicinally for its cardioprotective properties by thousands of individuals. It reduces the effects of Oxidative stress on the heart and regulates blood pressure by expanding the blood vessels as a vasodilator. By regulating blood flow to the heart it prevents Ischemia-reperfusion injury which affects the heart tissue. Rutin not only protects heart tissue but helps in restoring heart function as well.
Rutin is found to reduce triglyceride levels if taken regularly over a month, especially by those who are obese and suffer from metabolic syndrome. By reducing triglyceride levels in the blood, rutin prevents blockage in the arteries.

In a study, rutin was found to significantly reduce the accumulation of fat in the cells by regulating lipid metabolism which reduced the amount of accumulated unsaturated fatty acid in Caenorhabditis elegans which is one of the most popular animal models.

Rutin and Hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoid is a condition where veins in the rectum and anus region get inflamed and cause swelling. This can lead to leakage of blood molecules and inflammatory cytokines in the region which might affect surrounding tissues leading to itching, pain or even bleeding.
Rutin has been found to help relieve the symptoms and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids. In studies, rutin along with hesperidin, quercetin, kaempferol, and other flavonoids, has been proven to reduce pain, itching, and bleeding in human trials while in animal models it reduced the severity of hemorrhoids with little to no side effects even in high dosage.

Rutin and Eye-sight

Rutin not only protects eyesight but also prevents it from further degradation. As an antioxidant, it reduces oxidative stress and promotes antioxidant enzyme activity in the body which prevents cell damage in the eye. It promotes healthy blood vessels and increases blood flow which helps in increased nutrition to the eye cells that can help prevent or treat conditions like subconjunctival hemorrhage, cataracts, and uveitis.

Diabetic retinopathy, one of the primary causes of blindness, is characterized by weakened blood vessels in the retina. Blood and fluid leakage in the retina is one of the major causes of retinopathy, which rutin can aid in preventing by fortifying these vessels and stopping blood leakage. Further, Rutin counters any inflammation present in the eye due to its anti-inflammatory property, considered another factor for diabetic retinopathy.

Additionally, Studies done on animal models show that flavonoids may also have a preventative role in light-induced retinal degeneration. In a study published recently, flavonoids raised rhodopsin and cone opsins(photoreceptor proteins), which prevented retinal damage and stopped further cell death from high-intensity light abuse.

Liver health

Oxidative stress and inflammation affect every organ in the body and liver function are one of those body functions which gets severely compromised by both of these factors. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of rutin help liver function.

Rutin has been shown to prevent liver damage caused by obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. In one study on the non-nutritive role of rutin, researchers found that it prevents or even reverses the effects of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) caused by high-carb diets. Furthermore in the same study researchers observed that rutin also prevented liver cell damage due to oxidative stress.

Rutin helps in the regulation of glucose and insulin metabolism which may help prevent insulin resistance in liver cells and promote better liver function.

Inflammatory Pain

When our body is under stress due to a disease or poor diet it experiences inflammation which can increase the production of free radicals in the body resulting in the heightened production of cytokines and prostaglandins which causes you to experience pain. Conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and fibromyalgia can cause chronic pain and inflammation leading to bone loss and tissue damage.

Rutin not only prevents and counters inflammation-related pain but also increases your pain threshold which results in increased mobility and better quality of life. In animal models, rutin along with other flavonoids present in a plant extract reduced inflammation by more than 30%. These flavonoids also showed significant pain-relieving properties by reducing the activity of pain receptors in the sensory nervous system.

Rutin Food Source

Flavonoids are usually present in plant-based foods and one plant may contain more than one flavonoid, that is why it is important to eat a diet that is balanced and nutritional that includes proteins, vitamins, essential minerals, and other dietary nutrients like Rutin.
Here is a list of more than 20 food items that contain rutin and can be found easily.

  • Buckwheat (dried) – 450 mg
  • Buckwheat flour – 26.2 mg
  • Buckwheat groats – 20 mg
  • Capers – 17 mg
  • Black tea – 11.7 mg
  • Apple (with skin) – 5.7 mg
  • Figs – 4.7 mg
  • Mulberries – 4.5 mg
  • Elderflowers – 4 mg
  • Cherries – 3.6 mg
  • Grapes – 3.4 mg
  • Oranges – 2.8 mg
  • Red onions – 2.2 mg
  • Asparagus – 1.2 mg
  • Kale – 1.7 mg
  • Blueberries – 1.5 mg
  • Blackberries – 1.3 mg
  • Raspberries – 1.1 mg
  • Green tea – 1 mg
  • Apricots (dried) – 0.6 mg
  • Cranberries – 0.9 mg
  • Chokeberries – 0.7 mg
  • Broccoli – 0.7 mg
  • Parsley – 0.6 mg

*List shows rutin content per 100 grams in each food.

Values based on USDA public data

Rutin Dosage

Rutin is not yet included as a standalone dietary supplement and it is not regulated by FDA so there is no specific recommended dosage for rutin. Generally, if you eat a well-balanced diet which includes food from the list above you would get enough rutin for your needs. However, if you want to take rutin for health benefits like:

  • For general Health- 50-250 mg/day
  • For Cardiovascular Health – 500-1000 mg/ day
  • For liver Health- 50 – 500 mg/day
  • For Pain – 50 – 500 mg/day

It’s important to note that these are just estimates based on research studies and must not be used as a prescription value, always use supplements or medications with proper expert guidance.


Rutin from supplements should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to limited data on its safety in such conditions.
Rutin supplements ought not to be taken along with blood thinning medications.

Side effects of Rutin

Rutin from natural sources is not known to cause side effects. In high doses through supplements there might be some side effects like:

  • Gastrointestinal issues – Diarrhea, nausea, bloating, or constipation.
  • Allergic reactions- Rashes, swelling, shortness of breath.
  • Headaches.
  • Anxiety.
  • High White Blood Cell(WBC) count.
  • Edema.


Rutin is a bioflavonoid found in various plant sources and is used in several registered therapeutic remedies for its numerous health benefits. Rutin is known for its cardioprotective properties, and it also helps regulate blood pressure and reduce triglyceride levels, which can help prevent blockages in arteries. Rutin can also reduce inflammation and pain associated with hemorrhoids and improve eye health, particularly in preventing and treating diabetic retinopathy.
Lastly, rutin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help maintain liver function. While more research is needed to fully understand the mechanism and function of such dietary nutrients, including bioflavonoids, the evidence from several studies supports the potential health benefits of rutin. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before taking any dietary supplements in high doses, including rutin.