Spring has arrived. With it comes those beautiful, colorful blooms and vibrant greens of plants, trees and flowers! But, it also means dreadful, car blanketing pollen and, of course, the mucous in our heads! Bless you! If only there was something to help the red eyes and sinus issues. Something that didn’t require a trip to the pharmacy or doctor. Looking for an herbal remedy over the far too often prescribed Benadryl and Claritin? If yes, look no further than a powerful little flavonoid called Quercetin!
Quercetin is one of the most abundant nutrients in food sources. It’s found in everyday foods like onions, apples, grapes, wine and more. It’s so common that the average person may ingest 100mg per day without realizing it!
Flavonoids like Quercetin come with a host of benefits including:
Quercetin has long been studied for its anti-inflammatory capabilities. On its own, quercetin shows a drastic effect in many forms of inflammation in both animal and human models.(1)
The “apple a day” proverb we’ve all heard makes sense, as apples tend to be a good source of this potent flavonoid. Specifically, Quercetin affects inflammation of the lungs, brain, muscle tissue and even cancer cells. In one 8-week study, women took 500mg of Quercetin per day. They saw significant improvement in early morning (out of bed) and post-activity pain. Their blood tests revealed a significant improvement in inflammatory markers, as well.(2)
Flavonoids help to suppress the body’s natural allergy or histamine response. But of all flavonoids, Quercetin takes the lead for effect.(3)
Mast cells and basophils cause allergic and histamine inflammatory signaling in our bodies. Quercetin suppresses these signals, thus alleviating symptoms of allergic responses.
We also want to note that Vitamin C increases the bioavailability of quercetin. This makes quercetin, and its co-pilot Vitamin C, beneficial agents for seasonal allergies, especially when taken together.
Always consider two to three times daily dosing to maintain benefits.
Quercetin is a key player in the body’s immune response, especially as a preemptive therapy. This flavonoid is so powerful that it prevents the spread of many flu strains!(4)
Infections and viruses tend to cause drastic immune responses in our bodies. Think of how your body fevers and aches when dealing with the flu. It often becomes unbearable. Often in those times we take something to ease the pain and discomfort. Unfortunately, this can inhibit some of the beneficial effects of immune stimulation. For instance, we often think of inflammation as discomfort. But, in times of crisis it is one of our body’s most effective fighting skills. Where things go wrong is when our body doesn’t know how to turn it off.
Enter quercetin. It knows which troublesome inflammatory markers to down-regulate and which to leave alone. This is wonderful because it allows the body to do its job in an optimal fashion. Plus, the side effects of our system’s defenses are not unbearable but remain in place so that the job gets done. No, the pain relief won’t be as effective as a painkiller, but, the down-regulation of our natural defense system won’t happen either. This makes quercetin a great ally to supplement while illnesses make their rounds.
Everyone has heard of, and may have taken, antioxidants at some point in their life. Cancer diagnoses have risen over the last 30+ years and cellular and oxidative (free radical) damage from cancer treatments like chemotherapy has increased as well. Due to the surge of diagnoses, the protective effects of antioxidants have come into the spotlight. This is only one area where antioxidants shine.
They’re hailed for their protective and healing benefits from the damaging effects of heart disease, the number one killer in the US, and chronic inflammatory conditions which number far too many to list here. Some of the most productive of these “clean up crews” are the flavonoids. As mentioned before, in this class, quercetin reigns as king. Studies show that quercetin is effective at scavenging for free radicals and reducing the risk of oxidative damage associated with many conditions.(5)
QUERCETIN & ZINC ABSORPTION
If coronaviruses are villains, Zinc is Batman. Zinc is a known disruptor for virus replication.(6)
The problem seems to be getting the zinc inside the cell to do the job. This makes a lesser-known but relevant effect of quercetin supplementation quite intriguing. It has the ability to push zinc, that lethal enemy for viruses, into the cells that may become infected.(7)
This damages the RNA of the virus, and often kills it before it can escalate throughout the system. This same effect is what has made Hydroxychloroquinone (HC) a commodity among researchers and hospitals.
Unfortunately, we are unsure about how to increase the amount of quercetin and zinc to levels high enough to match HC drugs. But, there are little to no known side effects of supplementation which is not true of the drug. Even high doses of quercetin are safe. This makes it a very interesting area of research and a safe bet to supplement in the meantime. Not to mention, quercetin has been shown to inhibit a particular replicating enzyme called 3CL Protease that SARS Cov-2 needs to replicate.(8)
The necessary amount of quercetin supplementation to increase blood plasma concentrations to an effective level was only 1000mg. If modeling is correct, this could be a huge revelation in the treatment protocol of the disease state.
Quercetin is yet another supplement we can add to our immune tool kit. Nourish your body with the right nutrients. It allows your body’s innate healing power to fight the battle and win.
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References and sources are numbered and linked within the article.