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August 01, 2021

OWSD Nigeria National Chapter University of PortHarcourt Branch series of scientific communications: Awoala Akaranta on Rutin in Health Promotion for Sustainable Development





Awoala Akaranta



Human beings are at the centre of concerns for sustainable development, hence entitled to a healthy and productive life in harmony with nature (The Rio Declaration, 1992). Rutin is a bio flavonoid that is found in a variety of plants including citrus fruits, apple, green tea, onions, tomatoes, with the structure as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Structure of Rutin (Wikipedia, 2021)

 Rutin contains quercetin, an anti-inflammatory agent, as well as two bound glucose molecules which enhance its antioxidant effects on various organs of the body. WHO defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland Report, 1987).

Methods for Extracting Rutin

  • Heat reflux extraction
  • Ultrasound-assisted extraction
  • Mechanochemical assisted extraction
  • Microwave-assisted extraction
  • Pressurized liquid extraction

Rutin in Pharmacological/Medical Research

Anti-fatigue activity

  • Fatigue is an indication associated with a person’s health and related to deterioration in physical performance.
  • Depletion of energy along with the accumulation of excess metabolite is the key reasons for fatigue (Yu et al., 2010)
  • Treatment with rutin improves the various mutilations allied with physical fatigue (Su et al., 2014).

Larvicidal activities

  • Rutin significantly inhibits the growth and propagation of larvae of S. aegypti where maximum mortality of larvae was observed at 72 h (Dubey et al., 2013).

Antifungal activity

  • Rutin demonstrates antifungal activity against candida gattii with a minimum inhibitory concentration of 60µg/ml (Johann et al., 2011).

Antibacterial Activity

  • Rutin has antimicrobial activity against various strains of bacteria. It has demonstrated a profound degree of inhibition on the growth of bacteria Escherichia coli (Araruna et al; 2012).
  • An in-situ antimicrobial activity of rutin and other polyphenols in the food system demonstrates a promising involvement of flavonoids in the preservation of food (Stojkovic et al; 2013).

Thyroid iodide uptake promotion

  • Thyroid iodide uptake via sodium – iodide plays a pivotal role in thyroid hormone biosynthesis for the treatment of various thyroid diseases.
  • Administration of rutin results to an increment in thyroid iodide uptake, demonstrating the effectiveness of rutin as an adjuvant in radioiodine therapy (Goncalves et al; 2013).

Antimalarial activity

  • Biochemical activity of Azadirachta indica leaf extract revealed the presence of an abundant amount of quercetin, an active metabolite of rutin (Iwu et al; 1986)
  • Antiplasmodial activity of quercetin is documented against plasmodium falciparum (Ganesh et al; 2012)

Radio modulatory effects

  • Ionizing radiations usually used in radiation therapy for cancer, generate free radicals that damage DNA leading to the death of cells.
  • Rutin has been investigated for radioprotective effects.
  • Rutin at the dose of 10 mg/kg optimally demonstrates radioprotective effects
  • An increment in radiation tolerance and levels of antioxidant enzymes were observed with a decrease in lipid peroxidation in liver (Patil et al; 2002).

Anticancer effects

  • Rutin has been extensively studied for anticancer effects. The administration of rutin in human colon cancer cells resulted in less detrimental effects on the body in mice along with an increment of mean survival time of 50 days (Alonso – Castro et al; 2013).
  • Quercetin, a rutin analog, has been studied against the proliferation of ovarian cancer cells, where dose-related inhibition was observed (Scambia et al; 1990).

Wound healing effect

  • Rutin, formulated as hydrogel, when applied to skin lesions of rats, caused a decrease in wound area as compared to control hydrogels.
  • Reduction in oxidative stress in the wound is responsible for the decrease in wound area (Almeida et al; 2012).


Health Benefits of Rutin

Rutin promotes health by:

  • Protecting brain cells from damage.
  • Blocking inflammatory enzymes
  • Preventing blood clots.
  • Reducing oxidative stress and free radicals.
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Relaxing blood vessels
  • Safely lowering high blood pressure.


