Allergies and asthma are inflammatory conditions generally triggered by air or food-borne pollens and chemicals called “allergens.” Quercetin stops allergies in their tracks via 2 routes. 1) It is a strong anti-inflammatory, keeping the lungs, nasal passages, and eyes from swelling as they normally do when allergens like pollen come into contact with the body. 2) Quercetin is a powerful antihistamine that prevents the release of itchy chemicals that make nose run and eyes water.
Quercetin Allergy Research
Allergic reactions occur when some foreign protein enters the bloodstream and triggers the release of histamine and serotonin, which cause coughing, breathing difficulties, clogged sinuses, skin eruptions. Quercetin stabilizes the walls of the cells that contain histamine and serotonin and prevents the release of these chemicals. Quercetin is an powerful inhibitor of histamine release, which is the primary cause of allergic reactions and symptoms. Particularly it inhibits the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic and inflammatory mediators from mast cells and basophils. Test tube studies found that quercetin avoids immune cells from releasing histamine, and may thus help to lessen allergy symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, hives and swelling of the face and lips. Researches have shown an improved lung function and lower risk of some respiratory diseases (asthma and bronchitis) for individuals with high quercetin intake. When taken in combination with Vitamin C, quercetin acts as a natural antihistamine that reduces or eliminates allergic reactions.
An animal study in 2007 demonstrates that quercetin may help treat allergies. Reported in “Inflammation Research“, the study found that mice placed on a quercetin-enriched diet had a lessen in inflammatory chemicals linked to allergic conditions. Investigators in both Korea and Brazil protected animals from fatal allergic reactions to common food allergens by pre-treating them with quercetin in oral or inhaled forms. A Japanese study of 20 participant with pollen allergies found that quercetin reduced eye irritation and itching. The participants were given 200 mg of a specific form of quercetin for 8 weeks.
Quercetin’s ability to prevent allergic effects has significant effects for the prevention and cure of bronchitis and asthma. Various researches have shown that animals pre-treated with quercetin or related compounds have significantly reduced reactions to chemicals that trigger asthma attacks. Experimental and anecdotal findings demonstrate that quercetin is more powerful as an anti-allergen when administered with the supplement bromelain. Vitamin C has also been shown to work synergistically with quercetin to lessen the severity of allergic reactions. The vitamin C, bromelain and quercetin and may help alleviate allergy symptoms, according to Dr. Kathi Kemper from the Baptist Medical Center.