What Quercetin Is Used For?Russ Curran
Metabolic therapy 101, what is quercetin used for and what are the benefits?
Do you like berries, grapes, and apples? What about green tea or a kale smoothie? Did you know that these food items contain the flavonoid quercetin?
First things first. What is a flavonoid?
Flavonoids are plant chemicals aka phytonutrients found in most fruits and vegetables. There are more than 6,000 types of flavonoids, and they are associated with the bright colors of fruits and vegetables as well as their numerous health benefits.
Flavonoids are known antioxidants. They are also noted for their immune system-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Quercetin falls under the subgroup flavanols, together with kaempferol. They are abundant in onions, tea, berries, beans, broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, and apples, among other food sources.
What are known quercetin health benefits?
- Help the body fight free radicals. As an antioxidant, quercetin can protect the body from these unstable molecules caused by greenhouse gases, pollution, radiation, and chemical toxins. Free radicals increase the risk of chronic diseases and even accelerate the aging process. Vitamin C is also a known antioxidant, but quercetin is said to be more powerful.
- Reduce blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that quercetin “appeared to have a relaxing effect on blood vessels.” It can improve cell health and blood flow particularly among those suffering from cardiovascular diseases. One study among overweight people found that those who took quercetin supplement per day had lower levels of harmful cholesterol in their blood. They also showed signs of reduced systolic blood pressure.
- Prevent infections and relieve allergies. As an antihistamine, quercetin can help manage asthma and bronchitis. Its antibacterial properties also make it effective against bacteria in the skin and stomach as well as viruses like herpes simplex virus or Japanese encephalitis.
- Minimize risk of chronic brain diseases. In relation to its antioxidant properties, research shows that it can protect against neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Did you know that, in coffee, it is quercetin, not caffeine, which has the most protective potential against Alzheimer’s?
- Reduce chronic inflammation. One study among women with rheumatoid arthritis found that those who took quercetin supplements experienced reduced stiffness and pain.
- Slow down aging. There is research that shows the potential of quercetin in revitalizing aging cells.
- Help manage blood sugar. This flavonoid has been found to help reduce fasting blood sugar levels and aid diabetics in managing complications.
How quercetin is used in cancer therapy?
Naturally occurring compounds like quercetin are promising agents in cancer therapy because of their powerful properties.
One study found that quercetin “restricted the growth of prostate cancer cells” albeit in mice and rats. Another in-vitro study noted that it “showed promise” in prostate cancer treatment and prevention.
Further research found that quercetin “induces cytotoxicity in cancer cells.” These effects were examined in three leukemic cell lines, two breast cancer cell lines and two normal cell lines.
The results showed that quercetin caused “significantly higher toxicity” in all the tested cancer cell lines and had limited to no effect among normal cells. Quercetin also induced apoptosis in cancer cell lines and tumor tissues by “activating the intrinsic pathway.”
Apoptosis refers to programmed cell death as part of growth and development. It can potentially eliminate cancer and virus-infected cells in the body.
Quercetin is one of the metabolic therapies used at The LifeCo Clinic as part of our integrative cancer treatment program. Curious? Get in touch now to learn more about it.