The cancer-fighting plant compound backed by science

Inflammation and cell oxidation are slow, silent killers responsible for so many serious health concerns that can place you at risk for early death. They are key component in the development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease, auto-immune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cardiovascular disease, Crone’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), cancer and so many more.

Modern medicine and alternative therapies seek to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body while bolstering the immune system and cellular health. While used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, the bioflavinoid luteolin is now making strides as a promising contender in longevity, optimal health, and cancer prevention in Western scientific medicine.

The effects of luteolin are so promising that I wanted to share as much information about it as possible with you in this two-part series, so you can take advantage of the many benefits this amazing natural compound has to offer.

The bioflavinoid Luteolin

Bioflavinoids are the thousands of metabolites responsible for giving flowers, fruits, and vegetables their brilliant colors. Aesthetics aside, the bioflavonoid luteolin — found in foods like oregano, thyme, rosemary, lemons, and peppers — assists your body in the process of detoxification while bolstering the immune system, reducing oxidative stress, scavenging free-radicals, supporting cardiovascular health, increasing the actions of vitamin C, promoting blood circulation, warding off allergies, fighting viruses, and calming inflammatory responses related to auto-immune and neurogenic diseases, cancer, and stress. Luteolin is one of the most powerful bioflavonoids and shows promising results in multiple lab tests.

Many important studies have been conducted looking at luteolin’s effects on the inflammatory response in the brain and on cancer prevention and therapy. Let’s look at a handful of them below.

Study – Luteolin, brain inflammation and memory

The Journal of Nutrition published the results of a study looking at how luteolin “inhibits microglia and alters hippocampal-dependent spatial working memory in aged mice.” Because inflammation plays a key role in neurodegenerative diseases and impairing cognition and behavior as we age, researchers at the University of Illinois studied the effects of luteolin on controlling for the inflammatory response in different cells outside the central nervous system.

For the study, aged mice fed a control diet exhibited deficits in spatial working memory and expression of inflammatory markers in the hippocampus indicative of increased microglial cell activity. On the contrary, mice fed a diet high in luteolin improved spatial working memory and restored expression of inflammatory markers in the hippocampus compared with that of young adults. Researchers noted that luteolin consumption may be beneficial in preventing or treating conditions involving increased microglial cell activity and inflammation. According to researcher Rodney Johnson, “luteolin reduced inflammation in the brain and at the same time restored working memory to what was seen in young cohorts.”

Studies – Luteolin and colon cancer

Two studies appeared in the peer-reviewed open access journal, BMC Gastroenterology, here and here. They found that “luteolin decreases IGF-II production and downgrades insulin-like growth factor in human cancer cells.” This happens, they believe, because luteolin effectively blocks cancer cell signals that normally allow them to spread and invade other organs. In short, luteolin induces cancer cell death (apoptosis) and prevents its spread.

Study – Lueolin, cancer prevention and therapy

The journal Current Cancer Drug Targets also published a review looking at luteolin’s potential for cancer prevention and therapy. According to the researchers, luteolin may be effective in prevention of cancer and in treatment therapies because it possesses multiple biological effects including functioning biochemically as both antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. This duality may be the mechanism by which luteolin induces cancer cell death, and inhibits cancer cell proliferation, spread and growth.

Study – Luteolin, lung, head and neck Cancer

The journal Cancer Prevention Research published the findings of a study on luteolin’s role in cancer prevention. Because they found dietary agents, like luteolin, are not sufficiently water-soluble, they developed a process of using nanotechnology to deliver luteolin directly into the bloodstream. When they injected particles filled with luteolin into cancer cells of the lungs, head and neck, it stopped their metastatic growth in its tracks.

According to researcher Dong Moon Shin, “Our results suggest that nanoparticle delivery of naturally occurring dietary agents like luteolin has many advantages… By using a high concentration of luteolin in the blood, we were better able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.”


Over the past decade luteolin has been studied more and more by scientists looking for dietary and pharmaceutical applications, especially in the areas of cancer and diseases related to inflammation. While we are awaiting trials of a new drug based on luteolin, we can look to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and a host of organic whole foods to increase our consumption and help us prevent cancer and reduce cell oxidation and inflammation. These topics are covered here.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.