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Quercetin is a phytochemical pigment naturally found in tea, apple skin, red grapes, red onions and numerous berries. It is a powerful natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine. It is believed that specific antioxidant levels of quercetin potentially can treat numerous conditions and disorders, including arthritis, heart disease, anxiety, depression and fatigue. It might even improve poor lung function that is present in patients with asthma and emphysema, and research has been done on the possible role of quercetin in cancer prevention.
A joint study at Clemson University and the University of South Carolina showed that quercetin might actually ward off the flu, particularly in those who have participated in several days of exhausting exercise and likely would be more susceptible to catching the flu virus. A similar study, also in South Carolina, found that aerobic capacity and general exercise endurance was increased after taking quercetin for one week but were subsequently decreased when a placebo replaced the supplements and the actual quercetin benefits were taken away. Added to many energy drinks and herbal supplements, quercetin has become a popular addition to the diet of athletes and strenuous exercisers, for whom quercetin benefits include the ability to fight fatigue and elevate mood.
In addition to health and exercise, the fields of beauty and aging have been affected by the potential of this seemingly powerful phytochemical. Quercetin improves the health of the body's collagen, which is needed for youthful skin and maintenance of organs. For this reason, it also has been touted as a powerful anti-aging substance, and it appears in anti-wrinkle creams and other skincare products.
Quercetin, when recommended as an oral supplement, is available in both tablet and powder form. Most health practitioners suggest taking coated tablets that are classified as “activated.” These allow the body to absorb the substance and receive all of the quercetin benefits.
When taking quercetin for allergy relief such as hay fever and seasonal allergies, itching or hives, it might require six to eight weeks of a daily 500 milligram dose before quercetin benefits are noted. As always, however, speak to your doctor before embarking on a supplementation of any type of vitamin, herb or other type of nutrient. Although side effects of quercetin are relatively unknown and nursing mothers are considered to be safe from any adverse effects, pregnant women should not take quercetin unless under the direction of a physician.
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