Green Immunity Boosters: Bontanicals for Immunity

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Traditional Herb Uses:. This organic all natural treatment also helps to stimulate circulation. You may use it as a daily supplement for 3 weeks and 1 week break in between. The following week, add 1 dropperful to approximately 4 tablespoons of water, twice a day. You may also use Immune Boost as an organic all natural daily supplement, especially during cold and flu season.

These products have not been evaluated by the F. These products and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your physician before taking any supplement or abiding by any information herein. A quercetin glycoside is formed by attaching a glycosyl group a sugar such as glucose, rhamnose, or rutinose as a replacement for one of the OH groups commonly at position 3.

The attached glycosyl group can change the solubility, absorption, and in vivo effects. As a general rule of thumb, the presence of a glycosyl group quercetin glycoside results in increased water solubility compared to quercetin aglycone [ 4 , 5 ]. A quercetin glycoside is unique by the attached glycosyl group. Generally, the term quercetin should be used to describe the aglycone only; however, the name is occasionally used to refer to quercetin-type molecules, including its glycosides in research and the supplement industry.

Quercetin-type flavonols primarily as quercetin glycosides , the most abundant of the flavonoid molecules, are widely distributed in plants. They are found in a variety of foods including apples, berries, Brassica vegetables, capers, grapes, onions, shallots, tea, and tomatoes, as well as many seeds, nuts, flowers, barks, and leaves. Quercetin is also found in medicinal botanicals, including Ginkgo biloba , Hypericum perforatum , and Sambucus canadensis [ 6 , 7 , 8 ].

In red onions, higher concentrations of quercetin occur in the outermost rings and in the part closest to the root, the latter being the part of the plant with the highest concentration [ 9 ]. Quercetin is present in various kinds of honey from different plant sources [ 11 ].

Immune Support

Food-based sources of quercetin include vegetables, fruits, berries, nuts, beverages and other products of plant origin [ 12 ]. Dietary intake of quercetin was different in several countries. In the Suihua area of northern China, quercetin intake was reported to be 4. The mean quercetin intake was approximately Onions, tea, and apples contained high amounts of quercetin [ 17 ].

In Japan, the average and median quercetin intakes were The estimated quercetin intake was similar during summer and winter. Quercetin was mainly ingested from onions and green tea, both in summer and in winter. Vegetables, such as asparagus, green pepper, tomatoes, and red leaf lettuce, were good sources of quercetin in summer [ 18 ]. In Australia, black and green teas were the dominant sources of quercetin. Other sources included onion, broccoli, apple, grape, and beans [ 19 ].

Apple was the most important source of quercetin until age 16—18 years, after which onion became an increasingly important prominent source [ 19 ]. In Spain, the average daily intake of quercetin is Quercetin glycosides might be differently absorbed based on the type of sugar attached [ 21 ].

Available evidence indicates that quercetin glucosides like those found predominantly in onion or shallot flesh are far better absorbed than its rutinosides the major quercetin glycoside in tea. The glucosides are efficiently hydrolyzed in the small intestine by beta-glucosidases to the aglycone form, much of which is then absorbed [ 22 ]. Quercetin glucuronic acid and its sulfuric acid derivatives were more easily absorbed than quercetin [ 22 ]. Thereafter, its absorption is affected by differences in its glycosylation, the food matrix from which it is consumed, and the co-administration of dietary components such as fiber and fat [ 23 ].


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Thus different sugar types and sugar group conjugation sites will result in absorption variation. Quercetin and derivatives are stable in gastric acid; however, there were no reports whether they can be absorbed in stomach. Studies suggest that quercetin is absorbed in the upper segment of small intestinal [ 24 , 25 ]. Purified quercetin glucosides are capable of interacting with the sodium dependent glucose transport receptors in the mucosal epithelium and may therefore be absorbed by the small intestine in vivo [ 21 ].

After absorption, quercetin becomes metabolized in various organs including the small intestine, colon, liver and kidney. Metabolites formed in the small intestine and liver by biotransformation enzymes include the methylated, sulfo-substituted and glucuronidated forms [ 26 , 27 ]. A study regarding the tissue distribution in rats and pigs has shown that the highest accumulation of quercetin and its metabolites are found in rat lung and pig liver and kidney [ 28 ].

