A few months ago, we wrote about the five supplements we felt were the most important supplements to be taking at this time to support immune health. They are:
- A high-quality multivitamin, like our Beyond Health Multi.
- Enough Vitamin D3 to achieve a high-normal level on a 25(OH)D blood test.
- Zinc. Under age 40, 25 mg per day from Beyond Health’s Multi. If over 40, an additional 25 mg from Beyond Health’s Zinc Formula for a total of 50 mg per day.
Most health-minded people today are aware that a multi, vitamins C and D, and zinc are good for the immune system. But quercetin?
Some people haven’t even heard of it.
So what is quercetin (pronounced kwer’-si-tin)? And why do we believe it’s an essential component of an immune-supporting team of nutrients?
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in fruits and vegetables, primarily the pulp of citrus fruits, the white membrane of green peppers, onions, apples, grapes and tea.
It has many valuable health effects in the human body. It enhances the action of vitamin C and works with vitamin C in a synergistic way to build and protect blood vessels and many other structural parts of the body. Quercetin combats oxidation and reduces the risk of blood clots, stroke, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Known as the best nutrient for treating pain and inflammation and as nature’s most powerful antihistamine, quercetin helps relieve arthritis and common allergy symptoms.
Quercetin also has positive effects on the immune system. It often works with vitamin C, but it has immune-boosting properties of its own, particularly as an anti-viral.
COVID-19 is often referred to as the SARS-CoV-2 virus because of its similarities to the SARS coronavirus that affected 26 countries in 2003. Quercetin was found to provide broad-spectrum protection against the SARS coronavirus and is currently being studied in China for its effects on COVID-19.
The way a virus spreads throughout the body is by entering (infecting) cells. Once it commandeers the cell, the virus “replicates”—that is, it multiplies itself—and sends new viruses out to infect more cells.
By ushering zinc into our body cells, quercetin inhibits a virus’ ability to get into our cells; if a virus does make it into a cell, zinc inhibits its replication. This is why it’s important to take zinc and quercetin at the first sign of a viral infection.
Quercetin also reduces infected cells’ resistance to treatment with antiviral medication; it inhibits the abnormal clotting that affects many COVID-19 patients; and, as a powerful anti-inflammatory, it improves immune function by modulating inflammation.
There are two potential problems with quercetin supplements, however. One is safety and the other is bioavailability. Some forms aren’t safe, while most forms are poorly absorbed—1% absorption is typical. The water-soluble quercetin dihydrate in both our quercetin products is safe and up to 100% absorbed.