While there are many established quercetin benefits and even more alleged quercetin benefits, one I had not considered was quercetin’s possible ability to help individuals tap their energy reserves. This more recently discovered benefit is implied by a recent study conducted by the Arnold School of Public Health (University of South Carolina) and partly funded by the United States Department of Defense. This study was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2009.
The study, which involved healthy but untrained adult men and women (college students), measured subjects fatigue capacity on stationary bikes and their VO2max. VO2max, which was completely new to me upon reading this study, measures an individual’s maximum oxygen capacity. Both the measured fatigue capacity and VO2max increased dramatically after just one week (seven days) of taking 500 milligrams of quercetin twice each day compared to a control group that only took a placebo twice each day. Quercetin side-effects were not statistically significant in the research subjects.
“The natural, biological properties of quercetin that include powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as the ability to boost the immune system and increase mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) in muscle and brain is great news for those who often think that they’re too tired to exercise,” said Dr. Mark Davis, the study’s lead author. So some quercetin benefits derive from your cells’ power source.
Dr. Davis hypothesizes, based on pre-clinical data, that quercetin increases mitochondria in brain and muscle cells. Mitochondria theoretically acts as a power source for these cells. Increasing mitochondria thus increases the cells’ ability to produce and utilize energy.
I personally would be interested to see a study that compared the usage of quercetin alone with a quercetin bromelain supplement as some research indicates that quercetin and bromelain have synergistic effect increasing each’s absorption and potency.
Dr. Davis and his team have received a grant from the National Institute of Health to study the quercetin effects on colon cancer. They have also applied for a grant to study quercetin’s effects on breast cancer. I will watch for the results of these studies and report them to you when they’re announced.