Sep 26 , 2021
What Are The Health Benefits Of Quercetin?
Quercetin is one of the most abundant antioxidants and typical pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. Thus, it plays an essential role in helping your body combat free radical damage linked to chronic diseases—ailments, including inflammation and cancer. Source
Quercetin is a flavonoid that has physical qualities that may promote mental and physical performance. In addition, it exhibits anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, antiviral, antioxidant, and psychostimulant properties (Source).
Quercetin happens to be the most abundant flavonoid in the human diet. Therefore, its most important use is an antioxidant, where it fights free radicals and helps prevent diseases (Source).
It holds a role in preventing cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative issues, cancer, ulcers and other gastric problems, allergies, and microbial ailments (Source).
Quercetin ability to fight free radicals also promotes heart health, may help combat cancer and inflammation. In addition, it manages diabetes and improves vision. In addition, the antioxidant also boosts brain health and may delay the signs of aging. These health benefits are backed by extensive research studies conducted all over the world.
Help Fight Cancer
Quercetin induces apoptosis (cancer cell death) and blocks the proliferation of malignant cells. Thus, this compound also may have synergistic effects when combined with chemotherapy (Source).
Quercetin inhibits cancers of the breast, lung, prostate, colon, and cervix. These powerful antioxidant properties of quercetin play a role here. They fight free radicals, which are among the significant contributors to cancer (Source).
Consumption of foods rich in quercetin, including most fruits and vegetables, has been associated with a reduced risk of intestinal cancer. In addition, similar food groups have also been linked to lower incidences of renal cancer (Source).
Promote Heart Health
Quercetin was found to lower blood pressure levels (Source). This effect was also observed in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
In certain animal studies, quercetin could also lower triglycerides and total cholesterol (Source).
Flavonoids, in general, can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. They achieve this by promoting the functioning of the blood vessels and reducing platelet activity (resulting in fewer blood clots, which may otherwise lead to stroke)
When oxidised, LDL (the bad cholesterol) can lead to plaque formation in the blood vessels. Quercetin may fight this by preventing the oxidation of LDL.
The anti-hypertensive properties of quercetin can also prevent heart damage, as per reports. However, this effect was observed to be far more significant in smokers and those with metabolic syndrome.
Aid Diabetes Treatment
Treatment with quercetin and resveratrol can have beneficial effects on diabetes. The antioxidant helps lower plasma glucose levels and improves other parameters related to diabetes. It achieves this by restoring the glucose-regulating enzymes in the liver (Source).
Other studies have also called quercetin a promising component in managing the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant activates multiple therapeutic agents in the body, thereby aiding the treatment of type 2 diabetes (Source).
Dietary quercetin was also found to improve the health of the pancreas and the liver. This may help ease diabetes symptoms since the two critical organs prevent the disease (Source).
Quercetin was also found to treat liver inflammation. Thus, it has been identified as a novel compound in treating fibrotic liver disease (Source).
Quercetin may also protect the liver from injury. It achieves this by scavenging free radicals and combating oxidative stress (Source).
Quercetin inhibits the secretion and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which promote inflammation in the human body. It may also protect the body’s cells involved in allergic inflammation (Source).
In studies conducted on healthy subjects, quercetin supplementation had improved various markers of inflammation (Source).
Quercetin also has a role to play in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It preserves the basement membranes of the cartilage and even prevents its damage (Source).
Cut Obesity Risk
There is limited evidence here. A supplement with quercetin as the primary ingredient caused reduced lipid accumulation in obese rats (Source).
Quercetin can also increase energy expenditure, which may help reduce the risk of obesity (Source). However, further research is needed.
Enhance Vision Health
Quercetin was found to treat corneal inflammation, thus promoting long-term vision health. In addition, when human conjunctival and corneal cell lines were tested, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the compound seemed to help with the treatment of a few ocular diseases (Source). However, more studies are required to establish its efficacy.
In mice studies, quercetin could also help treat dry eyes (Source).
Quercetin may also reduce the risk of cataracts. It achieves this by fighting oxidative stress (Source).
Promote Kidney Health
In a rat study, quercetin improved renal function and protected the kidneys from further harm. Its ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation could be attributed to this benefit (Source).
Studies, quercetin ameliorated renal damage and the corresponding oxidative stress (Source).
