The human body needs many micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. However, science is still exploring the role of various bioactive compounds present in foods. These compounds, like quercetin, are not essential nutrients but can do wonders for health.
Fruit, berries, nuts, vegetables, and other foods are abundant in phytocompounds that may help prevent diseases, slow down aging, and even help treat health disorders.
One such potent phytocompound is quercetin. It is present in many plants. It is one of the most powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory natural compounds known to science. This bioflavonoid present in numerous herbs can help manage many health conditions.
Benefits of quercetin
Below are the reasons why everyone should consider quercetin:
- Potent antioxidant: it is among the potent antioxidants and is found in onions, grapes, berries, and citrus fruits in small amounts. Many benefits of these fruits and herbs are due to their quercetin content. It can slow tissue injury, exert an antiaging effect, and help prevent various chronic ailments1.
- Lowers inflammation and boosts immunity: Science now understands that changes in immunity and low-grade inflammation play a role in almost all disease conditions, and not only in infectious diseases. Thus, low-grade inflammation may cause heart disease, dementia, and more. In addition, changes in immunity may not only make one susceptible to infections but also autoimmune conditions and allergies. Quercetin may help fine-tune the immune system, lower inflammation, and boost immunity2.
- Help ease allergy symptoms: As quercetin can modulate the immune system, it may also help prevent and treat allergies. It may be especially good for managing conditions that are generally incurable, like asthma. Studies show that quercetin can reduce the severity of asthma symptoms. It may also reduce the number of asthma attacks. Additionally, it may also help manage asthma by reducing inflammation3.
- Good for heart health: In recent years, doctors have started looking at heart diseases differently. They understand that it is primarily an inflammatory condition. Studies suggest that quercetin can be pretty good for protecting the heart.
Quercetin works in multiple ways. For example, it can reduce oxidative stress, prevent stiffening of arteries, reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, reduce cardiotoxicity, prevent endothelial dysfunction, and even heart failure4.
- Good for brain health: In recent years, dementia has emerged as the leading cause of mortality and disability. What is worrisome is that it is affecting even young adults now. Moreover, it appears that conditions like Alzheimer’s start many years before diagnosis. One of the causes of dementia is low-grade inflammation and changes in immune responses.
Quercetin can prevent dementia by reducing inflammation, countering free radicals, and normalizing the brain’s blood flow. It also has a direct neuroprotective effect5.
- Helps fight cancer: Most guidelines recommend consuming fruits, berries, and vegetables for cancer prevention. Studies show that plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, especially flavonoids like quercetin. Thus, using quercetin supplements may help prevent and fight cancer.
There are many quercetin supplements. However, not all are equally good. Quercetin is a crystalline substance with poor water and lipid solubility at body temperature. Thus, it has very poor bioavailability.
It means that one must only use quercetin supplements that use some way of boosting its bioavailability. One such method is enclosing quercetin molecules in a dual layer of lipids. This technology is called liposomal technology. It makes quercetin highly bioavailable and efficacious.
- Anand David AV, Arulmoli R, Parasuraman S. Overviews of Biological Importance of Quercetin: A Bioactive Flavonoid. Pharmacogn Rev. 2016;10(20):84-89. doi:10.4103/0973-7847.194044
- Li Y, Yao J, Han C, et al. Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):167. doi:10.3390/nu8030167
- Fortunato LR, Alves C de F, Teixeira MM, Rogerio AP. Quercetin: a flavonoid with the potential to treat asthma. Braz J Pharm Sci. 2012;48:589-599. doi:10.1590/S1984-82502012000400002
- Patel RV, Mistry BM, Shinde SK, Syed R, Singh V, Shin HS. Therapeutic potential of quercetin as a cardiovascular agent. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2018;155:889-904. doi:10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.06.053
- Dajas F, Abin-Carriquiry JA, Arredondo F, et al. Quercetin in brain diseases: Potential and limits. Neurochemistry International. 2015;89:140-148. doi:10.1016/j.neuint.2015.07.002