It is well understood that a flavonoid-rich diet consisting of foods like apples, grapes, berries, cruciferous vegetables, black tea, wine, cocoa, and chocolate play an important role in supporting heart health. The class of plant pigments responsible for the distinctive color of fruits and vegetables, called flavonoids, are known to have positive effects on health. One such flavonoid, quercetin, is particularly well-known for its cardioprotective effects and has been extensively studied for its immense therapeutic potential.
Below, we discuss the importance of quercetin for heart health and how you can incorporate this flavonoid into your diet.*
Before understanding how quercetin confers its beneficial effects on heart health,* let’s first look at how quercetin is metabolized and absorbed in the body. The absorption of quercetin glycoside — the naturally occurring form of quercetin in foods, depends on the type of sugar attached to its molecular structure. Research studies1 suggest that quercetin is absorbed in the upper segment of the small intestine. Post-absorption, quercetin and its derivatives are then metabolized in various organs, including the liver, small intestine, colon, and kidneys. The metabolites are then transformed, and/or excreted.
Like other flavonoids, quercetin acts as an antioxidant and helps maintain the body’s natural inflammatory response.* These properties of quercetin help mitigate oxidative stress and eliminate the free radicals that can damage cardiovascular tissues.* The table below lists the various roles quercetin plays in supporting cardiovascular function and promoting heart health.*
How Quercetin Benefits Your Heart*
|Inhibiting Oxidation of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)||Quercetin was found2 to modulate cell signaling pathways, particularly the TLR-NF-κB pathway, to inhibit oxidative damage to LDL.*|
|Inhibiting Expression of Adhesion Molecules*||Adhesion molecules are cell surface proteins responsible for interaction between cells or between cells and extracellular matrix. Quercetin inhibits3 the expression of these adhesion molecules in human aortic endothelial cells to help maintain healthy arteries.*|
|Endothelium-independent Vasodilation*||Studies4 in rats have shown quercetin’s endothelium-independent vasodilator effects to limit structural vascular alterations or alterations in vascular smooth muscle cells.*|
|Protecting Against Neuronal Oxidative Damage||Quercetin has been found5 to help maintain a normal inflammatory response in the brain or spinal cord.*|
|Helping Maintain Normal Blood Pressure*||Randomized controlled trials6 have shown the significant effect of quercetin supplementation (500 mg/ day or more) in helping to maintain normal blood pressure levels.*|
|Maintaining a Normal Inflammatory Response in Fat Cells*||Adipose tissue (body fat) biology is closely linked to cardiovascular health. Nutritional supplementation with quercetin has been found7 to help maintain a normal inflammatory response in fat cells.*|
Despite the wealth of possible benefits of quercetin for heart health, its beneficial effects remain limited by its poor natural bioavailability. Quercetin glycoside displays an estimated absorption of 3% -17%8 in healthy individuals receiving 100 mg of quercetin. Quercetin’s poor bioavailability can be attributed to its poor solubility in water, poor permeability, and instability in physiological media like the stomach and intestine.
Because naturally occurring quercetin undergoes extensive metabolism and rapid elimination from the body, another way to enhance quercetin levels is by taking a well-absorbed quercetin nutritional supplement.
The bioavailability of quercetin can be enhanced through nanoformulations that protect quercetin molecules from early degradation, are customized for targeted delivery, and enable controlled release of the molecules. QuerciSorb® — an innovative supplement formulation developed by Tesseract Medical Research — incorporates a nanomolecular nutrient delivery technology to enhance the absorption of quercetin. The proprietary and pathbreaking CyLoc® - DexKey® delivery system is engineered to ensure quercetin’s maximum absorption and rapid delivery throughout the intestinal tract. The CyLoc® technology encases each quercetin molecule to protect its integrity while it transits through the gut. The DexKey® technology releases each molecule at the desired point in the intestinal tract for maximum absorption. The unprecedented absorption unlocks the cardioprotective benefits of quercetin to support optimal heart function.*
1Crespy V, et al. The American Journal of Physiology vol. 277,1 (1999): G120-6. doi:10.1152/ajpgi.1999.277.1.G120
2Bhaskar, Shobha, et al. Immunobiology vol. 216,3 (2011): 367-73. doi:10.1016/j.imbio.2010.07.011
3Li C, et al. Redox Biology vol. 9 (2016): 104-113. doi:10.1016/j.redox.2016.06.006
4Pérez-Vizcaíno, Francisco et al. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics vol. 302,1 (2002): 66-72. doi:10.1124/jpet.302.1.66
5Khan, Amjad, et al. Frontiers in Pharmacology vol. 9 1383. 11 Dec. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01383
6Serban, Maria-Corina et al. Journal of the American Heart Association vol. 5,7 e002713. 12 Jul. 2016, doi:10.1161/JAHA.115.002713
7Forney, Laura A, et al. International Journal of Molecular Sciences vol. 19,3 895. 17 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3390/ijms19030895
8 Li Y, et al. Nutrients vol. 8,3 167. 15 Mar. 2016, doi:10.3390/nu8030167