Quercetin and derivatives are transformed into various metabolites phenolic acid by enteric bacteria and enzymes in intestinal mucosal epithelial cells. These metabolites are absorbed, transformed or excreted later. Moreover, bacteria ring fission of the aglycon occurs in both the small intestine and colon, resulting in the breakdown of the backbone structure of quercetin and the subsequent formation of smaller phenolics [ 29 ]. Limited studies suggest that quercetin was methylated, vulcanized and glucuronidated in liver [ 31 ]. Continuous intake of diet containing quercetin accumulated in blood and significantly increased quercetin concentration in plasma, which was significantly correlated to its dietary content [ 32 ].

Quercetin is present in a conjugated form in human blood whose major form is glycoside [ 33 ]. While isorhamnetin and glucoside acid-sulfated derivatives of quercetin account for Boulton also found that quercetin conjugated plasma protein albumin account for The limited research suggests that quercetin and its metabolites tend to accumulate in the organs involved in its metabolism and excretion, and that perhaps mitochondria might be an area of quercetin concentration within cells [ 36 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 ].

Kidney is a major organ of excretion. Quercetin concentration in urine increased with the increasing dose and time after intake of fruit juice was ingested in human [ 36 ], perhaps benzoic acid derivatives are common metabolite of quercetin [ 37 ]. Human subjects can absorb significant amounts of quercetin from food or supplements, and elimination is quite slow, with a reported half-life ranging from 11 to 28 h [ 38 ].

The average terminal half-life of quercetin is 3. The total recovery of C-quercetin in urine, feces and exhaled air is highly variable, depending on the individual [ 40 ]. A high amount of absorbed quercetin is extensively metabolized and eventually eliminated by the lungs [ 41 ]. Additional literature suggests that isoquercetin glycosylated quercetin is more completely absorbed than quercetin in the aglycone form, and that the simultaneous ingestion of quercetin with vitamin C, folate and additional flavonoids improves bioavailability [ 38 , 42 ].

All of these studies indicate that quercetin glucosides is absorbed in the upper segment of small intestinal, then is methylated, sulfo-substituted and glucuronidated by biotransformation enzymes in the small intestine and liver, and is finally excreted by kidney in urine. Quercetin was reported as a long lasting anti-inflammatory substance that possesses strong anti-inflammatory capacities [ 43 , 44 ]. It possesses anti-inflammatory potential that can be expressed on different cell types, both in animal and human models [ 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 ].

It is known to possess both mast cell stabilizing and gastrointestinal cytoprotective activity [ 54 ]. It can also play a modulating, biphasic and regulatory action on inflammation and immunity [ 53 ]. Additionally, quercetin has an immunosuppressive effect on dendritic cells function [ 55 ]. The study of quercetin against H 2 O 2 -induced inflammation showed the protective effects of quercetin against inflammation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells HUVECs and indicated that the effect was mediated via the downregulation of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 VCAM-1 and CD80 expression [ 52 ].

Quercetin is able to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases, which are normally inhibited by plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 PAI-1 in human dermal fibroblasts [ 57 ]. ILstimulated IL-6 production from human mast cells is regulated by biochemical pathways distinct from IgE-induced degranulation, and quercetin can block both IL-6 secretion and two key signal transduction steps involved [ 58 ].

Quercetin is known to possess both mast cell stabilizing and gastrointestinal cytoprotective activity. A study demonstrates that quercetin has a direct regulatory effect on basic functional properties of immune cells which may be mediated by the extracellular regulated kinase 2 Erk2 mitogen-activated protein MAP kinase signal pathway in human mitogen-activated PBMC and purified T lymphocytes [ 54 ]. The property proves inhibitory to a huge panoply of molecular targets in the micromolar concentration range, either by down-regulating or suppressing many inflammatory pathways and functions.

Quercetin has shown a biphasic behavior in basophils at nanomolar doses and hence its action on cells involved in allergic inflammation. Quercetin affects immunity and inflammation by acting mainly on leukocytes and targeting many intracellular signaling kinases and phosphatases, enzymes and membrane proteins are often crucial for a cellular specific function. However, the wide group of intracellular targets and the elevated number of natural compounds potentially effective as anti-inflammatory therapeutic agents, asks for further insights and evidence to comprehend the role of these substances in animal cell biology [ 53 ].

