Quercetin is a flavonoid found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It can be recognized as the beautiful silver-purple color that can be seen in onions, which have one of the highest concentrations of quercetin.
This is a completely natural compound that can be isolated for consumption in supplement form. It works as a natural antihistamine by restoring proper function of histamine and its levels within your body. It also helps to support mast cell stabilization.
Besides being a non-drowsy and non habit-forming natural antihistamine, quercetin also offers a wide range of health benefits, including:
Quercetin is known for its ability to stabilize mast cells, which helps to diminish the release of histamine, the compound known to cause hypersensitivity reactions during seasonal changes (1). You can read more about mast cells here and how they impact your health.
Quercetin has also been shown to support immune health by mediating the release of inflammatory compounds including leukotrienes and prostaglandins, chemicals involved in the process of mediating reactions due to immune responses (2, 3).
How it works is that it prevents Histamine H1 Receptor gene expression. This suppresses the protein kinase C’s activation (4).
How you will recognize these modes of action is through feelings of freshness and clarity!
It is a common problem today for people to suffer from excessively irritated lungs and airways. After all, we constantly breath in impure air all of the time (especially if you spend a good amount of your time indoors).
When your respiratory tract is inflamed due to exposure to these environmental factors, your immune system can produce histamine, a reactionary response that can lead to respiratory discomfort.
When supplementing with quercetin, its antihistamine effects can influence cellular enzymes to reduce and block histamine. This stops the downward spiral of histamine-induced irritation that your body could create for itself.
The mechanism of action will present itself as relief from watering eyes, running nose and facial swelling.
In addition to all of this, some animal studies suggest that quercetin can dilate the airway muscles to more easily allow fresh air to flow into your lungs. That also means that polluted toxins can be more easily exhaled and released out of your body. Research suggests that quercetin allows your upper respiratory tract to relax, soothed from constricting inflammation (5).
Since quercetin helps to support the reduction of oxidative stress (6), it can help ensure that your brain is in a non-toxic state. It supports your brain function by making sure that your blood is purified of potentially-damaging free radicals before it reaches your brain.
When administered to mice in a controlled study, quercetin was able to reverse the effects of cognitive decline in these mice (8).
As a flavonoid, quercetin has powerful anti-oxidant activity (9). The mode of action occurs due to flavonoids’ ability to act as antioxidants, which fight the effects of aging and toxicity from our normal daily lives. Free radicals develop in our bodies through everyday living, so adding quercetin's extra antioxidant punch is a great idea!
With free radicals, it’s better to be safe than sorry when considering these disruptive particles that could potentially damage the DNA in your cells. If your body has a high amount of oxidizing free radicals, this puts your cells at risk for mutation. Cellular mutation can potentially lead to negative health conditions.
Thankfully, antioxidants prevent free radicals from causing damage by neutralizing their chemical charge so that your body has an easier time eliminating them.
In fact, many medical researchers suggest that high levels of free radicals may be the root cause of the majority of health conditions that we face (10). They seem to be present in almost all health problems, even in acne!
Numerous studies highly suggest that quercetin may be able to support heart health. This is also true for most flavonoids in general (11).
There may be two reasons in particular that they are good for your heart. First of all, quercetin promotes blood flow without increasing blood pressure above normal levels. This action is essential for healthy transport of nutrients throughout your body since blood is responsible for carrying all the vitamins and minerals to the locations that need them.
Secondly, researchers believe that the antioxidant potential of flavonoids may help support normal cholesterol numbers within a healthy range (12).
In studies that involved monitoring the effects that flavonoids had on mice, it seems that quercetin supplementation may have helped to reduce unhealthy weight gain by almost 50%.
Researchers concluded that this may be due to quercetin’s ability to block the production of fat cells and trigger the destruction of existing fat cells to be eliminated from the body (13). More research needs to be done on this topic, but the initial results look promising.
You can tell that a fruit or vegetable contains quercetin if it is pigmented with red, green or purple. As an example, grapes and wine have that deep purple-red color that shows its concentration of quercetin.
From a taste standpoint, you can easily recognize the taste of quercetin by remembering similarities in tastes between grapes, wine and onions. There is that bold, almost metallic flavor to it that matches its aroma.
The best sources of quercetin in food are going to include the ones with those deep pigments. Not only that, the most ideal sources are the ones that you can usually consume a large amount of at once. Therefore, concentration as well as quantity of the actual type of food will determine how much quercetin you are actually receiving.
The best food sources of quercetin are from:
While the above foods are rich in quercetin, concentration of quercetin can vary depending on a few factors, which include:
If you are trying to get more quercetin in your diet, your best bet will be to get it from dark leafy greens like in spring mix and kale. Of course, you can add other quercetin-containing ingredients to make yourself a super healthy flavonoid-rich salad.
While you are eating your quercetin-powered salad, you can drink a glass of green tea with lemon which will give you even more of a boost!
Of course this flavonoid is natural and offers a wide range of wonderful health benefits. However, there are always considerations to be made before supplementing with anything for the long-term. That includes natural products.
It should be noted that inappropriately high doses of quercetin taken through concentrated supplements may put stress on the kidneys. That means that a mild to moderate dose of quercetin is necessary to prevent causing health concerns.
Also consider some potential interactions with other drugs or supplements that you may be taking. Quercetin may cause interactions with blood thinners, corticosteroids and aspirin.
If you are looking for a premium quality Quercetin supplement, check out our Allurtica product. A premium seasonal support formula.
As always, consult your doctor before adding any supplement to your regimen, especially if you are already taking one of these. However, most healthy people should have no problem consuming quercetin from its food sources or via a natural supplement.
Co-Founder of Utzy Naturals
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