  • Sustainable development of a nation, in a knowledge-based economy, relies on protecting the environment and enhancing the wellbeing of its citizenry.
  • Rutin has enormous health benefits and can be added to diet by eating foods that contain it or taking it in supplement form.
  • Orange mesocarp is a rich source of rutin, hence Orange Mesocarp Tea (OMET) can be used to meet the daily rutin requirement for a healthy and productive life, the bedrock of sustainable development.


Almeida J.S., Benvegnú D.M., Boufleur N., Reckziegel P., Barcelos R.C., Coradini K., de Carvalho L.M., Bürger M.E., Beck R.C. (2012). Hydrogels containing rutin intended for cutaneous administration: efficacy in wound healing in rats. Drug Dev. Ind. Pharm.  38(7):792–799.

Alonso-Castro A.J., Domínguez F., García-Carrancá A. (2013). Rutin exerts antitumor effects on nude mice bearing SW480 tumor. Arch. Med. Res. 44(5):346–351. 

Araruna M.K., Brito S.A., Morais-Braga M.F., Santos K.K., Souza T.M., Leite T.R., Costa J.G., Coutinho H.D. (2012). Evaluation of antibiotic & antibiotic modifying activity of pilocarpine & rutin Indian J. Med. Res. 135:252–254. 

Dubey S., Ganeshpurkar A., Shrivastava A., Bansal D., Dubey N. (2013). Rutin exerts antiulcer effect by inhibiting the gastric proton pump. Indian J. Pharmacol. 45(4):415–417. 

Ganesh D., Fuehrer H.P., Starzengrüber P., Swoboda P., Khan W.A., Reismann J.A., Mueller M.S., Chiba P., Noedl H. (2012). Antiplasmodial activity of flavonol quercetin and its analogues in Plasmodium falciparum: evidence from clinical isolates in Bangladesh and standardized parasite clones. Parasitol. Res. 110(6):2289–2295. 

Gonçalves C.F., Santos M.C., Ginabreda M.G., Fortunato R.S., Carvalho D.P., Freitas Ferreira A.C. (2013). Flavonoid rutin increases thyroid iodide uptake in rats. PLoS One.  8(9): e73908. 

Iwu M.M., Obidoa O., Anazodo M. (1986). Biochemical mechanism of the antimalarial activity of Azadirachta indica leaf extract. Pharmacol. Res. Commun. 18(1):81–91.

Johann S., Mendes B.G., Missau F.C., Rezende M.A., Pizzollati M.G. (2011). Antifungal activity of five species of Polygala. Braz. J. Microbiol. 42:1065–1075.

Patil S.L., Mallaiah S.H., Patil R.K. (2013). Antioxidative and radioprotective potential of rutin and quercetin in Swiss albino mice exposed to gamma radiation. J. Med. Phys. 38(2):87–92.

Scambia G., Ranelletti F.O., Benedetti Panici P., Bonanno G., De Vincenzo R., Piantelli M., Mancuso S. (1990). Synergistic antiproliferative activity of quercetin and cisplatin on ovarian cancer cell growth. Anticancer Drugs.  1(1):45–48. 

Stojković D., Petrović J., Soković M., Glamočlija J., Kukić-Marković J., Petrović S. (2013). In situ antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of naturally occurring caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid and rutin, using food systems. J. Sci. Food Agric.  93(13):3205–3208. 

Su K.Y., Yu C.Y., Chen Y.W., Huang Y.T., Chen C.T., Wu H.F., Chen Y.L. (2014). Rutin, a flavonoid and principal component of Saussurea involucrata, attenuates physical fatigue in a forced swimming mouse model. Int. J. Med. Sci. 11(5):528–537.

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992).

Yu D.S.F., Lee D.T.F., Man N.W. (2010). Fatigue among older people: a review of the research literature. Int. J. Nursing Stud. 47:216–228. 

About the speaker

Awoala Akaranta is a Lecturer in the Department of Nursing Sciences,

Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.


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