Boost Brain Health
Quercetin fights oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, thereby helping prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (Source). However, more research is needed to conclude.
In a study, quercetin was found to prevent spatial memory impairment in mice. It achieves this by increasing brain antioxidant capacity (Source). This way, the flavonoid may potentially slow down brain aging.
Reports also suggest that apples, rich in quercetin, can help prevent brain damage that may otherwise trigger Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Quercetin can also help treat stress and anxiety. Individuals dealing with chronic stress may experience improvements in memory following the intake of quercetin (Source).
Improve Exercise Endurance
Studies show that quercetin may improve endurance exercise capacity and performance, though trivial improvements (Source).
In another study involving male badminton players, quercetin improved endurance exercise performance (Source).
Fight Infections And Pain
The antibacterial properties of quercetin may help fight infections. The compound was found to be especially effective against Staphylococcus aureus. In combination with other antibiotics, quercetin showed enhanced antibacterial activity (Source).
Quercetin may also help treat allergies. It fights viruses by stimulating the immune system. It is also efficient in suppressing inflammatory mediators (Source).
Quercetin may have a role to play in asthma treatment as well. It may help treat the condition by relaxing the airway smooth muscles. In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin may also aid asthma treatment (Source).
Quercetin also acts as a natural antihistamine (histamine is a compound released during inflammation or an allergic reaction). This way, it aids the treatment of other respiratory infections, like bronchitis (Source).
The flavonoid may also have a role to play in relieving pain. It achieves this by inhibiting oxidative stress and producing cytokines (compounds that contribute to inflammation) (Source). In addition, studies shed light on quercetin’s possible role in treating chronic pelvic pain syndrome (Source).
Promote Sexual Function
Flavonoids, in general, could be associated with improved sexual function (Source).
Quercetin may also help treat erectile dysfunction as it helps combat oxidative stress (a common cause of the issue) (Source).
Treat Leaky Gut
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the small intestine lining becomes damaged. This causes the toxic wastes in the small intestine to leak into the bloodstream, causing issues.
Studies show that quercetin boosts the intestinal barrier function, which may help treat leaky gut (Source). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
Quercetin may also have other gastroprotective effects. For example, the compound can increase gastric mucus production, thereby aiding the treatment of ulcers (Source).
Quercetin has been found to extend cellular lifespan and survival, thereby possibly delaying the signs of aging. It was also found to rejuvenate fibroblasts (Source).
Quercetin is also one of the popular ingredients in most anti-aging skincare creams (Source).
When we talk about antioxidants, quercetin tops the list, for sure. Research studies have confirmed most of the benefits we have discussed. Further research is ongoing.
Quercetin is among the common antioxidants available in the human diet. In the following section, we will look at the top food sources of the flavonoid.
Food Sources Of Quercetin
The top food sources of quercetin include the following (Source):
Apples, Asparagus, Capers, Cherries, Grapes, Green tea, Licorice, Onions, Oregano, Peppers, Tomatoes
In addition to these, quercetin supplements are on the rise. They could be a way of supplementing your diet with adequate quercetin. However, how effective can they be?
Though quercetin is commonly present in most everyday foods, its levels could be below. Isolated quercetin is used and marketed as a dietary supplement and may help promote health benefits. Adverse effects following the intake of quercetin supplements are rare, and any such results were only mild (Source).
The safety of the use of high supplemental doses of quercetin (>1000 mg per day) is not available (Source). Hence, we suggest you consult with your doctor on the usage.
The typical dosage of quercetin could be between 500 to 1000 mg per day (Source).
Though quercetin supplements often may not cause any adverse effects, they may lead to specific mild issues. These can include stomach aches or headaches, as per anecdotal evidence.
Some research states that excess intake of quercetin may have carcinogenic effects. However, there is limited information on the ideal dosage of quercetin. Hence, if you are to take quercetin supplements, please check with your health care provider.
In addition to treating inflammation and cancer, quercetin also offers a host of other health benefits. So ensure you include it in your diet.
Eat more of the foods that contain quercetin. Including an additional quercetin supplement can also help, but do take advice from your health care provider.
Do you already consume foods rich in quercetin? How have they improved your health? Then, do share your feedback with us by leaving a comment in the box below.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as health or medical advice. Vitamin and mineral supplements should not replace a balanced diet. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.