What is quercetin? What are benefits of quercetin and what are the side effects? What are best sources of quercetin?
Quercetin is a type flavonoid that is found in certain plants. Flavonoids are plant pigments that have powerful antioxidant activities. The colors of some types of vegetables and fruits are produced by these pigments.
Some of the best sources of quercetin are black tea, green tea, red onions, a herb called lovage, unripened flower buds called capers, apples, red grapes, organically grown tomatoes, many types of berries, citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. Quercetin is also sold as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets and capsules.
Scientific studies have shown the many benefits of quercetin. Among the most known is its antioxidant property. Food scientist Chang Y. Lee stated that quercetin is a more powerful antioxidant compared to other flavonoids and vitamin C. As an antioxidant, the benefits of quercetin include preventing free radicals from damaging healthy cells, protect cells from premature aging and reduce the risk of degenerative diseases.
Quercetin also helps fight allergies, inflammation and is capable of destroying or hindering the growth of microorganisms. It is beneficial for people who have asthma, bronchitis, sinus and allergies. Quercetin helps those with respiratory problems by keeping their lungs and nasal passages clear. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, quercetin may benefit people with atherosclerosis by reducing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques which will reduce the risk of a heart attack. Quercetin may also treat protect brain cells from damage.
Studies have shown that there are also many other quercetin benefits. One of them is in reducing inflammation of the intestines caused by Crohn's disease. It may also help women in increasing bone density. Dr. Daniel Shoskesm of Mayo Clinic said that quercetin may help in treating chronic prostatitis, a common prostrate problem among men. Some other claims made on quercetin benefits are increase in energy level, strengthening of the immune system thus reducing infections and colds and prevention of gout from recurring.
So far there are no known quercetin side effects from eating foods containing this water soluble plant pigment. Though there has been no confirmation, taking quercetin supplements may interact with certain antibiotics and drugs. It is highly recommended that you seek advice from a medical practitioner before you take this supplement.