What is Quercetin & from where does it come?
Quercetin is a component in plants called a flavonoid. Flavonoids are responsible for the coloring and pigmentation of plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Foods with high amounts of Quercetin include sage, parsley, onions, citrus fruits, apples, red wine, tea, grapes, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and olive oil.
Quercetin, like other flavonoids, is known for its antioxidant capabilities. Flavinoids can remove radicals from the body which are damaging to cells, cell membranes, and even DNA. Antioxidants are known for their ability in removing radicals or reducing them as well as reducing the damage that they have caused.
Quercetin is also recognized for its anti-inflammatory effects and its results as an antihistamine. It’s believed that it helps in the stabilization of the mast cells that release histamine which is why it has an anti-inflammatory effect.
There are a number of conditions that Quercetin can alleviate. Because of its effects as an antihistamine, research has found that Quercetin can prevent immune cells known as “mast cells” from releasing the histamines that are responsible for causing an allergic reaction. From the research that has been conducted thus far, researchers hypothesize that Quercetin may aid in reducing the symptoms of allergies like runny nose, hives, facial swelling, and watery eyes.
Some animal and lab research has suggested that several flavonoids including Quercetin, may be indicated in the reduction of the risk of coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the result of plaque that builds up in the arteries that can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke. It is believed that LDL cholesterol can damage these arteries and lead to the buildup of plaque, and some research suggests that flavonoids like Quercetin can reduce the damage caused by LDL cholesterol.
There is also research that supports Quercetin supplementation as a way to reduce hypertension, or high blood pressure. Quercetin supplementation can reduce levels of blood pressure in individuals with a diagnosis of hypertension.
Quercetin and other flavinoids found in fruits and vegetables have also been implicated in the treatment and prevention of cancer. It is has been found that individuals who consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables typically have fewer instances of cancer. The animal studies so far have supported this claim and have found that flavonoids have cancer prevention properties. Flavonoids have been found to prevent the growth of cancer cells in the following various areas of the body; the colon, breast, ovarian, prostate, endometrial and lung. Quercetin may even be effective in reducing the growth of tumors. Eating fruits and vegetables rich in Quercetin may be associated with lower risks of lung cancer.
Quercetin may aid in the relief of symptoms associated with prostatitis. Prostatitis is the medical condition termed for inflammation of the prostate gland. One study on men with prostatitis found that those who supplemented with Quercetin noticed a decrease in the negative symptoms associated with the illness.
The most readily available form of Quercetin is a diet that is heavy in fresh fruits and vegetables. A lot of fruits including oranges, apples, grapes, blueberries and blackberries contain large amounts of antioxidants like Quercetin. Vegetables like onions and the spices sage and parsley are also great sources. Quercetin supplementation is available. However, dosing recommendations may vary by source and manufacturer. Quercetin is not indicated as a supplment for children.
Cautions & Side Effects
High doses of Quercetin may cause kidney problems; your physician can monitor labs to check on your kidney health. Quercetin may also interact with many different medications including blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin), Aspirin, and Plavix (clopidogrel) because it may increase bleeding risk. Quercetin may enhance chemotherapy drugs, which has been deemed helpful by some physicians and harmful by others. If you are going to take Quercetin during chemotherapy, talk to your doctor before starting.
Talk to you doctor
As with any supplementation, you should consult the advice of your health care provider. If you’re immediately looking to increase Quercetin in your body, begin eating a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. Red wine (in moderation) and oil are also potential sources of quercetin. A healthy, well-balanced diet and regular exercise are important in achieving maximum health benefits.