Quercetin is one of those words that pop up in medical journals and health publications from time to time. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that is found in food and drink. One of the best sources of quercetin is red wine. Medical researchers have often wondered how the rate of heart disease in France can remain so low when much of the French diet is rich in fat and cholesterol. The researchers found an answer to this paradox in red wine and its ability to protect crucial arteries.
Quercetin is a natural antioxidant, which means that it is great for preventing free radical damage. This is the sort of damage that can cause heart disease and high cholesterol, among many other things. In this way, quercetin is thought to protect you against strokes and heart attacks.
Along with its heart-protective effects, researches have now discovered that the antioxidant may be able to stop your immune cells from releasing histamine. Histamine is the culprit that triggers your body’s defense mechanisms against an allergen and which in turn causes the symptoms of sneezing, itching and swelling. The theory is in its early stages, but results are so far hopeful. In clinical trials, quercetin is most used to combat hay fever.
Quercetin carries no real recommended dietary intake because it is not an essential nutrient. Therapeutically, you can take between 200 mg and 400 mg of quercetin, three times daily, but check first with your healthcare provider. Look for a form called “chalcone,” and try taking it on an empty stomach.
If taking a supplement is not the ideal way to go for you, remember that you can add foods high in quercetin to your diet. It is found in red wine, black and green tea, and these fruits and vegetables: apples, raspberries, red grapes, citrus fruit, cherries, onions, leafy salad greens, and broccoli.
Quercetin isn’t known to interact with any pharmaceuticals, though you may want to exercise caution if taking any antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. Side effects from taking quercetin are rare, but they can include headache and tingling in the extremities