Kaempferol, Quercetin, Rutin, isorhamnetin, genistein, and sophoricoside are the major active constituents of S. japonica. Rutin, in particular, is the most important and abundant constituent of S. japonica.
(3,3′,4′,5,7-pentahydroxyflavone-3-rhamnoglucoside) is a flavonol,abundantly found in plants.
Chemically it is a glycoside comprising of flavonolic aglycone Quercetin along with disaccharide Rutinose. It has demonstrated a number of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, cytoprotective, vasoprotective, anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective and cardioprotective activities
The main job of Rutin in our body is to help utilize vitamin C and produce collagen.One key benefit of Rutin is its ability to strengthen the lining of the blood vessels throughout the body to reduce bleeding and prevent them from collapsing. One way it accomplishes this is through oxerutins, which are a group of flavonoid chemicals derived from naturally occurring Rutin and which have been used in European supplements since the 1960s for treating and preventing varicose veins and leg ulcers. According to University of Maryland Medical Center, “A number of studies have shown that flavonoids that come from Rutin relieve swelling, aching, and pain from varicose veins.” Because Rutin strengthens arteries and veins, it is also used to help treat hemorrhoids, internal bleeding, and to help prevent hemorrhagic strokes.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a nationally recognized leader in integrative medicine, points out that Rutin can be very helpful in treating strained blood vessels in such conditions as hemorrhoids due to Rutin’s ability to maintain capillary flexibility and strength. The capillaries are the smallest blood vessels in the body, and when they get strained in the anal region due to overweight or pregnancy, having chronic diarrhea or constipation, or other reasons, the results are swollen blood vessels, or hemorrhoids. Nutritional-Supplements-Health-Guide.com claims that Rutin is “used widely” for this purpose.
Rutin is considered to be an antioxidant, meaning that it binds to damaging free radicals in the body and neutralizes them. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), free radicals turn LDL cholesterol into plaques, which in turn can block arteries and prevent normal blood flow, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Blocked arteries can lead to cardiovascular conditions as heart disease and stroke.
However, the AHA cautions that Rutin supplements—or any antioxidant supplements—have not (as of 2010) been clinically proven to reduce atherosclerosis, but that eating a diet high in Rutin and other antioxidants from fruits and vegetables has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol, and therefore atherosclerosis, in numerous scientific studies.
What’s more, studies show that Rutin may also be able to stop the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) altogether. This would be quite a health benefit, as thrombosis is one of the leading causes of death in the USA. Rutin is proving to be very effective with blood clots because it helps treat and prevent clots in both arteries and veins. Clots in arteries are platelet-rich and clots in veins are fibrin-rich. A study published in the Harvard Gazette suggests that this could be a safe alternative to aspirin, Plavix, and warfarin (Coumadin).
Studies on Rutin in regards to Cardiovascular System:
Rutin is found to prevent oxidative damage in ‘aortic endothelial cells’ by lowering nitrotyrosine immunoreactivity. Germinated extract of buckwheat, a rich source of Rutin, demonstrated antihypertensive effect and possibly shelter ‘arterial endothelial cells’ by detrimental effects of oxidative stress (Kim et al., 2009). Reduction in oxidative stress due to Rutin, when administered by oral route, is the key reason for the restoration of ‘impaired baroreflex sensitivity’ and ‘vascular reactivity’ in hypertensive rats (Mendes-Junior et al., 2013). By augmenting NO production in human endothelial cells, Rutin improved endothelial functions (Ugusman et al., 2014).
Chan et al. (2009) attempted to study effects of the Rutin on the anticoagulant activity of oral warfarin and the protein binding along with pharmacokinetics of its enantiomers in rats.
Rutin enhanced the in vitro serum protein binding of S- and R-warfarin. Rutin treatment significantly decreased the elimination half-life of S-warfarin by 37% as a result of the 69% increase in unbound clearance of the S-enantiomer. In a nutshell, concomitant administration of Rutin possibly reduces the anticoagulant effect of racemic warfarin (Chan et al., 2009).
Antiplatelet aggregatory effect
Rutin in vitro caused concentration-dependent inhibition of platelet activating factor induced washed rabbit platelet aggregation, and intra-platelet free calcium concentration elevation was induced by platelet activating factor which was inhibited by Rutin in a dose-dependent manner (Chen et al., 2002).
Another major component of Sophora japoincia Linne Fruit, is a bioflavonoids that has anti-oxidant, anti-artherogenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties. Quercetin is also neuroactive, with some of the same abilities as Caffeine but less potent.
Generally, Quercetin is used for treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels including hardening of the arteries, high cholesterol, heart disease, and circulation problems.
Studies have shown that the consumption of flavonoids, specifically Quercetin, offer a two fold benefit (at least) in promoting overall cardiovascular health. First, it encourages blood flow. Researchers have observed that Quercetin’s antioxidant action protects against LDL cholesterol oxidation. This may be beneficial because oxidation causes LDL cholesterol to stick to artery walls. In addition to supporting cardiovascular health, Quercetin naturally promotes balanced blood pressure. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover study evaluated the effect of Quercetin supplementation and reported that the participants experienced a stabilization in systolic, diastolic and average arterial pressure.
Another of Quercetin’s cardiovascular benefits is its ability to inhibit platelet aggregation or “stickiness” in platelets. Oxidant stress and inflammation trigger this excessive “stickiness” in platelets and blood vessel walls. Untreated, the result can lead to a stroke or a heart attack following blood clot formation. Human volunteers taking a highly bioavailable form of Quercetin at both 150 amd 300mg/day rapidly (within 30 min) inhibited platelet aggregation. This effect proved to be the result of multiple changes in biochemical signaling pathways and gene expression, resulting in a healthier, “non-sticky” condition of the platelets.
Overall, lot of the times these components were consumed in natural form (fruits and vegetable) and more evidence is needed to rate Rutin and Querrcertin to be “effective” as medicine or supplements. But there is still no doubt that these components is beneficial to our cardiovascular system in many ways.