Quercetin for Allergies
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.
Quercetin is a flavonoid present in various foods like fruits, vegetables, and grains. This natural pigment possesses potent antioxidant and antihistamine properties which protect from allergies and infections. Quercetin’s antioxidant potential helps fight free radicals and restricts the release of histamine in the body thus preventing allergies. Quercetin helps reduce allergic symptoms like asthma, sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and seasonal allergies like congestion, runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing.
In addition, these compounds offer a broad spectrum of benefits to the body including stabilizing blood pressure, promoting heart health, relieving inflammation, and boosting the immune system.
This article will take a closer look at quercetin, its benefits for allergies, other uses, and possible risks or side effects.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a pigment belonging to the class of flavonoids present in several foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, tea, and wine. This amazing antioxidant compound offers a perk of benefits to the body.
These antioxidants neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. They may reduce cellular damage, prevent DNA damage, and lower the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Quercetin is abundantly found in our daily diet and according to an estimate, an average person takes 10-100 mg of this compound daily through diet.
Individuals who do not consume fruits and vegetables need this compound in supplement form. Quercetin is found in capsules and powder form as a dietary supplement that is easy to add to the diet.
Is Quercetin Effective for Allergies?
Quercetin possesses powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help relieve allergy symptoms. Various animal and test tube studies revealed that quercetin may block the activities of enzymes involved in process of inflammation and restrict the release of histamine.
Another animal study found that consuming quercetin supplements help reduce the anaphylactic reaction associated with peanut consumption.
Research related to antiallergic reactions of quercetin is lacking in humans and human studies are needed to evaluate its effects.
How Does it Work?
Quercetin is a flavonoid with powerful antioxidant properties which help relieve allergic symptoms. It works by relieving inflammation, boosting immune health, restricting the release of histamine, and suppressing inflammatory cytokines.
Allergic diseases are expanding in the last few decades affecting millions of people worldwide. These allergic reactions may occur due to environmental pollutants, dietary changes, and genetic factors. Various allergic reactions are inherited and the immune system senses the substances as allergens leading to the development of allergic symptoms. Hence, quercetin is a natural pigment derived from plant sources that helps fight allergic reactions and reduce allergic symptoms in a variety of ways.
Quercetin Help Reduce Inflammation
Free radicals are harmful substances that damage cell structure, activate genes, and stimulate inflammatory responses. Though inflammation is a natural response of the body’s defense system against foreign invaders, if it persists for a long time or is left untreated may lead to various health conditions.
Studies showed that quercetin helps relieve inflammation as it may prevent the release of inflammatory mediators like interleukins, cytokines, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
Research revealed that quercetin prevents allergic reactions by reducing inflammatory mediators.
Possesses Antioxidant Potential
Antioxidants are compounds that act as scavengers of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Like other flavonoids, quercetin possesses 3-OH groups that inhibit lipid oxidation and protect the body from free radicals.
Owing to the antioxidant potential, quercetin reduces the range of cellular damage caused by free radicals and prevents allergic reactions.
Inhibit the Release of Histamine
Flavonoids have great potential to restrict the release of histamine from basophils and mast cells. They also prevent the release of other chemicals like interleukin-3, interleukin-4, and IgE- antibodies.
Studies revealed that quercetin derived from plants affects the activity of basophil and mast cells and prevents the release of histamine and cytokines.
May boost Immune Health
One of the interesting mechanisms of quercetin for relieving allergies is though boosting immunity. It may affect several signaling pathways, inhibit the production of allergic and inflammatory substances, and suppress the process of protein kinase activation. Quercetin may affect the activity of mast cells which are powerful immune cells involved in the pathogenesis of allergic reactions and autoimmune disorders.
So, these antiallergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunomodulatory activities of quercetin help reduce the symptoms of allergies including asthma, sinusitis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Animal studies revealed that one-fourth of absorbed quercetin stays in the lung tissues and helps combat allergic reactions including asthma.
In addition to relieving allergic reactions, quercetin helps boost other body functions and improve general health.
May Lower Blood Pressure
Studies showed that flavonoids contain antioxidants that help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases.
An animal study revealed that consumption of quercetin supplement for 5 weeks resulted in a significant reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure in mice.
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
Flavonoids possess potent radical scavenging activities which also fight against cancer. Some animal and test tube studies showed that quercetin may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells. Research showed that these flavonoids are effective against certain types of cancers including blood, liver, bladder, colon, lung, and ovarian cancer.
May Prevent Brain disorders
Studies revealed that the antioxidant properties of quercetin fight against oxidative damage and protect the brain from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Consumption of a quercetin-rich diet also improved brain functions and learning abilities.
May Improve Athletic Performance
Studies showed that consumption of quercetin helped improve endurance and exercise performance.
Slow the Aging Process
Quercetin is an antioxidant compound that protects the body from the harmful consequences of free radicals. They prevent oxidative damage and slow the process of aging.
Possible Risk and Safety
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in foods and is considered safe to use. However, quercetin supplements when taken in a dosage of more than 1000mg may cause some side effects like stomach issues, headaches, and tingling sensations.
There is no information regarding the safety of quercetin supplements in pregnant and breastfeeding women. However, to be on the safe side they should be avoided or used after consulting with a health care provider.
These supplements may interact with some medications like antihypertensive and antidiabetic and should be taken only after the advice of a physician.
Allergic reactions (like respiratory, food, and skin allergies) are rapidly increasing nowadays due to several factors. There is an increasing demand for various antiallergic compounds and flavonoids like quercetin are greatly focused for this reason. Quercetin possesses potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiallergic properties which prevent various allergic symptoms.
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