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What Is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a type of flavonoid, a natural compound found in many plants, fruits, and vegetables. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant properties, which help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. Quercetin has been widely researched for its potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer properties.
Quercetin is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules or tablets. Research on quercetin has shown potential benefits in various aspects of human health, such as reducing inflammation, managing allergies, improving cardiovascular health, and supporting immune function. However, more extensive and higher-quality studies are needed to confirm its efficacy and safety. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional before using quercetin or any other herbal supplement, as it may interact with medications or have side effects.
What are the Benefits of Quercetin?
Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant properties that has been studied for its potential health benefits. Some of the key health benefits of quercetin include:
- Gout: A clinical study showed that 500 mg/day quercetin for 4 weeks lowered uric acid 8%. [PMID: 26785820] Other studies with lower dosages didn’t show an effect. [PMC9315272]
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Quercetin may help reduce inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory substances in the body.
- Allergy relief: Quercetin has been shown to stabilize mast cells [PMC4808895] and reduce the release of histamine, which can help manage allergies and their symptoms.
- Cardiovascular health: Quercetin may help improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and reducing inflammation in blood vessels. A study reporting the effect of adding quercetin to antihypertensive and uric acid-lowering drugs in patients with gout and hypertension showed better uric acid levels in a shorter time and better heart and kidney function, and blood pressure lowering than patients not taking quercetin. [PMID: 30684340]
- Immune support: Some studies suggest that quercetin may have antiviral properties, helping to support the immune system against infections such as the common cold and the flu. [PMC8662201]
- Anticancer properties: Research indicates that quercetin may have potential anticancer effects by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, inducing apoptosis, and preventing the spread of cancer cells. [PMID: 30039547]
- Blood sugar control: Some studies suggest that quercetin may help regulate blood sugar levels, which could be beneficial for people with diabetes or at risk of developing diabetes. [PMC9409999]
- Possible benefit for autoimmune conditions: In several recent studies quercetin has helped conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus in humans or animal models. [PMID: 34248976]
- Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis: Findings from a recent cell study showed that quercetin can raise mitochondrial biogenesis and cut down on the damage caused by oxidative stress. [PMC9414536]
- Senolytic Effects: In a study of fat cells, quercetin was found to be a potential senolytic and anti-inflammatory. “Senolytics” selectively eliminate senescent cells, which are old, damaged cells that have stopped dividing and contribute to age-related diseases. [PMC8636588]
Is Quercetin Safe?
Quercetin may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to consult a healthcare professional before using quercetin alongside any medication. Some possible interactions include:
- Chemotherapy drugs (Moderate interaction):
- Quercetin may interact with certain chemotherapy drugs, such as doxorubicin or etoposide, potentially affecting their effectiveness or increasing the risk of side effects. Consult a healthcare professional before using quercetin with chemotherapy medications.
- Antibiotics (Moderate interaction): Quercetin may reduce the absorption of certain antibiotics.
- Anticoagulants and antiplatelet medications: Quercetin may have blood-thinning effects, potentially increasing the risk of bleeding when taken with anticoagulants (e.g., warfarin) or antiplatelet medications (e.g., aspirin or clopidogrel).
- Medications Metabolized by Cytochrome P450 (Minor interaction): Quercetin may affect the activity of certain liver enzymes, such as those in the cytochrome P450 system, which are involved in the metabolism of many medications. These include warfarin (Coumadin), fluoxetine (Prozac), simvastatin (Zocor), omeprazole (Prilosec), diazepam (Valium), citalopram (Celexa), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune). This interaction may alter the effectiveness or increase the risk of side effects of medications metabolized by these enzymes.
Medication Interactions with Quercetin
Quercetin may interact with certain nutritional supplements, although these interactions are generally less common and less severe compared to interactions with medications. It is still important to consult a healthcare professional before using quercetin alongside any supplement. Some possible interactions include:
- Bromelain: Combining quercetin with bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple, may enhance the absorption and anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin. This combination is sometimes used to manage allergies and inflammation.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C may increase the absorption of quercetin, potentially enhancing its antioxidant effects. This combination is sometimes used to support immune function and general health.
- Green tea extract: Green tea extract contains catechins, another type of flavonoid, which may have synergistic effects with quercetin in terms of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. However, the combination may also increase the risk of side effects, such as gastrointestinal discomfort.
- St. John’s wort: Both quercetin and St. John’s wort may affect the activity of certain liver enzymes, such as those in the cytochrome P450 system. Combining these supplements may lead to altered effectiveness or increased risk of side effects of medications metabolized by these enzymes. Warfarin (Coumadin), fluoxetine (Prozac), simvastatin (Zocor), omeprazole (Prilosec), diazepam (Valium), citalopram (Celexa), and cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) are all examples of medications metabolized by Cytochrome P450 enzymes. Use caution when combining quercetin and St. John’s wort.
Food Sources of Quercetin
Here is a table listing some common food sources of quercetin and their approximate quercetin content per 100 grams:
|Quercetin Content (mg/3 ounces)
|Kale, watercress or asparagus
|Apples, with skin
|Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums
|2-3 (per 8 oz serving)
|1-3 (per 5 oz serving)
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Quercetin 300 mg
High-quality quercetin, derived from a non-citrus plant source, stabilized with additional antioxidants so as not to auto-oxidize (degrade spontaneously).* As a dietary supplement, 1 or 2 capsules one to three times daily with meals, or as directed by a health practitioner.
Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving
Vitamin C … 150mg
(as Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin E … 140IU
(as DL-alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate)
Quercetin … 600mg
Quercetin 500 mg
NutraMedix Quercetin is purified from the flowers of Sophora japonica, commonly known as the Japanese pagoda tree. Though the individual ability to absorb quercetin may vary based on factors that are both genetic and related to the gut microbiome, the dihydrate form in NutraMedix Quercetin is generally considered highly bioavailable. Take two Capsules once daily after a meal or as directed by your physician.
Serving Size: 2 Capsules
Amount Per 2 Capsule Serving
Quercetin … 500mg (Sophora japonica)(Flower)
While more research on quercetin is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits, it is a promising natural compound that may have positive effects on overall health and wellness. It is a natural flavonoid found in many fruits, vegetables, and plants, known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has suggested that quercetin may have wide-ranging health benefits, such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving immune function, and reducing inflammation in the body. It is also considered safe and well-tolerated in appropriate doses, although it may interact with certain medications.
Reminder: Food First
Although the discussion of overall diet was beyond the scope of this article, it should be top of mind. Not only will your overall food intake provide nutrients, but it will also have a profound effect on your gut microbiome. The tiny bacteria in your intestine are the modulators of your immune system. They can create molecules that are capable of turning genes on or off. They synthesize neurotransmitters. To avoid toxins, choose organic foods and avoid plastic packaging (even BPA-free) whenever possible.
This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice
The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot warrant that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician.
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