Flavonoids are found widely in Plant kingdom. Flavonoids are basically polyphenol. They are beneficial to both humans and plants. They help plants in protecting them from different microorganisms, insects and even from the UV radiation too. They are present in an abundant amount of vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbs. They are basically antioxidants, estrogenic regulators, and antimicrobial agents, Which is why it has been noticed that flavonoids have the ability to prevent Cancer.
Flavonoid act on cancer by blocking various mechanisms through which cancer spreads. Which include cell transformation, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis, through inhibiting kinases, reducing transcription factors, regulating cell cycle, and inducing apoptotic cell death.
LuteolinLuteolin belongs to a group of naturally occurring compounds known as flavonoids. It is often glycosylated in plants, and the glycoside is hydrolyzed to free luteolin during absorption. Luteolin is heat stable and losses due to cooking are relatively low.
Luteolin is mostly present in:-
- onion leaves
- apple skins
- chrysanthemum flowers
Anti-Oxidant Activity of LuteolinMost of the flavonoid including Luteolin are anti-oxidants. Reactive oxygen is considered to act as secondary messengers but if they are produced in a large amount in the cell they can be leather to the cell.
The reactive oxygen group which is produced in cell and are short life can be
- hydrogen peroxide
- hydroxyl radicals
- singlet oxygen
- lipid peroxyl radical
The functions performed by Luteolin as anti-oxidant are:-
- Luteolin structure has the ability to make bond with these reactive oxygen species, Reducing the amount in the cell
- Luteolin inhibits the production of these reactive oxygen species.
- Luteolin has the ability to move the anti-oxidants into the cell which are present outside the cell.
- Luteolin may directly inhibit the enzymes that catalyze the oxidation of the cellular components.
- luteolin may chelate transition metal ions responsible for the generation of reactive oxygen species and therefore inhibit lipoxygenase reaction, or suppress nontransition metal-dependent oxidation.
Anti-Cancer activityCarcinogenesis is a long-lasting and multi-stage process. Carcinogenesis process can be divided into three stages
- Initiation: - This is the beginning step the step at which the changes in the DNA takes place. In which enzyme cytochrome P450 is involved which convert carcinogenic compound into mutagen.
- Promotion: - In this phase alterations in genome expression occur to favor cell growth and proliferation.
- Progression: - In this phase, the proliferation starts and cancer start to spreads. Luteolin acts on all the stages and prevents cancer.
Estrogenic and antiestrogenic activityEstrogens are hormones which are involved in proliferation and differentiation of their target cells. When estrogens are produced in response to this hormone the receptor known as estrogen receptor are activated. Which result in activation of DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. Luteolin has the ability to bind to the estrogen receptor and activate it. So luteolin can be useful for hormone replacement therapy. Although it has low estrogenic property.
Because of this low estrogenic properties also sometimes acts as an antiestrogen. As when luteolin binds to the receptor it prevents the binding of estrogen and results in a deficiency of it in the cell. Another mechanism of luteolin's anti-estrogenic activity is that it inhibits aromatase whose function is to aromatize androgens and produce estrogens.
High concentration of estrogen in the cell are also linked to many kinds of cancer. This include prostate, ovarian, endometrial cancers and breast cancers. Luteolin, as well as other flavonoids, is able to inhibit DNA synthesis and proliferation in mammary epithelial cells and breast cancer cells induced by estrogens.
Anti- InflammationInflammation is one of the body's defense mechanism which helps in healing. But when this inflammation reaches to chronic level then it is painful and can cause various diseases. Such as arthritis, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mechanism of Inflammation
The toxin from the pathogen and cytokine from the host are responsible for the activation of macrophages during inflammation process. The cell membrane of Gram-negative bacteria made of lipopolysaccharide which is a common endotoxin and inflammation trigger. Macrophages then produce inflammatory molecules such as tumor necrosis factor α, interleukins, and free radicals, leading to recruitment of inflammatory cells, such as neutrophils and lymphocytes, to the infection site and clearance of the pathogens.
Regular production of these factors in chronic inflammation can result in cancer. The anti-inflammation activity of luteolin effect through suppressing the production of these cytokines and their signal transduction pathways. This then prevents the chronic inflammation and related diseases which are related to inflammation.
This shows flavonoids are good for health they must be in your diet