Quercetin (Molecule of the Month for August 2008)
Quercetin is a flavonoid and, to be more specific, a flavonol. It is the aglycone form of a number of other flavonoid glycosides, such as rutin and quercitrin, found in citrus fruit, buckwheat and onions. Quercetin forms the glycosides quercitrin and rutin together with rhamnose and rutinose, respectively. It is also found in many dietary supplements.
Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies, and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high quercetin content. Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action.
Quercetin may have positive effects in combating or helping to prevent cancer, prostatitis, heart disease, cataracts, allergies/inflammations, and respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma.
Formal Chemical Name (IUPAC)
Update by Karl Harrison
(Molecule of the Month for August 2008 )