7 Surprising Benefits of Quercetin

by John Staughton last updated -

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Quercetin is a powerful flavonoid with a wide range of health benefits, including its ability to reduce inflammation, eliminate pain, protect against cardiovascular diseases, lower blood pressure, manage diabetes, prevent certain cancers, boost the immune system, and reduce irritation of the skin.

What is Quercetin?

It is a flavonoid, which means that it is a plant pigment that is similar in molecular structure to a flavone. It is also considered a very powerful antioxidant and is typically the main component in the red and orange pigmentation in various fruits and vegetables. You can also find quercetin as a coloring agent in wine and various teas.

Quercetin is found in many different food sources in significant portions, most notably in capers, lovage, sorrel, dill, plums, dates, kale, cranberries, apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries, broccoli and many other commonly eaten foods. Since molecular research on organic components of food is relatively new, the research on it continues, but there have already been many promising studies published that show this antioxidant flavonoid to be a big boost to your overall health.

Health Benefits of Quercetin

Let’s explore a bit more to see exactly how quercetin benefits our health!

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Quercetin displays a number of anti-inflammatory properties, in a similar way that aspirin does to reduce inflammation and associated pain says a report published in the Mediators of Inflammation Journal. It inhibits certain chemical pathways from generating the inflammation. This makes quercetin able to reduce the pain of arthritis, gout, rheumatism, and the general inflammation that people suffer from colds, fevers, muscle aches, and strain

Healthy Cardiovascular System

A study published by Dr. Francisco Perez-Vizcaino, Department of Pharmacology, in the Free Radical Research Journal shows the association between a lower mortality rate and incidence of heart attack for test subjects who regularly ingested the antioxidant flavonoid. Most of this protective property seems to come from quercetin’s ability to reduce the amount of plaque in the blood vessels and arteries by eliminating LDL cholesterol, also known as “bad cholesterol”. Studies have connected reduced amounts of LDL cholesterol with a decrease in atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Manage Diabetes

According to a report published by Dr. P Jayamurthy and his team from the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Pappanamcode, India, quercetin has various qualities of an aldose reductase inhibitor. Some of the problems that occur in diabetic patients are due to the sorbitol pathway, where high concentrations of glucose are changed into fructose and sorbitol. This can result in glaucoma, cataracts, and various neural complications. It is an aldose reductase inhibitor, so it prevents this massive transformation and helps to manage the problems diabetic patients often face, says the report.

Asthma Treatment

Quercetin functions as a bronchodilator and reduces the amount of inflammatory or allergic reaction chemicals in the body. Therefore, quercetin can reduce the severity of asthma attacks that react to those chemicals, and also reduce various forms of congestion that are unrelated to asthma, states a 2013 report published in the Nutrients Journal.

Cancer Prevention

Perhaps the most important aspect of quercetin is its great antioxidant activity. Quercetin, like other flavonoids, seeks out free radicals in the body and neutralize them before they can damage the bodily systems. Most notably, antioxidants reduce the risk of cancer. Quercetin has been connected to a reduction in pancreatic, prostate, colorectal, and skin cancers. Studies are ongoing, but quercetin looks like one of the more important natural cancer fighters found in common foods.

Lower Blood Pressure

Usually associated with cardiovascular health, hypertension affects millions of people around the world every year. Dr. Edward RL, Division of Nutrition, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, the USA in his report published in the Journal of Nutrition states that quercetin has shown the ability to lower blood pressure and eliminate the complications so often associated with that disease. As a vasodilating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant substance, quercetin helps your heart health from a number of different angles.

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Anti-allergenic Quality

Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Brazil, conducted a study involving mice, which compared the anti-inflammatory effect of quercetin-loaded microemulsion (QU-ME) and quercetin suspension (QU-SP) in an experimental model of airways allergic inflammation. Quercetin is frequently used in allergy treatments since antioxidants with structures similar to quercetin reduce the number of histamines that are released when an allergenic pathway is stimulated. Reducing histamines means a reduced amount of symptoms, and quercetin has specifically been linked to reduced signs of eczema, hives, and hay fever.

A Few Words of Caution: There are no inherent dangers of quercetin, although some people have reported that excessive consumption of foods with quercetin has resulted in headaches, and tingling in the arms and legs. Extreme amounts can even result in kidney damage. Be responsible, consume a healthy amount, and enjoy your healthier life!

About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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