Luteolin turns on Genes that May Prevent Glaucomatous Damage
What is Luteolin?
Luteolin (3’,4’,5,7-tetrahydroxyflavone) is a flavonoid that is naturally found in broccoli, cabbages, carrots, celery, green pepper, parsley, perilla, and chamomile tea. Flavonoids act as natural anti-oxidants which scavenge free-radicals.
Evidence that Luteolin can be effective in the treatment of Glaucoma
No human studies have been published evaluating Luteolin’s possible glaucoma treatment benefits. Nonetheless, Luteolin has a number of properties that make it a promising potential treatment of glaucoma. For one, it passes through the blood-brain barrier which would give it direct access to the retinal tissue damaged by glaucoma.
Luteolin has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and neuroprotective characteristics. Specifically, it has been shown to inhibit the pro-inflammatory gene expression in microglia. Microglia are cells found in the retina and central nervous system that perform immune surveillance. Depending upon the chemical signals they receive, microglia will act to either protect or destroy nerve cells. Microglia appear to be involved in a number of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular they seem to play a role in retinal degeneration. By nudging microglia away from “destroy” mode and into “protect” mode Luteolin acts as a neuroprotectant.
Potential Side Effects and Risks:
Luteolin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA. However, gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and vomiting may be encountered.
No human glaucoma studies have been done looking at the role of Luteolin in the treatment of glaucoma. Therefore, it is not known what dose, if any, would provide a benefit to those with glaucoma.
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