Can Quercetin Lower Cholesterol?
Quercetin, an antioxidant polyphenol, is produced naturally by some plants when they are under attack from herbivores or predators. It occurs abundantly in many vegetables, citrus fruits, white grapes, black currants, mulberries, peanuts, and oats; peppers and tomatoes are other sources of quercetin in the food chain. Quercetin has several key benefits that make it one of the most popular natural acne treatments available today. Let's discuss these key benefits one at a time.
First, quercetin has shown to be an antioxidant. Studies on lab mice and rats have confirmed this. When exposed to UV radiation, quercetin demonstrated antioxidant properties, as well as free radical scavenging activity. In a separate study, quercetin from grape skin was found to protect human collagen. Both of these studies showed that quercetin has unique antioxidant activity that no other known antioxidant is able to duplicate. In summary, quercetin is an amazingly powerful antioxidant that provides multiple benefits to your body.
Second, quercetin has been shown to be an effective treatment for several brain disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, stroke, and Parkinson's disease. The reason why quercetin works so well as an anti-aging alternative treatment is because it works to prevent the build up of amyloid plaque in your brain. Although these findings are promising, human studies have not yet been done using quercetin to treat Alzheimer's and other brain disorders. Though these findings are promising, there are many other potential factors that will need to be examined before quercetin can be officially added to over-the-counter and prescription acne medications to aid in the treatment of acne.
Third, in one study, quercetin was found to be effective in the prevention and reduction of clostridial bacteria in the gut. Clostridial bacteria are some of the most common pathogens that cause food poisoning. By preventing the growth of these bacteria, quercetin may help prevent food poisoning, another common cause of diarrhea and abdominal pain in human tests. Because of the positive results of these tests, this ingredient is being considered for use as a treatment for ulcerative colitis (colitis that affects the intestines) and Crohn's disease as well.
Lastly, quercetin has demonstrated promising results in the treatment of liver diseases, such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. This is because quercetin seems to reduce liver inflammation by reducing the production of "bad" cholesterol in the liver. Additionally, quercetin has been found to reduce the oxidation of fatty acids in the liver, which may contribute to its role in "lowering" the "bad" cholesterol in the body and "lowering" the "bad" LDL or "bad" cholesterol in the blood stream. Since LDL carries excess cholesterol in our bodies which contribute to the development of heart disease, lowering it is believed to lower the risk of developing heart disease.
All of these quercetin studies raise the question of whether this is just a "quirk" or if this compound really has a role to play in human health. The answer is: It looks like quercetin could have a significant effect on health, short-term and long-term. In addition to liver and heart diseases, there are other illnesses such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, and psoriasis that have shown positive results when treated with high cholesterol natural supplements. For all of these conditions, short-term studies seem to suggest quercetin's ability to provide at least some benefit. Long-term studies, however, remain needed to truly determine if this compound can lower high cholesterol and reduce overall triglyceride levels in patients.