Rutin boosts endurance capacity
Rutin, a flavonoid found in large quantities in our food and also easily available in supplement form, has been shown in animal studies to be an effective slimming aid. It does this by inducing muscle cells to manufacture more mitochondria. So you'd expect rutin to also boost endurance capacity. And lo and behold, according to researchers at the National Ilan University in Taiwan this is indeed the case. In lab animals. The human equivalent of the dose tested on animals would be a couple of hundred milligrams of rutin a day. Exactly the amount found in most rutin supplements.
The researchers gave mice rutin [structural formula on the right] every day for a week, administering it orally. The mice were given 0, 15, 30 or 60 mg rutin per kg bodyweight daily. The human equivalent of these doses, for a person weighing 85 kg, would be about 0, 130, 260 or 520 mg rutin per day.
At the end of the 7 weeks, and after the mice had been given their last dose of rutin, the researchers got the animals to swim for 15 minutes, after which they examined the mice's blood composition. In other experiments the researchers got their lab animals to swim to the point of exhaustion.
The figure below shows that rutin supplementation extended the length of time that the mice were able to swim. The figure also makes it clear how this was possible: rutin helps the muscles to be more economical with carbohydrates.
Red bars = glucose level after 15 minutes of swimming; blue bars = the amount of minutes that the mice were able to keep swimming.
The researchers discovered that, after the mice had swum to the point of exhaustion, the animals that had been given rutin had more antioxidant enzymes such as SOD and GPx in their blood than the animals in the control group had. In addition, the mice that had been given rutin had less MDA, an indicator for free radical activity, in their blood.
How rutin extended the lab animals' endurance capacity is shown in the figure on the right. Rutin activates transcription factor PGF-1-alpha and the enzyme SIRT1 in the muscle cells. PGC-1-alpha and SIRT1 induce cells to make more and better mitochondria. As a result cells can go over more easily to using fat as a fuel, and fewer free radicals are released in this burning process.
"Our study results thus indicate that rutin treatment ameliorates the various impairments associated with physical fatigue", wrote the researchers.
Nutrients. 2015 Sep 22;7(9):8152-69.
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