Biotech Updates

Luteolin: Most Effective Inhibitor of Inflammation

July 16, 2010

Molecular biologist Daniel H. Hwang of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and colleagues have found the explanationon how natural compounds in plants called phytochemicals protect us from unfavorable inflammation that can increase the risk of cancer and other disorders.

Hwang discovered that the six phytochemicals- luteolin, quercetin, chrysin, eriodicytol, hesperetin, and naringenin inhibit a specific enzyme called TBK1, which activates the formation of gene products responsible in producing inflammation. Luteolin was observed to be the most effective inhibitor among the six phytochemicals. Luteolin is present in celery, thyme, green peppers, and chamomile tea.

The techniques used by the scientists in this study could also be used in identifying other anti-inflammatory compounds present in fruits and vegetables.