Top 8 Health Benefits of Quercetin
Research shows that quercetin benefits your heart, can lower inflammation, and may even prevent illness.
Quercetin isn’t a widely known health supplement in the wellness world. For those unfamiliar with quercetin, it may be a fantastic addition to your supplement regime due to its long list of potential health benefits.
Quercetin is a natural compound. You can find it in many foods like apples, green tea, kale, asparagus, and berries. It’s a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antihistamine, just to name a few. You can see why it’s rising in popularity in the health world as a way to relieve allergy symptoms and boost your immune system.
What is Quercetin?
To fully understand how quercetin could help you, let’s break down exactly what it is.
Quercetin is a plant flavonol from a group of flavonoids called polyphenols. You can find flavonoids in tea, wine, fruits, grains, vegetables and some herbs like St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba.
Quercetin is a plant pigment, which is why you can find it in bold-colored and nutrient-rich foods. Research shows the link between flavonoids and health benefits, like reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
It’s important to know that humans can’t make quercetin in the body. So, you have to consume it through your diet or as a supplement.
Quercetin is one of the most common antioxidants found in your diet. You can find it in foods like:
One of the easiest and convenient ways to consume quercetin is in supplement form. It’s ideal for taking regularly and means you don’t have to think about getting your daily quercetin dose. Many people take quercetin as a supplement to boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and fight allergies.
Of all the flavonoids out there, of which there are about 6000, quercetin is one of the most well-researched compounds.
Quercetin possesses natural antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antiviral properties. As you can imagine, it has massive potential in areas like age-related health issues, inflammation, allergies, and the immune system.
Top 8 Quercetin Benefits
1. Allergy Relief
Quercetin offers a potential way to manage allergy symptoms naturally. According to research, it shares the same qualities as a Chinese herbal formula known as Food Allergy Herbal Formula (FAHF). FAHF appears to stop an allergic reaction to peanuts in mice models. With more research, quercetin has massive potential as an anti-allergy drug.
It’s thought that quercetin may be useful in treating allergies. This is because it stops histamine from being released from your cells. Your cells release histamine as an immune response to foreign invaders. During an allergic reaction, the immune system is super sensitive to foreign substances. These substances are generally harmless. Symptoms like a runny nose and sneezing in hayfever are a side effect of the histamine in your body.
Quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine. Instead of taking over the counter antihistamines as soon as the hayfever season hits, you now have another option. Quercetin could help relieve allergy symptoms in conditions like hayfever.
2. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is a natural response in the body. You need it to heal properly and fight off pathogens and foreign invaders. But, long-term and chronic inflammation is very harmful. Experts believe that chronic inflammation may contribute to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Studies show that quercetin may help to reduce inflammation. One study looked into the effects of quercetin in women with rheumatoid arthritis. After eight weeks, the group noticed a significant drop in morning stiffness and pain.
Quercetin may also be beneficial for men with prostate disease. By reducing prostate inflammation and pain, it's thought to improve quality of life.
3. Support Cardiovascular Health
Many heart issues are often a result of inflammation and oxidative stress. As quercetin has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it may support heart health. Research shows that quercetin may improve blood flow in arteries in people with heart disease.
Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the build-up of plaque inside the artery walls. By helping to lower inflammation in the body, it supports your heart now and in the future.
4. Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Experts have long believed that flavonoids, like quercetin, could play a role in reducing the risk of cancer. For starters, people who eat a lot of flavonoid-rich fruit and vegetables usually have a lower risk of cancer. In preliminary studies in animals and test tubes, quercetin has exhibited anti-cancer effects. Research shows that quercetin stops the growth of cancer cells from colon, breast, prostate, ovarian, and lung tumors.
The majority of research carried out on the anti-cancer effects of quercetin are on animals and in test tubes. Although very promising, more research is needed on humans to understand how quercetin could fight cancer in the body.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
Nearly half of all American adults (108 million) have hypertension or high blood pressure. That’s a pretty scary statistic. When you have chronic high blood pressure, it puts you at a higher risk of stroke and heart disease. Both of which happen to be two leading causes of death in the United States.
Quercetin may help to reduce high blood pressure. So far, animal studies have found that quercetin has a relaxing effect on blood vessels.
When it comes to humans, a review of nine studies showed extremely promising results. Particpants supplemented 500 mg of quercetin daily. After the study, they experienced a decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Systolic pressure represents the maximum pressure your heart exerts. Diastolic pressure refers to the pressure in your arteries between beats.
So far, research shows positive results. It’s thought that quercetin affects the cells that control blood flow. But the mechanism isn’t fully understood yet.
6. Natural Antiviral
As a natural antiviral, quercetin could offer many benefits for the immune system. One study showed that quercetin could help protect patients from dying from complications associated with the H1N1 influenza A virus.
Although the study successfully showed that quercetin could protect against the virus, it doesn’t explain how. The exact mechanism of how quercetin works against viruses isn’t entirely clear. No doubt, more information will come to light as experts figure out how quercetin acts as an antiviral agent.
As well as antiviral properties, research shows that quercetin acts as an anti-bacterial. One study found that quercetin stopped the replication of bacteria like E.Coli. This means that quercetin could help protect against both viruses and bacteria. E. Coli is a type of bacteria found in the gut. While most strains are pretty harmless to humans, some can cause severe diarrhea if you eat contaminated food or water.
7. Fight Free Radicals
Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with potent anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting benefits. As an antioxidant, quercetin can fight free radicals and protect the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage the body. Damage caused by free radicals can increase the risk of many health problems like heart disease and cancer.
Different factors can increase free radicals like:
When you have an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants, it causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage cells, DNA, and contribute to the aging process. Quercetin is considered a more powerful antioxidant than vitamin C and vitamin E.
8. May Aid Exercise Performance
Quercetin supplements may benefit exercise performance. One study from Italy looked at the effects of supplementing quercetin before and after exercise. They found that it helped protect against exercise-induced oxidative stress. Another study found that supplementing quercetin may improve endurance exercise performance. While this area of research is very much ongoing, the results so far are promising.
As one of the most studied and well-researched flavonoids, quercetin has a ton of health benefits. The antioxidant has a big impact on so many different processes in the body, from reducing inflammation to relieving allergy symptoms. If you love to keep your immune system in tip-top condition or suffer from hayfever, quercetin is a must-have in your supplement regime.