Quercetin aglycone is a flavanol, a type of flavonoid, that naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables (i.e., onions, apples, grapes, and nuts). Humans cannot produce flavonoids, so we must consume them through our diet. In general, the human body needs between 5 and 40mg of quercetin a day. Quercetin is widely studied for its medicinal effects including its ability to reduce inflammation and combat free radicals and viruses. In this blog, we will be discussing just what quercetin is, and how it can help the human body.
One common drug used to treat asthma is Atrovent. Atrovent is a quaternary amine, which means it stabilizes mast cells. Mast cell activation causes the release of histamine, an inflammatory chemical that causes allergic symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and throat constriction. While this inhaler is good for stabilizing mast cells, more and more people are looking towards natural remedies that carry fewer side effects. That’s where quercetin comes in.
Quercetin is also a quaternary amine, which may mean it can also help prevent histamine reactions in those who have asthma or are prone to allergies. Studies on rats have found that quercetin demonstrates the potential to curb the early and late stages of asthma. It has also proven itself useful in reducing airway hyperresponsiveness, bronchial hyperactivity, and mucus production.
In in vitro studies, it has been demonstrated that quercetin can inhibit the growth of several cancer cell lines. In one study, done on the ovarian cancer cell line, quercetin proved to inhibit the growth of said cancer cells. These results were dose-related and were found with concentrations of quercetin set between 0.01-2.50 mcM.
Other studies have shown that cells pretreated with quercetin before cisplatin use, a chemotherapy drug, experienced less cell damage. This is important because the same results were not seen in other flavonoids, only in quercetin.
Another study concluded that when combined with resveratrol, quercetin was effective in inhibiting oral squamous carcinoma, a type of human oral cancer. While more research still needs to be done on the anti-cancer effects of quercetin, current research provides hopeful conclusions that this flavonoid may be combative against certain types of cancer.
Cataracts result from oxidative damage to the lens of the eye. This lead scientists and doctors to believe that quercetin’s potent antioxidant properties may help this situation. One study on rats found that quercetin was indeed helpful in maintaining lens transparency after an oxidative insult. However, while quercetin did help protect the lens from calcium and sodium influx, it didn’t protect against the formation of oxidized glutathione.
in vitro and in vivo experiments that prove quercetin’s antiviral properties. It inhibits the structural changes to the host’s cells, caused by many serotypes of rhinovirus, coxsackievirus, and poliovirus. Quercetin also significantly reduces plaque formation by RNA and DNA viruses displaying anti-infective and anti-replicative properties. most crucial bit of information we can give you is that quercetin can either block virus entry or inhibit viral replication enzymes. Making it a potentially very powerful tool to use against viruses.
In vivo studies showed that quercetin protected mice infected with meningoencephalitis virus from lethal infection. Quercetin has also been tested with vitamin C to see if the combination offered even more powerful effects on certain viruses. Alone, vitamin C is an essential nutrient for many immune functions. It has improved survival in different murine models of lethal infection.
In one study, 1 proved that the combination of the flavonoid and vitamins prolonged time-to-death and improved survival. Another study showed that vitamin C prevented the spontaneous degradation of quercetin. These results suggest that co-administration of quercetin and vitamin C is necessary to exert quercetin’s antiviral effect.
Dosages and Drug Interactions
As with any supplement, consult your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional before starting a quercetin regimen. Because of its antioxidant properties, quercetin may interact with certain chemotherapy drugs. Do not take quercetin if you are taking Losartan, a medication used to treat hypertension.
Quercetin is safe for most people to take by mouth for a short-term period. It has been safely used in an amount of up to 500mg twice daily for 12 weeks. Quercetin use can cause headaches and tingling sensations in the arms and legs. Very high doses may cause kidney damage. If given by IV, do not exceed 722mg.
In general, most dosages range from 200mg-500mg and are taken 20 minutes before meals. It is suggested that taking enzyme bromelain with quercetin will enhance the absorption and bioavailability of quercetin. Recently, a new water-soluble form of quercetin molecule has been developed, which may also enhance absorption.
Approximately, this is how much quercetin you should take for the following conditions:
- Asthma and Hay fever: 400mg 20 minutes before each meal
- Eczema: 400mg 20 minutes before each meal
- Canker Sores: 400mg 20 minutes before each meal
- Gout: 200mg-400mg with bromelain between meals
- Hives: 200mg-400mg 20 minutes before each meal
- New water-soluble dose of quercetin: 250mg three times a day
Why You Should Consider Taking Quercetin
In summary, quercetin is a flavonoid that contains many different medicinal properties. Of those properties, the ones that stand out the most are its antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory characteristics that make it suitable to treat a slew of different conditions. More research needs to be done to confirm its effects on specific cancers, viruses, and allergens. However, the research that does exist provides an optimistic outlook for quercetin and all its possible uses. If you are looking for a natural alternative to certain medications, ask your doctor or a trusted healthcare professional about quercetin.
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