Protect your heart health with quercetin
(NaturalHealth365) Flavonoids – compounds found in certain fruits and vegetables – are known for their ability to protect us from toxins, environmental radiation and (ultimately) the oxidative damage that causes disease. Over the past decade, one flavonoid in particular has been studied for its immune-boosting, heart health and anti-aging benefits, with multiple studies showing quercetin’s ability to increase life span.
Recently, a new meta-analysis dug into the incredible heart benefits of quercetin, finding that supplementation was effective at lowering blood pressure. But, beyond that, it also offers a number of other health benefits that lower the risk of heart disease, such as reducing excessive amounts of cholesterol and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.
Why quercetin is crucial to heart health
Evidence continues to accumulate showing that eating more foods that contain quercetin or adding a quality supplement to your diet can offer a wide range of health benefits.
In a meta-analysis published in Nutrition Reviews, researchers concluded that quercetin is effective at lowering blood pressure. After pooling results, they found that taking quercetin was associated with an average 2.86 mmHG reduction in patients’ diastolic blood pressure and a 3.09 mmHG reduction in their systolic blood pressure. Not only did it help reduce blood pressure across pooled results, it did so without causing unwanted side effects, as well.
In addition, other studies have backed up this recent conclusion. While some studies found that taking high amounts of quercetin helped reduce blood pressure, others discovered that even taking lower levels of its supplemental form could result in improved blood pressure numbers.
Researchers believe that it works by reducing the “stickiness” of platelets and helping artery linings stay healthy, keeping them relaxed to reduce pressure and improve overall blood flow.
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More great news about the health benefits of quercetin
One study showed that in men between the ages of 65 and 84, those who had the highest intake of flavonoids like quercetin were 68% less likely to die from heart disease than those who had the lowest intake. Similar studies have backed up the idea that quercetin offers dramatic cardiovascular protection.
One study on quercetin’s impact on cholesterol found that taking 100 mg of the supplement daily significantly improved cholesterol levels, and it also improved blood sugar – which is another risk factor for heart disease. A larger study found that quercetin not only reduce “bad” cholesterol, it increased the levels of “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
To reap the heart health benefits of quercetin, you can add more foods to your diet that contain this flavonoid or take a supplement. Foods that contain quercetin include deeply colored vegetables, dark leafy greens, legumes, cocoa, green tea, olive oil, deeply colored berries, and beans.
However, if you’re considering a quercetin supplement and you’re already on blood thinners, it’s essential to discuss this with your integrative physician.
Sources for this article include: