The anticancer potential of the dietary polyphenol rutin: Current status, challenges, and perspectives

Arakkaveettil Kabeer Farha, Ren You Gan*, Hua Bin Li, Ding Tao Wu, Atanas G. Atanasov, Khalid Gul, Jia Rong Zhang, Qiong Qiong Yang, Harold Corke*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Rutin is one of the most common dietary polyphenols found in vegetables, fruits, and other plants. It is metabolized by the mammalian gut microbiota and absorbed from the intestines, and becomes bioavailable in the form of conjugated metabolites. Rutin exhibits a plethora of bioactive properties, making it an extremely promising phytochemical. Numerous studies demonstrate that rutin can act as a chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive agent, and its anticancer effects can be mediated through the suppression of cell proliferation, the induction of apoptosis or autophagy, and the hindering of angiogenesis and metastasis. Rutin has been found to modulate multiple molecular targets involved in carcinogenesis, such as cell cycle mediators, cellular kinases, inflammatory cytokines, transcription factors, drug transporters, and reactive oxygen species. This review summarizes the natural sources of rutin, its bioavailability, and in particular its potential use as an anticancer agent, with highlighting its anticancer mechanisms as well as molecular targets. Additionally, this review updates the anticancer potential of its analogs, nanoformulations, and metabolites, and discusses relevant safety issues. Overall, rutin is a promising natural dietary compound with promising anticancer potential and can be widely used in functional foods, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals for the prevention and management of cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)832-859
Number of pages28
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Anticancer activity
  • dietary polyphenol
  • metabolism
  • nanoparticle
  • rutin
  • safety


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