Quercetin – Nature’s Powerhouse Bioflavonoid

January 18, 2021 | Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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 Quercetin – Nature’s Powerhouse Bioflavonoid
Quercetin, a yellow-colored bioflavonoid, is a natural powerhouse. It supports sinus and respiratory health, immune system activity, gut health, and is important for many other activities throughout your body. Its varied mechanisms and benefits provide a multi-dimensional tool to help your long-term health.

Several fruits and vegetables, especially apples, onions, berries, broccoli, cilantro, dill, green tea, kale, and cherry tomatoes contain quercetin in the skin or leaves of the produce. This natural bioflavonoid adds color to fruits and vegetables, but it adds much more to the health of your body. Here are some recent findings on quercetin.

Quercetin and Immune Support

Quercetin is a shining star when it comes to its immune benefits. It has stabilizing and modulatory effects on several types of white blood cells and immune compounds that impact germ management. It supports macrophages, natural killer cells, neutrophils and lymphocytes, which help manage germs and immune waste.

Quercetin modulates several compounds like cytokines, interferon, interleukins, nitric oxide, and is involved with inflammation management and immune actions. Studies also demonstrate quercetin’s ability to block enzyme activity such as 3C-like protease involved with germ reproduction.

Quercetin helps inhibit and stabilize mast cells. Mast cells release histamine in your airway, gut, skin, and brain etc. Histamine is an irritant that makes you sneeze, itch, causes hives, irritates blood vessels and makes your skin red when you scratch it. You can learn more about histamine in the article 5 Ways to Manage Histamine

Quercetin and Gut-Immune Health

Quercetin provides extremely helpful support for gastrointestinal-immune health. It helps protect the gut lining from increased intestinal permeability caused by oxidative stress. It modulates intestinal pH and protects against free damage against cell membranes within the gut. pH balance is necessary for normal digestive processes and friendly intestinal flora.

Quercetin also helps inhibit mast cells from releasing histamine in the gut. These actions help protect the gut lining and immune system with food tolerance, germ and medication irritation like NSAIDs, aspirin, and acid blockers, and leaky gut syndrome/increased intestinal permeability.

Quercetin Aids Zinc Transport

Quercetin acts as a zinc ionophore. In this action, quercetin acts like a chauffeur with a special access pass that transports zinc through cell membranes into the interior of cells. This ionophore mechanism markedly enhances the effectiveness and concentration of zinc inside cells, which enhances your natural innate and adaptive immunity. Make sure you have quercetin in your nutritional toolbox to keep your immune system in top working condition.

Quercetin Supports Nrf2 Cell Defense Activation

Recent findings show that quercetin activates Nrf2 protection in obesity, blood pressure and sugar management, the inner endothelial lining of blood vessels, lungs, aging mechanisms, and mitochondria. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived2)-like2 or Nrf2 is a very hot topic in science. This essential transcription factor regulates antioxidant activity, cell defense gene expression, and detoxification in the liver, brain, circulatory system, brain, and elsewhere in the body.

Quercetin supports other antioxidant pathways like Nf KappaB. It supports cell defense against free radicals. It activates anti-aging SIRT1,and autophagy mechanisms, which helps protect your brain against cell stress and build-up of cellular trash. Quercetin can also induce apoptosis, or cell death, in dysfunctional cells found in the thyroid gland and elsewhere.

Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure

Quercetin helps with several aspects of blood sugar management. It blocks the absorption of blood sugar in the small intestine. It helps sensitize other tissues like adipose tissue, the liver, pancreas, skeletal muscles, and the small intestine to insulin and glucose usage.

Dietary and supplemental quercetin intake supports healthy blood pressure. It helps blood flow, protects capillaries, and provides antioxidant benefits to your heart and kidneys, etc.

Quercetin aids in vascular relaxation and increases the parasympathetic responses in blood pressure management systems. The parasympathetic autonomic nervous system activity engages rest, relaxation, repair and digestion that allow blood vessels to relax. Quercetin also provides antioxidants to support the renin-aldosterone-angiotensin system (RAAS) that manages salt intake and reduces vascular stress in the kidneys.

Quercetin and Mitochondria

Quercetin supports mitochondrial health as it enhances the production of new mitochondria, i.e. mitochondrial biogenesis. This aids in energy levels and anti-aging mechanisms, i.e. AMPK and SIRT1 anti-aging signals. Interestingly, quercetin has been found protective against free radical stress and supportive of cartilage cells as it helps the mitochondria, AMPK and SIRT1 in joints.

AMPK is a master enzyme switch involved with energy production. When AMPK is turned on, it helps cells burn fat and blood sugar to make energy. SIRT1 is a powerful metabolic fat-burning and anti-aging gene. You need healthy mitochondria for immune function and much more. More information about mitochondria may be found by clicking here.

Learning about quercetin’s dynamic benefits is empowering. Quercetin provides powerful actions and may be used with vitamin C, glutathione, and other plant-based nutrients like curcumin, resveratrol, pterostilbene, and grapeseed extract. Whether it is immune modulation and challenges, helping zinc absorption, stabilizing mast cells, intestinal health, blood pressure, mitochondria support or a myriad of other things not mentioned, quercetin deserves a place in your nutritional toolbox.

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