Many people are not aware that one of the healthiest flavonoid compounds found in fruits is Rutin, a tiny flavonoid found in the skin of citrus fruits. It is classified as a “flavonoid glycoside”, which simply means that its a combination of a flavonoid (quercetin) and two sugar molecules.
You may know Quercetin as a well studied flavonoid with many different benefits, including:
Rutin provides the same benefits of quercetin, along with a few other distinct advantages. This is due to the similar molecular structure that Rutin and Quercetin share. We’ll detail those below.
The History of Rutin
The strangely simple name “rutin” is derived from the herb called “rue”. Before receiving its official name, it was called “Vitamin P” (this was during the 1940’s). However, it isn’t exactly a vitamin. As mentioned above, rutin is a flavonoid with special properties.
Rutin has been used in medicine for thousands of years by many different cultures around the world. Scientific research has concluded that its health benefits come from the ability to help the body more efficiently use certain nutrients, notably Vitamin C and quercetin.
That means that when rutin is taken together with other nutrients, it helps increase their absorption and assimilation throughout the cells of your body. This is an important note, especially in regards to Quercetin absorption.
Benefits of Rutin
As an active flavonoid and antioxidant source, rutin has many benefits that quercetin alone doesn't have. This is due to it's altered molecular structure. Read on below.
1. Rutin Allows For An Extended Release of Quercetin
Typically, quercetin is taken as a gentle and natural antihistamine, you can read more about it here. It is a fantastic ingredient for supporting your sinus and respiratory health.
However, one of the downsides of quercetin is that it is released into your body fairly quickly. This quick release means that it will momentarily increase the amount of quercetin in your blood, but then it will quickly dissipate. Alone, quercetin can only have so much effectiveness.
As a molecular structure, rutin is virtually identical to quercetin, with the exception that rutin includes two sugar molecules (see image below). While two sugar molecules may seem like a small difference, this leads to major benefits.
The additional sugar molecules attached to rutin allow for an an extended release of quercetin into your body. This is due to the fact that your body has to process the extra sugar molecules, which slows down the rate of absorption, and allows you to process the quercetin molecule more efficiently.
This helps to raise your blood levels of quercetin as more of it is absorbed over time.
As a best practice, taking a combination of quercetin and rutin is your best bet if looking to increase overall quercetin levels. We created a combo supplement formula that contains each ingredient called Allurtica, you can learn more about it here.
2. Rutin Supports a Healthy Circulatory System
Cultures before our modern civilizations have used rutin to support the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Researchers suggest that this may be due to its ability to expand blood vessels in your arteries and capillaries (2).
This mode of action can improve your general health in almost every aspect. Proper blood flow is important for overall health because your blood helps to transport necessary nutrients throughout your body.
When your blood vessels are strong, their proper function is restored and you can see improvements in multiple aspects of your health. More specifically, problems such as easily bruising, varicose veins, and/or spider veins should see improvement quickly.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that rutin can even help with hemorrhoids, which are caused by swollen veins.
3. Rutin Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
The effects of rutin on blood quality may be enforced further due to its ability to help support healthy blood sugar levels (3). Glucose quantity in your blood is directly correlated with harmful fluctuations of insulin levels. It helps to support blood sugar levels within the normal range
Additionally, researchers have done testing with rutin on rats for 45 days. The studies had shown that administering it as a supplement had decreased fasting glucose levels, which means that it may be beneficial for supporting normalized blood sugar levels (4).
4. Rutin Supports Skin Health
New research shows that rutin can play a major role in supporting healthy skin. In a study published in 2016, researchers found that rutin applied via a topical cream increased dermal density, increased skin elasticity, and decreased wrinkles (5).
Rutin's antioxidant activities seem to be the main driving force for these skin health benefits.
Best Food Sources of Rutin
Rutin can be found in high amounts in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruits. These happen to be some of the best quality sources because they also contain high amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients.
Rutin works best in combination with antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C because it helps to increase absorption and efficiency, as compared to vitamin C being taken alone.
This healthy compound is also found in high amounts within buckwheat, apples, asparagus and figs. These are excellent sources of rutin as well because they can be eaten in higher amounts than citrus fruits.
Typically, you don’t want to be eating too much acidic food because it can be detrimental to the structure of your teeth. So eating more buckwheat, asparagus and apples can help you get larger amounts of natural food-sourced quercetin.
Rutin can also be found in a few different types of teas. Black tea, green tea and elderflower tea seem to have a significant amount of bioflavonoids. This may be why some people believe that tea is healthier than coffee.
While coffee has its own health benefits, the rutin in tea may make a more significant impact on your immediate well-being. Although tea has caffeine as well, the artery-strengthening abilities of rutin may pair nicely with the blood vessel dilating effect of this stimulant.
Best food sources of rutin include:
A diet rich in all types of flavonoids is essential for the proper functioning of your body’s organs. Rutin may be a particularly special antioxidant due to its many unique properties. It seems that it works best in combination with other flavonoids like quercetin and nutrients like vitamin C.
Look to add foods that are rich in rutin to your diet. If you’d prefer to take it in a supplement form, we offer it in our Allurtica product. This formula was created specifically of those that are struggling with seasonal challenges. It contains both rutin and quercetin.