How can quercetin help keep your immunity tank topped up? Quercetin is an excellent multi-purpose health-boosting nutrient, belonging to a group of plant pigments or ‘flavonoids’ that give many veggies and fruits, like red onions, kale and blueberries, their vibrant colors. Quercetin’s positive effects are felt across numerous body systems.
What are the benefits?
1. It helps prevent disease
Among quercetin’s claims to fame: as a flavonoid, it helps neutralize excess free radicals, which are big drivers of disease. It’s also helpful in shutting off the inflammatory response, which promotes oxidative damage, the same process that helps drive a number of chronic diseases. Looking to protect your body from heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and certain types of cancers? With its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anticancer effects, quercetin is a great nutrient to have on your health protective team.
2. It may help slow aging
Quercetin is also thought to have positive effects when it comes to slowing the aging process, again, by reducing the damage – and rapid aging – excess free radicals can cause. It also supports healthy NAD+ levels, which is essential to energy production, metabolic regulation and even the proper functioning of your circadian rhythms (aka, your sleep and wake cycles).
3. It boosts immunity
As we continue to endure flu season, quercetin is especially relevant to have on hand. Since the majority of the immune system is in the gut – optimizing gut health is a great way to support a strong immune system. Quercetin is important to gut health with recent studies indicating that quercetin promotes healthier gut function and helps to support intestinal integrity, helping to minimize and even heal the ‘leaks’ that trigger inflammation. In animal studies, quercetin has also been shown to improve gut dysbiosis, acting almost like a probiotic, helping to rebalance the gut’s delicate balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria. Study results showed that quercetin supplementation significantly improved the diversity of the gut bacterial community in antibiotic-treated mice, as well as significantly improving intestinal barrier function. In humans, quercetin is thought to behave in much the same way.