Quercetin belongs to the category of flavonoids. It is a pigment found in fruits, vegetables, wine, berries and nuts. Due to its potential health benefits, quercetin is also widely available as a dietary supplement.
Quercetin exerts strong antioxidant effects on our body. In consequence to our normal body mechanism and biochemical processes, lot of free radicals are produced as by-products. These free radicals have the potential to damage our healthy cells and tissues, therefore have to be neutralized. Quercetin has the proficiency to neutralize these radicals, in turn keeping our organs healthy. Elevated levels of free radicals in our body have been known to cause inflammation. Quercetin in combination with its antioxidant property works in our body to reduce inflammation. It reduces the levels of certain inflammatory markers such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Some studies have shown that antioxidant property of quercetin is also valuable in reducing the risk of cancer. It was observed that quercetin suppressed the growth of cancer cells and induced their death when given to participants undergoing cancer treatment.
Quercetin may also exhibit a promising effect in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer. This again accounts to the antioxidant feature of quercetin.
Quercetin may also be fruitful for people with elevated blood pressure levels. Hypertension has become one of the leading underlying cause of heart diseases. Researchers say that quercetin may improve systolic and diastolic blood pressure; and relax blood vessels. Hence it may also contribute in the nutritional intervention of individuals with high blood pressure.
In order to derive the benefits of quercetin, diet should be rich in foods like bell peppers, onion, cranberry, cherry, tomatoes, broccoli, kale, grapes, apples and green tea. The amount of quercetin in these foods vary and similarly, quercetin supplements are also available with various composition and dosage. Dosage of quercetin among supplements usually ranges between 500-1000 mg per day. Since the bioavailability of quercetin is low therefore, they are typically formulated with vitamin C, digestive enzymes or other flavonoids.
Quercetin supplements do not cause any considerable side effects. Some people might experience stomach discomfort or headaches. In case of any medical or physiological condition like pregnancy, quercetin supplements should not be consumed without a doctor’s consultation.