Taken as in vitro together, the possible pathway of quercetin on inflammation and immune function is as follows Figure 2. The main action of quercetin on inflammation and immune function in vitro is summarized in the Table 1. Summary of the main effects of quercetin on inflammation and immune function in vitro. Quercetin exerts inflammation and immune modulating activity in several murine models of autoimmunity. In vivo , animal experiments also support an anti-inflammatory effect. Quercetin ameliorates the inflammatory response induced by carrageenan [ 60 ] and a high-fat diet [ 61 ].

In chronic rat adjuvant induced arthritis, quercetin decreased clinical signs of arthritis compared to untreated controls [ 63 ]. In rats, post-trauma administration of quercetin improves recovery of motor function after acute traumatic spinal cord injury. This ability to promote recovery from spinal cord injury appears to be highly dependent on the dose and frequency of dosing. In this study a lower IP dose was ineffective. In another study, compared to an untreated control group of animals none of which recovered motor function sufficient to walk , quercetin administration twice daily for three or 10 days resulted in about 50 percent of the animals recovering sufficient motor function to walk.

However, when quercetin was injected three times daily, none of the nine animals recovered the ability to walk [ 65 ]. Study has shown that quercetin exerted protective effect against irradiation-induced inflammation in mice through increasing cytokine secretion [ 66 ]. Quercetin possesses activity against isoproterenol-induced myocardial oxidative injury and immunity function impairment, and that the mechanism of pharmacological action was related at least in part to the antioxidant activity of quercetin [ 67 ].

Quercetin decreased histological signs of acute inflammation in the treated animals in a dose-dependent manner via suppressing leucocyte recruitment, decreasing chemokine levels and levels of the lipid peroxidation end-product malondialdehyde, and increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in experimental rat model [ 68 ]. Quercetin most likely universally suppresses the accumulation and activation of immune cells, including anti-inflammatory cells, whereas it specifically increased gene expression associated with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in Western diet-induced obese mice.

For the group as a whole, quercetin supplementation had no significant influence on rates of upper respiratory tract infections URTI compared to placebo. While quercetin supplementation significantly increased plasma quercetin levels, it had no influence on measure of immune function [ 73 ]. In this study, however, there were no differences in the post-race illness rates between quercetin and placebo groups [ 75 ].

There are several studies in humans investigating the correlation of quercetin and its immunomodulatory effects. Quercetin does indeed reduce illness after intensive exercise. Again, under double-blind conditions, Nieman et al. The literature is supportive of the anti-pathogenic capacities of quercetin when it is cultured with target cells and a broad spectrum of pathogens including URTI-related rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and coronaviruses. The impact of the co-ingestion of two or more flavonoids increases their bioavailability and the outcomes on immunity.

Nieman et al. It resulted in significantly reduced post-exercise measures for both inflammation and oxidative stress, with a chronic augmentation of granulocyte oxidative burst activity [ 77 ]. When taken together, quercetin showed a successful reduction in the illness rates of exercise-stressed athletes as well as a chronic augmentation of their innate immune function. Most in vitro research suggests that quercetin possesses anti-inflammation and immunological improvement.

The main action of quercetin on inflammation and immune function in vivo is summarized in the Table 2. Summary of the main effects of quercetin on inflammation and immune function in vivo. These results suggest that quercetin exhibited anti-inflammation and immune-enhancement in vitro cells and in vivo animals , however, studies in human did not totally support these results from cells and animals.

The effect, in which quercetin acts as an immune booster in humans, needs to be further verified for future broad application. As a widespread flavonoid, quercetin is a safe and dietary supplement based on its broad range of biological effects in animal. The results of these effects are not consistent, however, and the outcomes need to be carefully evaluated, as they are dependent on the type of subject and their level of health.

Taken together, we know definitively that a quercetin glycoside is much more efficient than other forms of quercetin. In the majority of the literature, we find references to the benefits of prolonged supplementation with quercetin. The future challenge is to investigate optimal benefits of quercetin, especially to the recommendation for the protracted intake. For example, a carbohydrate drink may have a better effect than pure quercetin preparation.

The research in this area continues to determine the proper outcomes, dosing regimen and adjuvants that may amplify any perceived bioactive effects of quercetin in vivo.

21 Immune Boosting Foods, Tonics & Teas. - Goodness Me!

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Nutrients v. Published online Mar Find articles by Yao Li. Find articles by Jiaying Yao. Find articles by Chunyan Han. Find articles by Jiaxin Yang. Find articles by Maria Tabassum Chaudhry. Find articles by Shengnan Wang. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Jan 25; Accepted Mar 9. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


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