Life Extension Magazine September 2012
By Life Extension
Quercetin increases oxidative stress resistance and longevity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Quercetin, the major flavonol found in several fruits and vegetables, is a natural antioxidant with potential anticancer and antiaging activities. In this paper, the effect of quercetin in Sacharomyces cerevisiae cells submitted to oxidative stress was studied. Hydrogen peroxide resistance increased in cells pretreated with quercetin. Cellular protection was correlated with a decrease in oxidative stress markers, namely, levels of reactive oxygen species, glutathione oxidation, protein carbonylation, and lipid peroxidation. The acquisition of H2O2 resistance was not associated with the induction of antioxidant defenses or with iron chelation. Oxidative stress is a limiting factor for longevity. In agreement, quercetin also increased 60% chronological life span. These results support the utilization of yeast as a useful model to screen in vivo for natural antioxidants with putative health beneficial effects.
J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Mar 21;55(6):2446-51
Health effects of quercetin: from antioxidant to nutraceutical.
Quercetin, a member of the flavonoids family, is one of the most prominent dietary antioxidants. It is ubiquitously present in foods including vegetables, fruit, tea and wine as well as countless food supplements and is claimed to exert beneficial health effects. This includes protection against various diseases such as osteoporosis, certain forms of cancer, pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases but also against aging. Especially the ability of quercetin to scavenge highly reactive species such as peroxynitrite and the hydroxyl radical is suggested to be involved in these possible beneficial health effects. Consequently, numerous studies have been performed to gather scientific evidence for these beneficial health claims as well as data regarding the exact mechanism of action and possible toxicological aspects of this flavonoid. The purpose of this review is to evaluate these studies in order to elucidate the possible health-beneficial effects of the antioxidant quercetin. Firstly, the definitions as well as the most important aspects regarding free radicals, antioxidants and oxidative stress will be discussed as background information. Subsequently, the mechanism by which quercetin may operate as an antioxidant (tested in vitro) as well as the potential use of this antioxidant as a nutraceutical (tested both ex vivo and in vivo) will be discussed.
Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 May 13;585(2-3):325-37.
Quercetin-mediated longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans: is DAF-16 involved?
The polyphenol quercetin has recently been found to extend lifespan and increase stress resistance in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The forkhead transcription factor DAF-16 has previously been linked to these effects. However, by using a daf-16(mgDf50) mutant strain, we show that quercetin exposure leads to increased mean lifespans up to 15%. Furthermore, quercetin-treated daf-16(mgDf50) worms show an enhanced resistance to thermal and oxidative stress. Our data reveal that DAF-16 is not obligatorily required for quercetin-mediated longevity and stress resistance.
Mech Ageing Dev. 2008 Oct;129(10):611-3
Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study.
Flavonoids are polyphenolic antioxidants naturally present in vegetables, fruits, and beverages such as tea and wine. In vitro, flavonoids inhibit oxidation of low-density lipoprotein and reduce thrombotic tendency, but their effects on atherosclerotic complications in human beings are unknown. We measured the content in various foods of the flavonoids quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, apigenin, and luteolin. We then assessed the flavonoid intake of 805 men aged 65-84 years in 1985 by a cross-check dietary history; the men were then followed up for 5 years. Mean baseline flavonoid intake was 25.9 mg daily. The major sources of intake were tea (61%), onions (13%), and apples (10%). Between 1985 and 1990, 43 men died of coronary heart disease. Fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction occurred in 38 of 693 men with no history of myocardial infarction at baseline. Flavonoid intake (analysed in tertiles) was significantly inversely associated with mortality from coronary heart disease (p for trend = 0.015) and showed an inverse relation with incidence of myocardial infarction, which was of borderline significance (p for trend = 0.08). The relative risk of coronary heart disease mortality in the highest versus the lowest tertile of flavonoid intake was 0.42 (95% CI 0.20-0.88). After adjustment for age, body-mass index, smoking, serum total and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, blood pressure, physical activity, coffee consumption, and intake of energy, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and dietary fibre, the risk was still significant (0.32 [0.15-0.71]). Intakes of tea, onions, and apples were also inversely related to coronary heart disease mortality, but these associations were weaker. Flavonoids in regularly consumed foods may reduce the risk of death from coronary heart disease in elderly men.
Lancet. 1993 Oct 23;342(8878):1007-11
Quercetin ameliorates cardiovascular, hepatic, and metabolic changes in diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats.
Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the responses to the flavonol, quercetin, in male Wistar rats (8-9 wk old) divided into 4 groups. Two groups were given either a corn starch-rich (C) or high-carbohydrate, high-fat (H) diet for 16 wk; the remaining 2 groups were given either a C or H diet for 8 wk followed by supplementation with 0.8 g/kg quercetin in the food for the following 8 wk (CQ and HQ, respectively). The H diet contained ~68% carbohydrates, mainly as fructose and sucrose, and ~24% fat from beef tallow; the C diet contained ~68% carbohydrates as polysaccharides and ~0.7% fat. Compared with the C rats, the H rats had greater body weight and abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, higher systolic blood pressure, impaired glucose tolerance, cardiovascular remodeling, and NAFLD. The H rats had lower protein expressions of nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-related factor-2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) with greater expression of NF-κB in both the heart and the liver and less expression of caspase-3 in the liver than in C rats. HQ rats had higher expression of Nrf2, HO-1, and CPT1 and lower expression of NF-κB than H rats in both the heart and the liver. HQ rats had less abdominal fat and lower systolic blood pressure along with attenuation of changes in structure and function of the heart and the liver compared with H rats, although body weight and dyslipidemia did not differ between the H and HQ rats. Thus, quercetin treatment attenuated most of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, including abdominal obesity, cardiovascular remodeling, and NAFLD, with the most likely mechanisms being decreases in oxidative stress and inflammation.
J Nutr. 2012 Jun;142(6):1026-32
Quercetin reduces systolic blood pressure and plasma oxidised low-density lipoprotein concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-cardiovascular disease risk phenotype: a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study.
Regular consumption of flavonoids may reduce the risk for CVD. However, the effects of individual flavonoids, for example, quercetin, remain unclear. The present study was undertaken to examine the effects of quercetin supplementation on blood pressure, lipid metabolism, markers of oxidative stress, inflammation, and body composition in an at-risk population of ninety-three overweight or obese subjects aged 25-65 years with metabolic syndrome traits. Subjects were randomised to receive 150 mg quercetin/d in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over trial with 6-week treatment periods separated by a 5-week washout period. Mean fasting plasma quercetin concentrations increased from 71 to 269 nmol/l (P < 0.001) during quercetin treatment. In contrast to placebo, quercetin decreased systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 2.6 mmHg (P < 0.01) in the entire study group, by 2.9 mmHg (P < 0.01) in the subgroup of hypertensive subjects and by 3.7 mmHg (P < 0.001) in the subgroup of younger adults aged 25-50 years. Quercetin decreased serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.001), while total cholesterol, TAG and the LDL:HDL-cholesterol and TAG:HDL-cholesterol ratios were unaltered. Quercetin significantly decreased plasma concentrations of atherogenic oxidised LDL, but did not affect TNF-alpha and C-reactive protein when compared with placebo. Quercetin supplementation had no effects on nutritional status. Blood parameters of liver and kidney function, haematology and serum electrolytes did not reveal any adverse effects of quercetin. In conclusion, quercetin reduced SBP and plasma oxidised LDL concentrations in overweight subjects with a high-CVD risk phenotype. Our findings provide further evidence that quercetin may provide protection against CVD.
Br J Nutr. 2009 Oct;102(7):1065-74
The effects of quercetin on antioxidant status and tumor markers in the lung and serum of mice treated with benzo(a)pyrene.
Chemoprevention has emerged as a very effective preventive measure against carcinogenesis. Several bioactive compounds present in fruits and vegetables have revealed their cancer curative potential on benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) induced carcinogenesis. In the present study, the efficacy of quercetin on the level of lipid peroxides, activities of antioxidant enzymes and tumor marker enzymes in B(a)P induced experimental lung carcinogenesis in Swiss albino mice was assessed. In lung cancer bearing animals there was an increase in lung weight, lipid peroxidation and marker enzymes such as aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, 5'-nucleotidase, lactate dehydrogenase and adenosine deaminase with subsequent decrease in body weight and antioxidant enzymes-superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione-S-transferase, glutathione reductase, reduced glutathione, vitamin E and vitamin C. Quercetin supplementation (25 mg/kg body weight) attenuated all these alterations, which indicates the anticancer effect that was further confirmed by histopathological analysis. Overall, the above data shows that the anticancer effect of quercetin is more pronounced when used as an chemopreventive agent rather than as a chemotherapeutic agent against B(a)P induced lung carcinogenesis.
Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Dec;30(12):2268-73
Dietary quercetin intake and risk of gastric cancer: results from a population-based study in Sweden.
BACKGROUND: To study the impact of the dietary antioxidant quercetin on risk of gastric adenocarcinoma. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Using data from a large Swedish population-based case-control study of gastric cancer (505 cases and 1116 controls), we studied the association between quercetin and risk of anatomic (cardia/noncardia) and histological (intestinal and diffuse) subtypes of gastric cancer. RESULTS: We found strong inverse associations between quercetin and the risk of noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma, with an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.57 (95% confidence interval 0.40-0.83) for the highest quintile (≥11.9 mg) of daily quercetin intake relative to the lowest quintile of intake (<4 mg quercetin/day), supported by a significant decreasing linear trend (P value < 0.001). Similar findings were observed for the intestinal and diffuse subtype. For cardia cancer, we found a less evident and nonsignificant inverse relationship. The protection of quercetin appeared to be stronger among female smokers, with the OR leveled of at values <0.2 in quintiles 3-5 (>6 mg quercetin/day). CONCLUSIONS: High dietary quercetin intake is inversely related to the risk of noncardia gastric adenocarcinoma, and the protection appears to be particularly strong for women exposed to oxidative stress, such as tobacco smoking.
Ann Oncol. 2011 Feb;22(2):438-43
Quercetin is more effective than cromolyn in blocking human mast cell cytokine release and inhibits contact dermatitis and photosensitivity in humans.
Mast cells are immune cells critical in the pathogenesis of allergic, but also inflammatory and autoimmune diseases through release of many pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-8 and TNF. Contact dermatitis and photosensitivity are skin conditions that involve non-immune triggers such as substance P (SP), and do not respond to conventional treatment. Inhibition of mast cell cytokine release could be effective therapy for such diseases. Unfortunately, disodium cromoglycate (cromolyn), the only compound marketed as a mast cell "stabilizer", is not particularly effective in blocking human mast cells. Instead, flavonoids are potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds with mast cell inhibitory actions. Here, we first compared the flavonoid quercetin (Que) and cromolyn on cultured human mast cells. Que and cromolyn (100 µM) can effectively inhibit secretion of histamine and PGD(2). Que and cromolyn also inhibit histamine, leukotrienes and PGD(2) from primary human cord blood-derived cultured mast cells (hCBMCs) stimulated by IgE/Anti-IgE. However, Que is more effective than cromolyn in inhibiting IL-8 and TNF release from LAD2 mast cells stimulated by SP. Moreover, Que reduces IL-6 release from hCBMCs in a dose-dependent manner. Que inhibits cytosolic calcium level increase and NF-kappa B activation. Interestingly, Que is effective prophylactically, while cromolyn must be added together with the trigger or it rapidly loses its effect. In two pilot, open-label, clinical trials, Que significantly decreased contact dermatitis and photosensitivity, skin conditions that do not respond to conventional treatment. In summary, Que is a promising candidate as an effective mast cell inhibitor for allergic and inflammatory diseases, especially in formulations that permit more sufficient oral absorption.
PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33805
Quercetin inhibits rhinovirus replication in vitro and in vivo.
Rhinovirus (RV), which is responsible for the majority of common colds, also causes exacerbations in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. So far, there are no drugs available for treatment of rhinovirus infection. We examined the effect of quercetin, a plant flavanol on RV infection in vitro and in vivo. Pretreatment of airway epithelial cells with quercetin decreased Akt phosphosphorylation, viral endocytosis and IL-8 responses. Addition of quercetin 6h after RV infection (after viral endocytosis) reduced viral load, IL-8 and IFN responses in airway epithelial cells. This was associated with decreased levels of negative and positive strand viral RNA, and RV capsid protein, abrogation of RV-induced eIF4GI cleavage and increased phosphorylation of eIF2α. In mice infected with RV, quercetin treatment decreased viral replication as well as expression of chemokines and cytokines. Quercetin treatment also attenuated RV-induced airway cholinergic hyperresponsiveness. Together, our results suggest that quercetin inhibits RV endocytosis and replication in airway epithelial cells at multiple stages of the RV life cycle. Quercetin also decreases expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and improves lung function in RV-infected mice. Based on these observations, further studies examining the potential benefits of quercetin in the prevention and treatment of RV infection are warranted.
Antiviral Res. 2012 Mar 23