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Quercetin with Vitamin C Together More Effective at Fighting Inflammation

Sara Middleton via NaturalHealth365 – By this point in the novel coronavirus pandemic, the medical community has learned some surprising things about COVID-19.  For example, most people think about the disease as chiefly a respiratory problem. But in severe cases, multiple organs within the body are being damaged, including the liver, heart, and kidneys. What doctors don’t fully know is if this multi-organ damage is due to the virus itself or due to immune-mediated inflammation due to the viral infection.

One thing we do know is that powerful and natural anti-inflammatory agents already exist (and don’t require millions of taxpayer-funded dollars in Big Pharma research, either).  The ability to fight excessive inflammation is actually one of the main vitamin C health benefits – and research also suggests another natural antioxidant called quercetin also plays a starring role.

Unpopular Antioxidant Proves to Be a “Winner” in Fighting Inflammation, According to Research

Quercetin (said “kwur-SEH-tn”) is a plant-based antioxidant known as a flavanol.  You can find it in foods like berries, apples, grapes, citrus, buckwheat, onions, black tea, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, and red wine.  This powerful little nutrient offers a long list of health benefits, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral activities.

So it may come as no surprise that when you combine quercetin with another known natural antioxidant, vitamin C, the health benefits passed to you are magnified. After all, nutrients don’t work in isolation, but in combination and cooperation with other nutrients – a real-world example of the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

This is exactly what a team of researchers discovered in 2013 when they investigated the health benefits of quercetin and vitamin C.  In their randomized double-blind clinical trial, published in Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, the researchers split 60 healthy young men into one of four groups. Each group received a different daily supplement intervention for 8 weeks:

  • 500 milligram (mg) of quercetin
  • 250 mg of vitamin C
  • 500 mg of quercetin PLUS 250 mg of vitamin C, or
  • Placebo

After 8 weeks, the researchers discovered that the men who received the most benefit (as measured by a reduction in cell-damaging oxidative stress and chronic inflammation) were those who received quercetin plus vitamin C.

These men had levels of an inflammatory biomarker called high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) decrease by almost 50 percent over the course of the study.  The men in the placebo group saw decreased hs-CRP, too, by just over a third – still impressive, but significantly lower.

The men receiving the quercetin plus vitamin C also saw improvements in another marker of inflammation called interleukin-6 (IL-6).  The researchers hypothesize (and point to earlier data that supports their hypothesis) that vitamin C optimizes quercetin’s antioxidant properties and improves its bioavailability – hence, the making these nutrients even more effective when provided in combination rather than alone.

Could Quercetin Plus Vitamin C Be Helpful in Affecting the Biomarkers of Inflammation

Widespread inflammation and elevated inflammatory biomarkers have been linked to everything from cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to obesity and accelerated aging. So, finding natural ways to quell the “fire” of chronic inflammation has always been of great interest to us.

But in the age of COVID-19 – a pandemic that’s been linked to a widespread and over-the-top inflammatory response in the body – the potential power of quercetin and vitamin C should not be overlooked.

Consider this: one March 2020 study out of China (yet to be peer-reviewed) suggests that IL-6 may be useful for monitoring disease severity in people afflicted with COVID-19.  And doctors in the U.S., China, and elsewhere are already providing high dose intravenous vitamin C to COVID-19 patients.

This suggests to us that quercetin – either in food or supplement form, or both – may further help control the inflammation and cell damage caused by SARS-CoV-2.

Of course, neither quercetin nor vitamin C (or any other agent, for that matter) has been proven to prevent illness, much less COVID-19. For example, a 2010 randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial involving over 1,000 subjects found no significant difference in rates of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) between subjects taking either 500 mg/day of quercetin, 1000 mg/day of quercetin, or a placebo after 12 weeks.

But, and this is an important but, the subjects taking 1,000 mg/day did see a statistically significant reduction in number of sick days and symptom severity when they did experience upper respiratory illness.

Bottom line? It’s not possible to say yet whether quercetin or vitamin C can prevent or treat COVID-19. But they both can support a healthy immune system and reduce inflammation, which may be key factors in helping you and your loved ones stay healthier during the pandemic.

In supplement form, you may aim for 500 to 1,000 mg per day of quercetin and up to 2,000 mg per day for vitamin C.  Just talk to an integrative physician before adding these supplements, since you may need more (or less) depending on your health and goals.

In the meantime, focus on always improving your diet and sleep habits, reducing stress in your life and staying physically active.  These are great ways to reduce the risk of bacterial and viral infections.

To read the original article click here.

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