Quercetin

Quercetin is a natural compound found in many superfoods and is tied to what all of us seek: better longevity, heart health, endurance, immune system and more.

Research even shows that quercetin displays anticancer properties. In fact, there isn’t much this powerful antioxidant compound can’t do, especially when combined with the health benefits of bromelain, an anti-inflammatory enzyme. I recommend this supplement which combines both.

This is why I strongly recommend consuming regularly food sources that contain quercetin. What are those foods, and how much should you consume? Keep on reading.

What Is Quercetin?

Quercetin is a type of flavonoid antioxidant that is found in plant foods, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli. Technically it is considered a “plant pigment,” which is exactly why it’s found in deeply-coloured, nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables.  It is considered one of the most abundant antioxidants in the human diet, and it plays an important part in fighting free radical damage, the effects of aging and inflammation. While you can get plenty of quercetin from consuming a healthy diet, some people also take quercetin supplements for their strong anti-inflammatory effects.

Quercetin and other flavonoids are considered anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agents with potential to be expressed positively in different cell types in both animals and humans. Flavonoid polyphenols are most beneficial for suppressing inflammatory pathways and functions. Quercetin is considered the most diffused and known nature-derived flavanol there is, showing strong effects on immunity and inflammation caused by leukocytes and other intracellular signals.

How Does It Work and How Much Do We Need?

Research shows that anti-inflammatory foods which contain quercetin can help control a number of inflammatory health problems, including cardiovascular disease and blood vessel problems, chronic fatigue, allergies, infections, adrenal fatigue, and symptoms related to autoimmune disorders such as arthritis and fibromyalgia. How exactly do flavonoids like quercetin do so much to benefit us?

It all comes down to high-antioxidant foods‘ ability to ‘devour’ free radicals. Furthermore, quercetin helps slow the aging progress because it lessens the effects of oxidative stress on the body. Oxidative stress takes place in everyone but is increased by things such as a poor diet, high levels of stress, a lack of sleep and exposure to chemical toxins. All the basic makings of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Quercetin plays a role in regulating the immune system’s response to outside stressors through cell signalling pathways which are called kinases and phosphatases, two types of enzyme and membrane proteins which are needed for correct cellular function.

When it comes to dosage, there isn’t a daily recommended amount of quercetin, so dosage recommendations can vary depending on your individual health. Estimates show that most people typically get between 5 and 40mg of quercetin a day from eating common plant foods, however if you stick with a nutrient-dense diet overall, you’re likely to take in much more — possibly as much as 500mg daily according to some reports.

Optimal doses of quercetin have not been established for any specific conditions by the USA FDA or any other governing health authority at this time of writing, so it’s up to you and your healthcare professional to decide what is the correct amount works best for you. For people who turn to quercetin supplements, common oral dosages are 500 milligrams taken twice a day.

Benefits of Quercetin

  • Lowers Conditions Attributed to Inflammation including:

  •  “hardening of the arteries” (atherosclerosis)

  • high cholesterol

  • heart disease and circulation problems

  • insulin resistance and diabetes

  • eye-related disorders, including cataracts

  • allergies, asthma and hay fever

  • stomach ulcers

  • cognitive impairment

  • gout

  • viral infections

  • inflammation of the prostate, bladder and ovaries

  • chronic fatigue syndrome

  • cancer

  • chronic infections of the prostate

  • skin disorders, including dermatitis and hives

  • Fights Allergies

 

Quercetin is a natural antihistamine as well as an anti-inflammatory, making it effective for naturally lowering the effects of season and food allergies, plus asthma and skin reactions. Histamines are chemicals that are released when the immune system detects an allergy or sensitivity, and they are what account for uncomfortable symptoms we face whenever the body has an allergic reaction.

Quercetin can help stabilize the release of histamines from certain immune cells, which results in decreased symptoms like coughs, watery eyes, runny noses, hives, swollen lips or tongue, and indigestion.

  • Supports Heart Health

Because of its ability to lower inflammation and oxidative stress, quercetin seems to be beneficial for people with heart and blood vessel-related disorders.

Antioxidants also seem to protect the body from experiencing increases in LDL “bad” cholesterol and can help regulate blood pressure levels.  You probably heard that red wine is good for your heart, that’s because it’s a natural source of quercetin. It’s one of the main active ingredients in red wine extract, which is associated with healthier heart function.

  • Helps Fight Pain

Taking quercetin supplements can help lower pain associated with autoimmune conditions, such as arthritis, as well as infections, including those of the prostate and respiratory tract. That’s because quercetin reduces inflammatory pain.

 

  • Helps Improve Endurance

Quercetin is added to some athletic supplements because it’s believed to help increase athletic performance and endurance, likely because of its positive effects on blood flow.  Whilst improvements were at times small, it makes sense that antioxidants such as quercetin could boost physical performance since they help increase the health of blood vessels who carry oxygen and nutrients to muscle and joint tissue.

 

  •  Helps Fight Cancer

Quercetin seems to have potential chemo-preventive activity and might have a unique antiproliferative effect on cancerous cells, making it an effective addition to any natural cancer treatment approach.

At the time of writing, the majority of studies done on quercetin’s effects on cellular functioning have involved animals, so more research is still needed to reveal quercetin’s specific effects on human cancerous cells.​

  • Helps Protect Skin Health

Capable of blocking “mast cells,” which are immune cells critical in triggering allergic reactions, inflammatory disease and autoimmune disease, quercetin helps protect skin from the effects of disorders like dermatitis and photosensitivity.

Top Natural Sources of Quercetin

All kinds of red, green and purple-pigmented plants contain quercetin — for example, red wine, blueberries, apples, red onion and even green tea are some of the best sources. The amount of quercetin found in plant foods can vary a lot depending on where they’re grown, their freshness and how they’re prepared etc.

  1. Apples

  2. Peppers

  3. Red wine

  4. Dark cherries and berries (blueberries, bilberries, blackberries and others)

  5. Tomatoes

  6. Cruciferous veggies, including broccoli, cabbage and sprouts

  7. Leafy green veggies, including spinach, kale

  8. Citrus fruits

  9. Cocoa

  10. Cranberries

  11. Whole grains, including buckwheat

  12. Raw asparagus

  13. Capers

  14. Raw red onion

  15. Olive oil

  16. Black and green tea

  17. Beans/legumes

  18. Herbs, including sage, American elder, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba

Are There Any Side Effects of Quercetin Supplements?

Most studies have found little to no side effects in people eating nutrient-dense diets high in quercetin or taking supplements by mouth short term. Amounts up to 500 milligrams taken twice daily for 12 weeks appear to be very safe.

It’s possible that quercetin supplementation can interact with the effectiveness of antibiotics, chemotherapy and blood-thinner medications, so use caution if you currently take any of these.  For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, quercetin doesn’t seem to have any negative effects, although it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your doctor first.

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