Quercetin is a natural compound that belongs to a group of plant pigments known as flavonoids. Quercetin is responsible for various colors seen in flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
The plant pigments scavenge free radicals that may be harmful to the body. Lab studies have demonstrated the potent antioxidant properties of quercetin enable quercetin to neutralize the destructive effects in the body. The antioxidant property of quercetin may also help fight the effects of aging and inflammation.
Quercetin can be obtained from the consumption of a healthy diet. The natural compound can also be obtained from supplements that include it as the primary ingredient.
Benefits Of Quercetin
1. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Quercetin can be beneficial to individuals with heart-related disorders. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of quercetin may help lower the mortality rate that is associated with cardiovascular diseases.
A study that was conducted on lab animals revealed the ability of various types of flavonoids including quercetin, resveratrol, and catechins to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, the heart disease associated with the formation of plaque within the arteries. The ensuing reduction of blood flow in the arteries is the leading cause of heart attack or stroke. The antioxidant property of quercetin protects the body from the effects of so-called LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Studies show that individuals who eat foods high in flavonoids have lower cholesterol levels than those who do not eat flavonoid-rich foods. Red wine is the most common source of quercetin.
2. Manage Diabetes
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that is associated with an increase in the levels of blood glucose. Glucose gets converted to sorbitol and fructose through the sorbitol pathway; this formation of sorbitol and fructose could cause glaucoma, cataracts formation, and other neural complications.
Quercetin has the qualities of an aldose reductase inhibitor, meaning Quercetin can prevent the conversion by inhibiting the aldose reductase enzyme. Its inhibitory activity helps impede the development of the health complications in diabetic patients.
3. Helps Manage Pain
Consuming foods rich in quercetin can lower pain that is associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as arthritis. The flavonoid also helps lower pain caused by infections of the prostate gland and respiratory tract.
There is a small evidence showing the ability of quercetin-rich foods to lower bladder pain in people who have bladder infections. The plant pigment is also linked to reduced symptoms of prostatitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
There is evidence that when individuals with rheumatoid arthritis are switched from consuming a typical “Western diet” to a diet rich in flavonoids such as quercetin, they may appear with less pain and other reoccurring symptoms.
4. Promotes Healthy Skin
Mast cells are responsible for the allergic reactions and inflammatory diseases that are commonly seen in the skin. Studies have revealed the ability of quercetin to protect the skin from the devastating effects of diseases such as photosensitivity and dermatitis.
Quercetin works by inhibiting the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-8 and tumor necrotic factor. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect of quercetin may also help protect the skin against allergic and inflammatory diseases.
5. Manage Upper Respiratory Conditions
Several animal studies and lab models have demonstrated the ability of quercetin to produce a bronchial dilating effect. According to a 2013 study, quercetin works by blocking the enzyme that is responsible for breaking down signals that produce swelling and narrowing of the airways.
Researchers suggest that quercetin can be a therapeutic solution to patients with upper respiratory tract disorders because of its ability to relax the airway smooth muscle.
6. Manage Interstitial Cystitis
Quercetin can be beneficial to patients with interstitial cystitis. Interstitial cystitis is a condition of the bladder that increases the urge to urinate. Consuming supplements that contain quercetin may lower the symptoms that are associated with interstitial cystitis.
7. Prevention Of Cancer
Researchers have suggested that quercetin and other flavonoids may help prevent the growth of tumor cells in the body. People who consume fruits that are rich in flavonoids tend to have reduced risks of certain types of cancers such as prostate, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancers. Quercetin may also lower risks associated with the development of lung cancer.
Possible Side Effects
Individuals who have sensitive stomachs may encounter problems with digesting quercetin. Stomach distress is common when quercetin supplements are taken on an empty stomach or in high doses.
The common side effects in the gut include acid reflux, indigestion, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The gastrointestinal effects can be reduced by taking quercetin supplements together with food and fluids.
The intake of quercetin along other drugs may interfere with the absorption and metabolism of these drugs. The intake of quercetin with antibiotics may interfere with the absorption of antibiotics because as an antioxidant, the flavonoid competes with the antibiotic agent for the same cellular receptors.
Quercetin dehydrate may also inhibit the activity of the enzymes that are responsible for the metabolism of anticancer drugs in the body. The enzyme inhibition leads to increased levels of these drugs in the body causing toxicity.
An allergic reaction may occur as a result of the immune system mistaking quercetin for a potentially harmful substance in the body. As a consequence of the attack against quercetin, the body releases histamine which triggers an inflammatory response in the body.
The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction to quercetin supplements include rashes, wheezing, skin irritation, and swelling of the tongue.
Top Products Containing Quercetin
1. Source Naturals Activated Quercetin
The product contains quercetin that is derived from plant sources. The product has anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the production of histamine and is suitable for vegetarians, as it is gluten, yeast, dairy, eggs, and wheat-free. It has an overall rating of 4.2 stars out of a possible five stars on Amazon. Its price is $26.13.
2. NOW Quercetin With Bromelain
Bromelain helps support the function of the immune system. It also promotes healthy levels of histamine in the blood. Bromelain is an enzyme that is extracted from pineapple stems. The combination of bromelain and quercetin provides the body with immunomodulatory effects. The product has an overall rating of 4.4 out of a possible five stars on Amazon. It is sold at $13.03.
3. Jarrow Formulas Quercetin
The product promotes the performance of the cardiovascular system. It's serving size is one capsule, the contents of which include quercetin, cellulose, silicon dioxide and magnesium stearate. Jarrow Formulas Quercetin has an overall rating of 4.5 out of a possible five stars on Amazon. Its price is $32.04.
Quercetin Final Thoughts
Although quercetin has a wealth of health benefits, there are few health considerations. High amounts of quercetin may result in side effects such as allergic reactions, stomach distress, and drug interactions. It is advisable to check with a health care provider before using quercetin supplements.