• Katie Floyd

The Effects of Luteolin on Diabetic Cardiomyopathy

Updated: Apr 15

Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that causes high blood sugar levels. Diabetes can come with a number of health complications including heart disease, heart attack, stroke, neuropathy, damage to the feet, hearing loss, and skin conditions (1). One very serious complication is diabetic cardiomyopathy.

Diabetic cardiomyopathy is when a diabetic patient has an abnormal myocardial structure and performance (myocardial pertains to the muscular tissue of the heart [2]) but does not have other cardiac risk factors typically seen in patients with diabetes, like coronary artery disease, hypertension, and significant valvular disease (3). A 2012 study from the Journal of Diabetes and its Complications wanted to find out whether luteolin could offer cardioprotective effects against diabetic cardiomyopathy (4).

Luteolin is a flavone present in different fruits and vegetables, such as celery, broccoli, and apple skins (6), and some grains like sorghum (5). Various research has reported that luteolin possesses antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects (6,7), but researchers wanted to know more about its cardioprotective effects.

The research team examined diabetic cardiomyopathy in STZ-induced diabetic rats using hemodynamic analysis (analyzing the behavior of blood flow) and assessed myocardial oxidative stress with two measurements: superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (4). Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that helps break down potentially harmful oxygen molecules in cells, which could prevent damage to tissues (8). The malondialdehyde (MDA) level is a commonly known marker of oxidative stress and can be overproduced in the body due to an increase in free radicals (9).

Results from the study showed that luteolin protects against the progression of diabetes mellitus-induced cardiac dysfunction by “attenuation of myocardial oxidative stress,” most likely due to its antioxidant properties (4).​ The luteolin treatment induced a significant decrease in serum triacylglycerol (TG), total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, MDA levels, creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and myocardial CTGF (connective tissue growth factor) (4). The luteolin treatment also induced a significant increase in HDL cholesterol, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and Akt phosphorylation levels compared to the diabetic group (4).

Access the study here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1056872712000839


(1) Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes. (February 26, 2020). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes

(2) Myocardial. (2021). The Free Dictionary: Medical Dictionary. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/myocardial

(3) Jia, G., Hill, M.A., & Sower, J.R. (2018). Diabetic Cardiomyopathy: An Update of Mechanisms Contributing to This Clinical Entity. Circulation Research, 122(4), 624-638. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.311586

(4) Wang, G., Li, W., Lu, X., Bao, P. & Zhao, X. ( 2012). Luteolin ameliorates cardiac failure in type I diabetic cardiomyopathy. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 26(4), 259-265. doi.org/10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2012.04.007

(5) Bradwell, J., Hurd, M., Pangloli, P., McClure, A., & Dia, V. (2018). Storage stability of sorghum phenolic extracts' flavones luteolin and apigenin. LWT, 97, 787-793. doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2018.08.006

(6) Lin, Y., Shi, R., Wang, X., & Shen, H. M. (2008). Luteolin, a flavonoid with potential for cancer prevention and therapy. Current cancer drug targets, 8(7), 634–646. doi.org/10.2174/156800908786241050

(7) Shukla, R., Pandey, V., Vadnere, G., & Lodhi, S. (2019). Role of Flavonoids in Management of Inflammatory Disorders. Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis and Related Inflammatory Diseases, 293-322. doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-813820-5.00018-0

(8) Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). (2021). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-507/superoxide-dismutase-sod

(9) Gawel, S., Wardas, M., Niedworok, E. & Wardas, P. (2004). Malondialdehyde (MDA) as a lipid peroxidation marker. Wiadomosci Lekarskie (Warsaw, Poland : 1960), 57(9-10), 453-455. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15765761/

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