"Quercetin (or quercetine) is an important member of a class of naturally occurring plant pigments known as flavonoids. The distinctive red color of some wines, onions, and apples is due to the presence of quercetin. The latter two are particularly rich sources of the compound, as is black and green tea. It is also interesting that quercetin serves as a basic building block for many other members of the flavonoid family.
The main claims for quercetins health benefits are centered on its powerful antioxidant, anti-histamine, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Along with other antioxidants, quercetin fights the damaging free radical molecules that are a major cause of cancer, aging, and degenerative disease in modern Western societies. Several population studies have linked a high intake of quercetin and other flavonoids to a reduced risk of several types of cancer. One study showed that people who ate the most apples had a 58% reduced risk of lung cancer compared to those who ate the least apples.
Research evidence published in Surgery in 2002 showed that the antioxidant activity of quercetin reduces the build up of a key component of atherosclerosis. This supports the findings of a large scale Dutch study of 5,000 adults which linked a high flavonoid intake with a reduced heart attack risk.
A 2001 study by the prestigious Mayo Clinic found that use of quercetin may be a new breakthrough in the treatment of prostate cancer, currently the second leading cause of cancer death for U.S. men. A report published in December, 2004 showed that quercetin is also effective in treating an unrelated disease of the prostate glandchronic prostatitis. Lead researcher, Dr. Daniel Shoskes, said, These impressive findings should offer hope to the millions of men who suffer from this poorly understood and painful condition, as it provides a new option for doctors who've been frustrated by limited treatment choices.
Other health benefits of quercetin include:
- The blocking of the formation of a particular blood sugar that contributes to the formation of cataracts.
- Relieving asthma, other respiratory diseases, and allergies due to the combined anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties.
- Lowering the risk of heart disease by reducing oxidation of bad cholesterol.
- Helping to reduce the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that occurs due to Crohns disease.
- Providing heart-protective and increased bone density benefits for women because of quercetins phytoestrogen nature.
Quercetin has been studied scientifically for over 30 years and during that time it has proven to be not only a highly effective natural supplement, but a safe one as well."