(NaturalHealth365) For generations, humans have sought to turn back the clock and slow the aging process. But often, these attempts at regaining youth and vitality have focused on outwardly appearances. This focus often takes the form of utilizing external approaches, with everything from topical anti-aging creams to more drastic measures like plastic surgery.
But mounting evidence suggests the answer to slowing the aging process and leading a longer, healthier life is to put greater focus on what is going on inside the body. For example, we know that heavy metal toxicity can lead to accelerated aging and premature death; therefore eating a diet high in antioxidants, like quercetin can protect us from harm.
Why is quercetin so important to human health?
Simply put, all antioxidants – like quercetin – can protect your cells from premature aging. Heavily processed foods, unhealthy beverages and a toxic environment filled with poisonous household chemicals and personal care products can easily threaten our health.
Quercetin is an antioxidant, in the flavonol family, and is found in onions, apples, tea and wine. But, personally speaking, I wouldn’t rely on alcohol consumption for my antioxidant needs.
Through extensive research, quercetin has been scientifically proven to safeguard and enhance cardiovascular health, slow down neurodegeneration, and help us avoid metabolic syndrome – typically seen during the aging process. Some studies also suggest quercetin could provide protection against many of the illnesses plaguing older adults, including cancer, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by affecting a number of the body’s physiological systems.
Three great reasons to eat lots of antioxidants – like quercetin
1. Improve your breathing. When our respiratory system gets irritated, a typical reaction is swelling and redness around the sinus area – due to the release of histamines. Research reveals that quercetin has a powerful antihistamine effect.
2. Avoid high cholesterol levels. In one study, a group of otherwise healthy male smokers took 100 mg/day of quercetin or a placebo for 10 weeks – with blood tests done at baseline and at the end of the study. The supplemented group, but not the placebo group, had significant reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
3. Reverse cardiovascular disease. Quercetin has been scientifically shown to inhibit platelet aggregation or “stickiness” within the blood. As you may know, oxidative stress and chronic cellular inflammation triggers ‘sticky’ blood – which can lead to clogged arteries. If left untreated, poor blood flow can cause a life-threatening stroke or heart attack.
Research shows that people taking a highly bioavailable form of quercetin – at both 150 and 300 mg/day rapidly (within 30 minutes) inhibited platelet aggregation. This one antioxidant was able to physically alter gene expression, resulting in a much healthier circulatory system.
How does quercetin help to protect the brain?
Research has shown that quercetin can spur the human brain’s powerful natural antioxidant defense system – enhancing cellular defenses, and thereby preventing further brain cell death. From the body’s standpoint, the brain is very similar to the heart in that both are large consumers of the body’s energy.
Like the heart, the human brain is a major consumer of energy and depends greatly upon mitochondria at the cellular level to provide the power necessary for normal brain function, including thought, cognition and memory. But, when antioxidant stores are low, mitochondrial function begins to diminish – especially as we continue to eat poorly over time.
However, studies have shown that quercetin acts like a neuroprotective nutrient. It protects brain cells from damage caused by repetitive excitatory electrical impulses common in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar neurodegenerative conditions.
In addition, quercetin has been shown to reduce the toxic effect of abnormal amyloid-beta proteins that can accumulate in brain tissue – producing problems with memory loss and even dementia. There’s even evidence that quercetin may help to prevent Parkinson’s disease.
As always, when dealing with serious health issues, it’s best to seek the advice of a well-trained, holistic physician. But, it’s safe to say that eating lots of organic fruits and vegetables plus taking high-quality nutritional supplements has its rewards.