Being health-conscious often involves doing a lot of research. Perhaps you’ve seen articles touting the positive effects of quercetin. Is there something to the hype? What are some important quercetin benefits?
Here’s a look at why some people believe quercetin is critical to maintaining good health.
A Brief Explanation Of Quercetin
To understand quercetin benefits, you first need to understand flavonoids. Now, flavonoids are pigments found in plants that give them their color. They belong to a group of substances known as polyphenols. And polyphenols are collectively known as phytochemicals.1,2
Whatever you call them, these compounds have been associated with several health benefits.3
One of the main reasons quercetin is associated with good health is that it can help fight the negative effects of free radicals, molecules formed through the process of oxidation.
Oxidative damage can lead to a variety of different problems.4
Free radicals are missing an electron. They move throughout the body looking to replace that missing electron – and they couldn’t care less where they find it. They’ll take it from cells, muscles, or tissues.
This can cause issues that threaten your health and well-being.
Quercetin helps to supply free radicals with the electrons they need.5
Sources Of Quercetin
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in many different types of foods. These include apples, blueberries, and other fruits. It’s also found in vegetables and herbs. You can get quercetin in dietary supplement form as well as in several fruits and vegetables.
Here are just a few of the foods, including fruits and vegetables that are high in quercetin and other dietary flavonoids:
Of course, you should never make any sudden changes to your diet or your supplementation routine without first talking to your doctor.
Possible Health Benefits Of Quercetin
Extensive research has been performed into how getting sufficient levels of quercetin – whether through supplementation or food – can benefit your health. Study after study has proven that quercetin and other dietary flavonoids can help support your health.
Here are just a few of the proven health benefits of this impressive compound.
1. Support Healthy Joints
Many people suffer from substantial joint discomfort. In one study, researchers found that subjects who ingested foods with high levels of quercetin had a reduction in symptoms.8
In another study, participants who took 500 mg doses of a quercetin supplement also experienced fewer symptoms of joint problems.9
2. Support Heart Health
There is also evidence that quercetin could help support a healthy heart. Participants in a study who took a 100 mg dose of quercetin each day had healthier blood pressure as well as LDL cholesterol levels.10
3. Support Blood Circulation
If your blood circulates properly, that can reduce the risk of potentially dangerous health problems. Research indicates that quercetin could help support circulation.
Clinical trials have shown that people who took a quercetin supplement had increased nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide helps to relax the blood vessels so blood can flow more freely.11
Another study showed that quercetin help support healthy blood pressure levels.12
Quercetin And Longevity?
There is some evidence that quercetin may have an impact on longevity. Research is still in the very early stages. However, study results are encouraging.
One research team was able to extend the life span of yeast cells in a lab by treating them with quercetin.
It is believed that this was possible because quercetin helped increase the cells’ resistance to oxidative stress.13
Researchers in a separate study found that coating brain cells with quercetin supported the health of the cells. This apparently occurred because of quercetin’s ability to reduce damage caused by free radicals.14
Quercetin’s Effects On Stress?
Now, cortisol is a hormone in your body that’s often called the “stress hormone.” The reason is that when you experience stress, your body produces cortisol. It’s what causes the “fight or flight” response.
But while cortisol is very important to your health, too much of it can actually be damaging to your body. It can especially do a number on the tissues that make up your muscles.15
Research indicates that quercetin can support healthy levels of cortisol during times of extensive stress.16
Is it Possible To Speed Quercetin Absorption?
There are certain ways the body can absorb quercetin more efficiently and do a better job of obtaining the health benefits of the compound in the process. One way is to take it with fats.17 It also appears the body absorbs quercetin from onions faster than from apples.18
Quercetin in food binds to sugar molecules to form glycosides. The amount of glycosides in a food might affect the speed at which the body absorbs quercetin.19
Not a Cure-All, But Intriguing
No one with any scientific credibility is claiming quercetin is some sort of miracle compound. However, clinical trials, and other extensive research, has proven that quercetin offers several health benefits.
Is quercetin supplementation right for you? Should you add sources of quercetin to your diet?
Do you need to add a lot more fruits and vegetables to your diet to reap the potential benefits of quercetin?
Ask your doctor these questions. They may have recommendations on how to get sufficient levels of quercetin into your diet and whether or not it is safe for you.
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