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Most people are aware of the common vitamins and minerals that are crucial for your body. However, you may not be familiar with quercetin unless you are a clinician or researcher. If you are health conscious and keen on boosting your immunity and overall well-being, then quercetin deserves your attention!
What is quercetin?
Quercetin is found abundantly in fruits (mainly citrus family), leafy greens, apples, onions, red grapes, red wine, dark cherries, and berries. It is an important plant pigment and a dietary flavonoid that impart a deep color to vegetables and fruits and acts as an antioxidant. Due to its unique biological properties, quercetin is often used to boost immunity, lower inflammation, and aid in treating heart disease, infections, and allergies.
What does quercetin do?
Quercetin is a type of antioxidant that helps fight inflammation. As an antioxidant, it neutralizes the free radicals, the harmful byproducts that damage cell membranes and genetic material. Quercetin is often recommended as a dietary supplement because of its potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine properties.
Studies indicate that taking flavonoids such as quercetin may be beneficial against a variety of diseases. Some beneficial effects include cardiovascular protection, anticancer, antitumor, anti-ulcer, anti-allergy, antiviral, anti-inflammatory activity, anti-diabetic, gastroprotective effects, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, and anti-infective.
Top benefits of quercetin
Promotes heart health: Quercetin has potent antioxidant effects which help curb free radicals. Free radicals are one of the critical factors for the development of the diseases such as heart problems, vascular and blood vessel disorders, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome. Quercetin helps inhibit the aggregation of platelets and thereby protects the inner lining of the blood vessels. It also helps in the relaxation of the blood vessel, which helps to lower blood pressure and prevents the risk of cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of heart muscles). One study found that people who took quercetin along with an alcohol-free red wine extract (also rich in quercetin) inhibit LDL oxidation.
Helps lower high blood pressure: Quercetin's heart supportive effects are also due to its ability to lower high blood pressure levels. A systematic review of studies conducted by the American Heart and Stroke Association found that taking quercetin supplements could be a beneficial tool in reducing high blood pressure. Quercetin's ability to lower blood pressure was also found in another study. In a 6-week clinical trial 150, mg/day of quercetin reduced systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidized LDL levels in overweight subjects with a high risk of heart disease.
Lowers inflammation: Quercetin's potent anti-inflammatory properties make it ideal for people with allergies; because of this reason, it is often touted as a natural antihistamine. Quercetin helps to inhibit enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipooxygenase which cause inflammation. Modulating inflammation being one f the core properties, plays a significant role in lowering inflammation .
Boosts immune response: Quercetin's anti-inflammatory effects are also found to help fight allergies. It helps stabilize the release of histamines from immune cells. Histamines are chemicals released by our immune system in response to allergies and sensitivities. Preliminary studies on the effect of quercetin on allergies found that it may act as a potential safe anti-allergy alternative. In addition to this, quercetin is known to show antibacterial properties against all strains of bacteria, including those affecting the digestive, respiratory, urinary system, and skin health. Studies reveal that quercetin inhibits the replicative ability of viruses, which contributes to its antiviral effects.
May help boost endurance: As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, quercetin is a favorite for most athletes. It is added to athletic supplements because of its antioxidant effects and its ability to improve blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that quercetin intake may be no better than a placebo. Although the study only found trivial benefits, quercetin intake could be beneficial because athletes need more antioxidants in their diet than others. In another study that examined the effect of quercetin supplementation on 60 male athletes found positive effects. Researchers found improved body composition, exercise performance, and muscle damage indices in athletes.
Possible neuroprotective effects: Emerging research points that quercetin may offer brain-protective effects due to its antioxidant properties. This is especially helpful in lowering the risk of Alzheimer's and dementia. A 2018 study found that quercetin intake in the early to middle stages of Alzheimer's disease ameliorates cognitive dysfunction and boosts protection. This protection was primarily due to increased amyloid clearance and reduced astrogliosis. Accumulation of amyloid clearance and increased astrogliosis are pivotal in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.
How to increase quercetin intake?
Variety of fruits and vegetables: You can boost your quercetin intake by including various fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Broccoli, buckwheat, nuts, seeds, berries, apples, cherries are all high in quercetin.
Take quercetin with healthy fats: Quercetin is a lipophilic (fat-loving) nutrient; hence taking quercetin-rich foods along with healthy fats improves its absorption.
Dietary supplements: Include quercetin in the form of high-quality nutritional supplements. Some supplements also include other nutrients like bromelain and vitamin C, which help improve the absorption of quercetin and boost its bioavailability.
Who benefits from quercetin supplements?
In general, quercetin can be taken for well-being. It can be an effective immune booster alongside a healthy diet regimen and lifestyle. Although optimal doses for quercetin intake have not been established, research shows that up to 1,000mg of quercetin twice a day for 12 weeks are safe. Your provider may be able to offer an appropriate dosage for more specific needs. For general purposes, adhere to the recommended dosage suggested by the supplement manufacturer.
Here are some quercetin supplements to consider,
Vitamin C with Quercetin by Integrative Therapeutics: This dietary supplement combines two potent antioxidants in a capsule form. The synergistic formula offers the antioxidant support of vitamin C with citrus bioflavonoids and the proteolytic-enzyme support of bromelain.
Bromelain, an enzyme from pineapple, supports the body's natural healing response. The antioxidant nature of flavonoids promotes respiratory health by boosting the body's immune responses. If you are looking for a superior support for your immune health, Integrative Therapeutics Vitamin C with Quercetin meets your need. The recommended dosage is 2 capsules one to three times per day or suggested by your provider.
Quercetin Phytosome by Thorne Research: This dietary supplement delivers 250 mg of Quercetin as Quercetin Phytosome which is the best and innovative way to deliver this nutrient into the gut. Since quercetin is not well absorbed from food and has a low bio-availability taking the phytosome form improves the absorption and use of this nutrient. Thorne Research Quercetin Phytosome offers quercetin bound to sunflower-sourced phosphatidylcholine to boost the absorption of this antioxidant. The supplement supports patients who suffer from allergies by stabilizing mast cells that store and release histamine. The recommended dosage is to take 1 capsule two to three times daily with meals or as suggested by your provider.
Quercetin by Metagenics: The supplement delivers 500 mg of quercetin in a capsule form. The formulation is non-GMO, gluten-free, and suitable for vegetarians. It aims to support immunity by acting on leukocytes and other immune cells. Quercetin is also known to support healthy cardiovascular and endothelial function. The suggested dosage is 1 capsule one to two times daily or as recommended by your physician.
Quercetin by Pure Encapsulations: Pure Encapsulations Quercetin is a vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free formulation that offers 500 mg of quercetin in two vegetarian capsules. The formulation aims to promote heart health by protecting lipids from oxidation and supporting the health of capillaries by enhancing their strength and integrity. Since the supplement uses hypoallergenic plant fiber, the formulation is safe for people with allergies. The recommended dosage is two capsules one to two times daily between meals.
If you are interested in including quercetin as a dietary supplement research your manufacturer thoroughly before making a purchase. If you take medications for health conditions talk to your provider about including quercetin into your regimen.