Quercetin and Bromelain
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
A healthy and nutritious diet is the answer to many of our healthcare problems. However, the kind of food we usually eat such as processed and canned foods, fat-rich junk food from restaurants, and fad diets are mostly unable to provide us with the required amount of nutrients.
While it is difficult to suddenly change your eating habits you can surely incorporate some dietary supplements into your daily routine to meet your nutritional requirements.
Quercetin and bromelain are two popular dietary supplements that provide multiple health benefits and are completely plant-based.
Follow the article below to know more about quercetin and bromelain and their respective qualities as dietary supplements.
Quercetin is a natural pigment belonging to the group of plant compounds known as flavonoids. It has strong antioxidant properties and is also the most abundant antioxidant to be found in the diet.
Quercetin is found in numerous fruits and vegetables including:
- Citrus fruits
Beverages like green tea, coffee, and red wine also contain a good amount of quercetin.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF QUERCETIN
Antioxidant properties of quercetin enable it to combat free radical damage occurring in the body. It may boost immunity, improve athletic performance, reduce inflammation, and fight allergies.
Below is a detailed explanation of the different health benefits provided by quercetin:
Although inflammation is the body’s natural response to stress, infections, or any kind of injury if persists chronically can contribute to different pathologies including heart and kidney diseases.
Quercetin fights free radicals and decreases the risk of inflammation caused by oxidative stress. It has also been found to decrease different markers of inflammation such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6.
ALLEVIATE SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGY
Quercetin may relieve symptoms of allergy as it is an effective antihistamine. It suppresses the release of histamine from cells.
Although quercetin may reduce symptoms of allergy it is advised not to use it as an alternative to medicines. Consult your doctor for further guidance.
LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension is a very common condition all over the world and can lead to cardiovascular problems if not managed timely and properly.
Quercetin has a relaxing effect on blood vessels and may lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 5.8 mm Hg and 2.6 mm Hg respectively.
DECREASE RISK OF CHRONIC BRAIN DISORDERS
Oxidative stress caused by an imbalance of free radicals in the body can lead to neurodegenerative disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or Parkinson’s disease.
The antioxidant properties of quercetin fight free radical damage and reduce oxidative stress. As a result, quercetin consumption reduces the risk of neurodegenerative disorders and age-related cognitive decline.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
The typical dose of quercetin for adults ranges from 250-1000 mg daily. Within this limit quercetin is considered safe to use and doesn't cause any adverse effects.
However, after taking quercetin some people might experience the following mild to moderate side effects:
- Tingling and numbness
- Stomach upset
- Kidney damage
Although quercetin is safe to use as a dietary supplement it should be consumed with great care especially in following circumstances:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding – Women should be careful about everything they consume during pregnancy and breastfeeding as it can have a direct impact on the health of the baby. There is not enough information available regarding the safety of quercetin consumption in pregnant and lactating women. Hence, it is advised to stay on the safe side and do not use quercetin supplementation while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Kidney disease – Quercetin intake can worsen the preexisting kidney problems and is therefore recommended that you should not take quercetin in case you have any kidney disease.
INTERACTIONS WITH THERAPEUTIC DRUGS
Quercetin is a natural pigment with the tendency to interact with different medicinal drugs. As a result, the efficacy of the interacting drug may be altered or there could be an increased risk of side effects.
Drugs that commonly interact with quercetin include:
- Drugs metabolized by the liver
- Drugs moved by pumps in the cells
If you use any of the above-mentioned medicines then consult your doctor before starting quercetin supplementation.
Bromelain is a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes extracted from the stem, fruit, and juice of the pineapple plant.
People of South and Central America have been using bromelain for the treatment of different medical ailments for centuries. In today’s world, it has gained popularity as a dietary supplement and is easily available in the form of a pill or tablet.
Although bromelain is extracted from pineapple, eating pineapple or drinking its juice cannot provide a sufficient amount of bromelain. Hence, it is better to opt for supplements for gaining the maximum benefits of bromelain in less time.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BROMELAIN
Bromelain as a supplement can help you relieve pain in muscles, reduce symptoms of sinusitis and osteoarthritis, and treat gut problems.
Following is a brief description of benefits provided by bromelain supplementation:
Bromelain has been found to be effective in reducing pain and swelling in the body. Consequently, it can also shorten the healing time post-surgical interventions.
Bromelain may also be beneficial against soreness in aching muscles and can relieve joint pain in patients with osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis all over the world. It is a degenerative joint disorder affecting cartilage and underlying bone.
Although osteoarthritis can involve any joint of the body it most commonly affects joints in the knees, hips, hands, and spine.
Bromelain has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and can reduce pain, joint stiffness, and soft-tissue swelling associated with osteoarthritis.
SINUSITIS AND ASTHMA
Owing to its anti-inflammatory properties bromelain is also effective in reducing the symptoms of sinusitis and asthma.
Bromelain can reduce nasal inflammation, swelling, and congestion associated with sinusitis. It also improves breathing and shortens the duration of acute sinusitis.
The anti-inflammatory effect of bromelain inhibits asthma-related airway inflammation and is also beneficial for other types of allergic airway diseases.
INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)
Bromelain consumption decreases inflammatory bowel disease-related inflammation by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines and cell-signaling proteins (chemokines) that are responsible for the progression of IBD.
Bromelain use has also been found to heal mucosal ulcers caused by inflammatory bowel disease.
Research has shown that bromelain also possesses anti-cancer properties and may fight cancer by inducing apoptosis as a means to stop the proliferation of cancer cells.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
The recommended dose of bromelain for adults is about 40 to 400 mg daily. Staying within this limit doesn't put you at the risk of any adverse effects caused by bromelain.
However, if someone consumes large quantities of bromelain for a longer duration then he or she might experience following side effects:
- Stomach upset
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Bromelain is safe to use in daily routine however there are a few circumstances in which you are supposed stay cautious while consuming bromelain supplementation.
Below is a list of situations in which you should take necessary precautionary measures while using bromelain:
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding –There is not enough amount of reliable information available about the consumption of bromelain supplements during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Therefore, you should take no risks and avoid bromelain intake while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Allergy – People who are allergic to pineapple, carrot, celery, wheat, pollen, papain, latex, marigolds, and daisies might also be allergic to bromelain and should be extra cautious while consuming bromelain supplements. If you notice any sign of allergic reaction stop the bromelain intake and seek medical attention.
- Surgery – Bromelain consumption may increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. Hence, you should always stop bromelain intake at least two weeks prior to the scheduled surgical procedure.
INTERACTIONS WITH THERAPEUTIC DRUGS
Bromelain can interact with different medicines and interfere with their mechanism of action. It can also increase the risk of side effects caused by the interacting drugs.
Two of the most common classes of drugs that interact with bromelain are:
IN A NUTSHELL
Quercetin and bromelain are two plant-based dietary supplements used for the treatment of a variety of medical ailments.
Quercetin can fight free radical damage, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and alleviates symptoms of allergy. On the other hand, bromelain can come in handy in the management of osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, sinusitis, and asthma.
It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting quercetin or bromelain supplements especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
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