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What is rutin? Rutin is a complex sugar found in abundance in buckwheat, and also in lesser amounts in asparagus, rhubarb, and the peels and rinds of citrus fruit. The name rutin comes from Ruta graveolens, the scientific name of the herb common rue, which also contains rutin. Before 1950, rutin was called "vitamin P," although it is not actually a vitamin.
Rutin can combine with heavy metals, binding them, and preventing them from causing toxic effects. In the human body, rutin can remove excess iron and copper. However, it can also prevent calcium, iron, and mangesium from being absorbed from food, so rutin should not be taken with mineral supplements or with meals.
There are a number of beneficial effects of rutin in the human body. Here are just a few:
The greatest benefits of rutin are in treating unsightly varicose veins in the legs and treating swollen varicose veins around the anus known as hemorrhoids.
A derivative of rutin known as hydroxyethylrutoside (or more precisely a trihydroxyethylrutoside) treats a condition known as chronic venous insufficiency, in which the valves in the veins in the legs cannot pump enough oxygen-poor blood back to the heart.
Chronic venous insufficiency can cause night-and-day itching of the legs, patches of dark brown pigmentation, and varicose eczema, with a high risk of infection.
Rutin and rutin derivatives also treat hemorrhoids and varicose veins during pregnancy, phlebitis caused by birth control pills, and spider veins on the face, thighs, or ankles.
Photo by Jackerhack
Rutin is usually formulated with another plant flavonoid called hesperidin in nutritional supplements. Rutin is technically a "citrus bioflavonoid," but not all products labeled as "citrus bioflavonoids" actually contain rutin. Hydroxyethylrutosides are a separate product that may be formulated with yet another plant chemical called aescin, which is derived from horse chestnut seeds.
Once you have made sure that the supplement you are using actually contains rutin, take at least 500 mg of rutin per day. You may have to read the label to find out how much rutin is in each capsule. As noted below, much higher dosages of rutin may be helpful:
There are no rutin side effects, but any antioxidant can interfere with the action of chemotherapy or radiation for cancer. If you choose to undergo these treatments for cancer, avoid interfering with their effects by staying off all antioxidant supplements during the weeks you take radiation or chemo.
Antioxidants may help you recover from the side effects of cancer treatment more quickly once you complete a treatment, but you should not take rutin or any other antioxidant while you are taking cancer treatment.
It may cost more to buy a single supplement that contains both rutin and vitamin C, so it may be more economical to buy one rutin or citrus bioflavonoid supplement and a separate vitamin C supplement.
Hydroxyelthylrutoside and troxerutin supplements occasionally have side effects. The most common problem is a skin rash. In elderly users, there may also be stomach upset, constipation, dry mouth, or diarrhea. These problems are only likely to occur unless the user also takes multiple blood pressure medications including one or more diuretics.
Hydroxyethylrutoside and troxerutin supplements may also interact with certain medications.
Rutin and hydroxyethylrutoside supplements, of course, are not the only things that help you deal with varicose veins or venous insufficiency. Here are some additional helpful considerations for the conditions rutin treats.
Q. Will rutin supplements help erase spider veins?
A. Spider veins, also known as telangiectasia, are tiny broken blood vessels just under the surface of the skin. They are most common on the nose, around the eyes, and across the cheeks, but they can also occur on the ankles, on the upper thigh, and just below the knees.
Pregnancy is the prime time for developing spider veins. There is an increase in the mother's total blood volume, making it difficult for the valves in the veins to fight gravity so that deoxygenated blood can recirculate to the heart. A hormone called relaxin dilates connective tissues all over the body to prepare the cervix for childbirth. Later in pregnancy, the weight of the uterus can cut off circulation in veins bringing blood back to the heart from the ankles, knees, and thighs.
Severe Spider Veins with Rosacea
Photo by By M. Sand, D. Sand, C. Thrandorf, V. Paech, P. Altmeyer, F. G. Bechara
Pregnant women should always consult with their obstetricians regarding all nutritional supplements, but rutin is generally accepted as safe for use during pregnancy. Author Susun Weed suggests that it might be used to prevent implantation of the fertilized egg to avoid pregnancy, but rutin will not interfere with the unborn child's development once pregnancy has begun.
Rosacea also causes spider veins. Many people who use rutin products find that they help relieve both the rosacea and the spider veins.
Q. Can rutin supplements be used to treat schizophrenia?
A. There were two clinical trials in Australia the 1980's that found improvements on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale for a small number of schizophrenics who were given the commercial hydroxyethylrutoside supplements Paroven and Venoruton. Half of the patients given the supplements showed improvement in anxiety, depression, delusions, and unusual behavior. Dosing was according to the manufacturer's label.
Q. What about rutin for cats?
A. There is a single case report in the literature of veterinary medicine about using rutin to treat a condition called chylothorax in one cat. Chylothorax is an accumulation of a milky, protein-filled fluid in the space between the lungs and the muscles in the wall of the chest. It is usually treated with a low-fat diet along with frequent trips to the vet to have fluid drawn out of the chest cavity with a syringe.
In this study, giving the cat a single 500 mg capsule of rutin every day doubled lung volume in 20 days by shrinking the swelling around the lungs. Over the next 60 days, the cat's lung volume increased another 30%.
The veterinarian writing the study commented that cats apparently have no objection to the taste or odor of rutin, but cautioned that sometimes cats get over chylothorax spontaenously, and it was not possible to be absolutely sure the effect was due to rutin.
Q. Can rutin be used to treat bruising?
A. Yes, but my first choice would be diosmin with hesperidin. It's OK to use rutin or aescin (horse chestnut seed extract) in addition to diosmin with hesperidin. If the bruising is a reaction to treatment with prescription blood thinners, rutin may interfere with the action of the drug. Don't take rutin if you are also taking Coumadin, Plavix, Trental, or any other prescription blood thinning medication without a doctor's supervision.
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