Quercetin Background and Benefits
Quercetin is the common name for the chemical formally known as 3,3',4',5,7-pentahydroxy-2-phenylchromen-4-one. It is chemically classified as a flavonol, which plants often use as pigments. Quercetin is synthesized by many plants, although it is most abundant in oak trees. It is also a common ingredient in beverages, foods and health supplements. Quercetin is named after the Latin word “quercetum,” meaning oak forest.
Quercetin is available from many dietary sources, especially capers and lovage. Sorrel and radish leaves also have high levels of quercetin. Additional vegetables that contain significant amounts of quercetin include carob, cilantro and dill. Honey may also contain quercetin, depending on its plant source.
Quercetin itself is not biologically available to humans, although some of its glycosides are. For example, an animal study showed that quercetin-4'-glucoside is converted to phenolic acids in the digestive tract. These acids aren’t produced by the digestion of quercetin, which implies that quercetin-4'-glucoside is more biologically active than quercetin. The same study showed that 96 percent of these phenolic acids were excreted within three days, indicating the low retention rate that’s characteristic of polyphenols.
The most significant biochemical role of quercetin in humans appears to be an increase in the secretion of insulin by beta cells in the pancreas. This action is the result of quercetin’s activation of L-type calcium channels in the beta cells. Quercetin also exhibits significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions.
Uses of Quercetin
The long-term support of prostate health is one of the most common reasons for taking quercetin in health supplements. It is also used to support heart functions, including the circulatory system and exercise recovery.
Heart health support
Some research indicates that quercetin can help support heart health in elderly men. This research studied dietary sources of quercetin such as apples, onions and tea.
Early research indicates that quercetin may help you to recover from intense aerobic exercise more quickly.
Support healthy circulation
Quercetin may be able to help support healthy circulation, especially in mild cases of occasional elevated blood pressure.
Prostate health support
Oral supplements of quercetin may be able to manage discomfort and swelling of the prostate gland. These conditions often occur in men as they age, especially after 50 years.
Signs You May Need Quercetin
Swelling and discomfort of the prostate gland is one of the most significant signs that you may need quercetin supplements. Cardiovascular conditions such as an unhealthy cholesterol profile and poor circulation may indicate that quercetin may benefit you. Endurance athletes who want to improve their recovery after a workout may also need to use quercetin. Additional signs that may mean you could benefit from quercetin include chronic fatigue and seasonal conditions.
Other Ingredients That May Be Of Interest
Hesperidin - Hesperidin is a flavanone that is primarily found in citrus fruits and plays an important role in plant defense. It is most often used to maintain circulation in the legs.
Resveratrol - Resveratrol is a phenol found in several plants, especially grapes. The most common uses of resveratrol include the management of the circulatory system and maintenance of a healthy cholesterol profile.