The Role of Quercetin in Immune Boosting
Quercetin is considered as a natural pigment which can be found in many grains, vegetables, and fruits. It plays a vital role in helping your body fight free radical damage, which is associated with several chronic diseases and is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the diet.
What is Quercetin?
It is a pigment that belongs to a group of plant compounds known as flavonoids. Flavonoids can be found in wine, tea, grains, fruits, and vegetables. They are linked to many health benefits, which include degenerative brain disorders, cancer, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The beneficial effects of flavonoids, such as Quercetin, can function as an antioxidant inside your body. Antioxidants are those compounds that can neutralize and bind to free radicals.
Free radicals are those unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage when their levels go too high. Injuries caused by free radicals lead to several chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids included in the diet. It is examined that the average person consumes 10 – 100 mg of it through different food sources. Foods that mostly contain Quercetin are capers, tea, cherries, citrus fruits, broccoli, berries, grapes, apples, and onions.
It can also be found in a dietary supplement in a capsule or powder form. Individuals consume this supplement for many reasons like to fight inflammation, boost immunity, maintain general health, aid exercise performance, and combat allergies.
Various studies that proved the effects of Quercetin in boosting the Immune system
Quercetin is a potent anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, and antioxidant, and is one of the most prominent among other 5000 flavonoid compounds found in the food. The essential flavonoids intake can range from 13 mg to 64 mg daily, and also we can consume an adequate amount of Quercetin from supplements and food.
Also, a high dosage of Quercetin appears to be safe. Several studies have measured that taking a higher intake of Quercetin from food than the lower consumption is associated with the reduced risk of different types of cancer, asthma, type 2 diabetes, ischemic heart disease.
According to the studies conducted with athletes, 40 cyclists consumed 1000 mg of Quercetin or a placebo per day for three consecutive weeks, during three days of hard training. During this training trial, the individuals cycled for about three hours at 57 percent watts max.
The parameters that check oxidative stress, inflammation, and immune dysfunction were not that much improved as expected with the Quercetin supplementation. The group that consumed supplements had a lower rate of upper respiratory tract infection in between two weeks following the hard cycling period.
As the results were promising, another study was conducted in which 1000 mg of Quercetin was combined with 400 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, and 30 mg of ECGC (which is an antioxidant found in white and green teas).
We all know that Quercetin supplementation increases the plasma Quercetin, but it might need help from the other supplements, that is why we added omega-3 and ECGC. ECGC keeps the plasma Quercetin levels elevated longer, and omega-3 are known to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
These additional supplements resulted in some immune parameter changes. The Quercetin supplement significantly countered an exercise-induced increase in inflammation and oxidative stress.
Another study examined the performance effects of Quercetin. The study compared two mixes of vitamins and antioxidants with one another; one combination of antioxidants contained 300 mg of Quercetin, and others did not contain anything. Both of them contained vitamin E, green tea extract, vitamin C, and several B vitamins.
The athletes consumed 300 mg of each supplement twice a day for six consecutive weeks. All of them completed a 30-mile time trial before consuming each supplement in the third and sixth weeks of supplementation. The overall time to complete the 30-mile time trial was significantly improved with the specific antioxidant mix that contained Quercetin.
But there was no particular improvement in the time trial performance in the specific antioxidant mix that does not contain Quercetin. More performance study is required to study the mechanism behind the results.
Health Benefits of Quercetin
Several types of research have linked quercetin’s antioxidant properties to many potential health benefits. Below are some of them.
It may reduce inflammation
As you know, free radicals can damage your body cells. Several types of research signify that a high level of free radicals might help to activate the genes that promote inflammation. Therefore, a higher level of free radicals can lead to increased inflammatory response.
A little inflammation is essential for your body to heal and fight infections. Still, persistent inflammation is associated with several health problems, which include heart and kidney diseases and certain cancers. Studies have proved that Quercetin helps reduce inflammation.
A study was conducted in 50 women with rheumatoid arthritis, and they consumed 500 mg of Quercetin. They experienced significantly reduced morning pain, early morning stiffness, after-activity pain, and a significant increase in the body’s immunity.
May also ease allergy symptoms
Quercetin’s potent anti-inflammatory properties also provide allergy symptom relief.
Several animal and test-tube studies have found out that it can block enzymes that are involved in inflammation and other inflammation-promoting chemicals, like histamine.
May help combat aging
Several studies suggest that Quercetin might help to eliminate or rejuvenate aging cells and reduce the markers of aging. But also, more human research is required.
May aid exercise performance
According to a review conducted on 11 individuals showed that Quercetin supplements slightly improves endurance and exercise performance, and also boost up the body’s immunity.
May aid blood sugar control
Animal and human research indicate that Quercetin supplements can protect against the complications of diabetes and reduce blood sugar levels.
Quercetin is one of the most abundant dietary flavonoids. It is associated with reducing blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and inflammation and also improves exercise performance. It also contains anticancer, anti-allergy, and brain-protective properties. Though all the benefits seem promising, more human research is required.