Quercetin is a plant flavonoid found in many different fruits and vegetables including onions, raw capers, peppers, blueberries and more.
This widely studied bright yellow plant polyphenol (according to the university of Verona, Italy) is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antihistamine and anti aging compound that may be what makes ‘SUPER FOODS’ super!!
More recent research on RNA and DNA viruses has shown Quercetin to have an immune modulating effect and to act as a zinc ionophore. This means Quercetin brings Zinc into cells and blocks the attachment of viruses reducing viral load.
Let’s take a closer look at quercetins superpowers and figure out why this amazing, affordable plant compound has become the hottest supplement in town…
Making sure your innate immune system responds adequately but does not over respond is a delicate balance between T-reg cells and TH-17. Often with so much inflammation bombarding our body, TH-17 is high and leads to over production of cytokines which may lead to autoimmunity or severe symptoms relating to viral infections.
Quercetin has been shown to support T-reg production balancing out the immune response to help neutralize pathogens quickly with less symptomology.
Quercetin itself is antiviral. It binds to the spike proteins on the surface of the virus preventing infection of human cells. It also acts as a zinc ionophore (brings zinc into the cytoplasm of the cell preventing viral attachment) and it acts as a pro-oxidant to viruses breaking them down like rust on a car.
Although pro-oxidative to viruses, Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant to human cells. This means it has a protective effect and has been shown to significantly reduce ROS (reactive Oxygen Species), leading to healthier cells, mitochondria, energy production, and less tissue damage.
Keep in mind when the cells of your body breakdown due to accelerated oxidative tissue damage, the health of your body breaks down with it. Imagine if your brain cells are being broken down faster than they can be regenerated. This will lead to effects seen in aging brains. The same is true in any tissue of the body. That is why Quercetin and other powerful antioxidants, or antioxidant-boosting compounds are considered SUPER FOODS and are SUPER IMPORTANT!!
Quercetin activates Nrf2 which is a potent activator of glutathione production. Glutathione is our bodies most potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, detoxifier, and immune regulator.
Excessive inflammation is caused in response to oxidative damage and hyper-signalling of the immune system. Two things we know Quercetin reduces. So, it’s no surprise quercetin is flexing its muscle when it comes to its anti-inflammatory power.
Studies have shown quercetin lowers TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor alpha), NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa B) and cytokines like IL-6 (interlukin-6).
With many RNA viruses creating hyper-inflammatory immune response leading to cytokine storms that cause many of the severe symptoms like muscle aches, headaches, chest pain, brain fog, ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), myocarditis, joint pain and more. It becomes increasingly important to consider powerful anti-inflammatory compounds like Quercetin.
Another reason Quercetin may reduce inflammation is by protecting mast cells and preventing their degranulation and subsequent release of pro-inflammatory histamine. The release of histamine causes inflammatory allergy like responses which can result in upper respiratory issues, skin conditions and more,
Quercetin is powerfully antiaging through its super antioxidant properties and its activation of endogenous (internal) antioxidant pathways. However, researchers also discovered Quercetin has positive effects on gene expression. Specifically, Quercetin up regulated SIRT1 and SIRT2 (Sirtuins) which are responsible for metabolic health and slowing aging.
Quercetin also downregulated (reduced) senescent cells which are responsible for programed cell death and lead to premature aging. This field of research is of particular interest in brain and cardiac health. Since age related brain and heart health are two of the leading killers of older humans today.
One reason scientists are so excited is because Quercetin is a water-soluble plant flavonoid which allows it to easily pass through the blood brain barrier unlike other powerful anti-inflammatory plant flavonoids like turmeric.
Quercetin activates the NRf2 gene which turns on detoxification pathways leading to less toxic accumulation. These toxins may slow your metabolism, increase adipose tissue formation, enhance oxidation and inflammation while reducing immunity and overall health.
To truly feel healthy our body needs to effectively respond and remove toxins, chemical and pathogens while minimizing their impact on inflammation and oxidation.
Research is generally on 500mg – 1000mg daily. Quercetin may have synergistic benefits if consumed with Vitamin C and Zinc.
Dividing doses into 500mg two times daily 12 hours apart would be a great practice.
Quercetin is essentially tasteless and mixes easily in liquids. It also tolerates heat to 120 deg Celsius so you could add to your coffee, turmeric latte, superfood greens juice or protein shake.
With so many benefits already proven and many more yet to be discovered, Quercetin is affordable and should be at the top of your natural health kit now (to address immediate pathogenic threats) and into the future.
All chronic diseases, hormonal dysregulation, gut dysbiosis, and poor health outcomes are fuelled by inflammation so it stands to reason that Quercetins broad spectrum anti-inflammatory superpowers will be more benefit than most realise.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide to inform about Quercetin. It is based on peer reviewed research. However, it’s in no way a recommendation or a treatment for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with your qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training, or nutritional strategy. If you are using any prescribed medication, please check with your prescribing physician to see if Quercetin is right for you.