A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the association of low fruit and vegetable consumption with a higher risk of kidney failure in U.S. adults. Plant-rich diets contain flavonoids — a class of compounds that extend antioxidant effects to support optimal kidney functioning. Quercetin belongs to flavonol, one of the five subclasses of flavonoid compounds, and is known for its versatility in supporting various health functions, including renal health.*
Below, we discuss the therapeutic effects of quercetin on the kidneys and how to support your renal health with the help of an effective quercetin supplement.*
Quercetin is an antioxidant agent that supports the body’s natural response to inflammation.* These two key properties play a critical role in quercetin’s renoprotective effects.* Let’s look at how the body absorbs and metabolizes quercetin to better understand its therapeutic effects on our kidneys.*
Quercetin exists in nature as a glycoside (with linked sugars) or as an aglycone (without linked sugars).1 In our diets, quercetin most frequently appears in the form of quercetin glycoside and its absorption depends on the type of sugar attached to its molecular structure. After quercetin is absorbed, it is metabolized in the liver, small intestine, colon, and kidneys, where various amounts accumulate.
In the kidney, quercetin metabolites from the plasma are filtered through the glomerular filtration membrane. The metabolites are then partially reabsorbed by tubular epithelial cells and the rest are excreted through the urine. It is worth noting that quercetin metabolites eliminated in the urine account for 20-60% of total quercetin intake.
The following table highlights how quercetin helps beneficially regulate kidney function and promotes renal health.*
|Limiting Renal Toxicity||Quercetin interacts with multiple signaling pathways to limit renal toxicity.* Studies2 suggest the protective mechanism of quercetin could be the rebalancing of the antioxidant system and modulating renal biomarkers.*|
|Alleviating Renal Injury||Unresolved renal injury can trigger cell apoptosis (how the body gets rid of dying cells). The antioxidant effects of quercetin have been found to modulate the kidneys’ oxidative stress responses, thus helping to minimize renal injury.* Clinical studies3 highlight the role of quercetin in up-regulating the signaling pathways of immune cells, particularly macrophages, which also helps to mitigate kidney damage.*|
|Alleviating Oxidative Stress||As an antioxidant, quercetin scavenges toxins, limiting renal injury by inhibiting oxidative stress and beneficially regulating inflammatory processes.* An animal study4 found quercetin alleviated oxidative stress by down-regulating the expression of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) related proteins.*|
|Promoting Autophagy||Studies demonstrate that quercetin helps maintain optimal glucose/ lipid levels by modulating the autophagy process* — the orderly degradation of cells to protect the glomerular and tubular functions of the kidney.|
|Eliminating Senescent Cells||Quercetin has been found to prevent the accumulation of renal senescent cells (the cells have stopped multiplying but aren’t dead yet) to help maintain normal renal function.*|
Although quercetin is one of the most abundant flavonoids in a healthy diet, the average person consumes only 10-100 mg of quercetin via food sources. Additionally, the chemical structure of quercetin results in low water solubility, rapid elimination, low absorption rate, and low bioavailability. To increase both quercetin intake and its absorption in the body, nutritional supplements can be a suitable alternative to ingesting quercetin in its food form.
QuerciSorb® is a bioactive, soluble, absorbable quercetin supplement developed by Tesseract Medical Research to support renal health.* The innovative formulation features the proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® nutrient delivery system to ensure maximum absorption and to optimize quercetin’s renoprotective benefits.* The revolutionary nanomolecular delivery system enables targeted delivery and release of quercetin molecules throughout the intestinal tract to maximize bioavailability. QuerciSorb® is engineered to help your body absorb and utilize quercetin effectively to promote optimal functioning of the kidneys.*
1 Chen YQ, Chen HY, et al. Frontiers in Pharmacology 2022 Sep 2;13:968226. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.968226. PMID: 36120321; PMCID: PMC9478191.
2Rahdar, Abbas, et al. Life Sciences vol. 276 (2021): 119420. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119420
3Lu Hong, et al. Biochemical Pharmacology vol. 154 (2018): 203-212. doi:10.1016/j.bcp.2018.05.007
4Ding Tao, et al. Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology vol. 41 (2018): 45-53. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2018.01.026