Quercetin and Quercetin Phytosome Join The Fight Against COVID-19
With COVID-19 shifting from a pandemic state to an endemic one, not everyone is up to living with the virus without extra support. If your immune system is weaker because of age or chronic illness, you may still be vulnerable, or you could be (rightfully) concerned about severe or long-term issues such as long haulers.
What Is the Difference Between Quercetin and Quercetin Phytosome?
Quercetin is a flavonoid found in a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including apples, radish leaves, capers, and red onions. However, it isn’t very bioavailable, so you may not absorb and use quercetin from foods or just any old supplement.
This is where Quercetin Phytosome comes in. Here, quercetin is carried inside phospholipid spheres, the same type of fat that makes up most of our cell membranes. As they have a much easier time crossing your intestinal cell walls, tests show that you can absorb up to 20 times more quercetin in its phytosome form.
Quercetin Phytosome vs COVID-19
Lab studies have found that quercetin may act against several key targets on the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for COVID-19, including its infamous spike protein. But what about real, live humans?
One open-label trial tested 1,000mg of Quercetin Phytosome (containing 400mg of quercetin) on 152 people with mild cases of COVID-19. While 29% of the control group had to be hospitalized at some point, and their average length of stay was almost a week, only 9.2% of the Quercetin Phytosome group went to hospital. Even better, they stayed in hospital for no more than two days and none went to the ICU or died, compared to three deaths in the control group.
A second study compared quercetin to standard care alone in 42 people. Here, 16 out of 21 people taking quercetin tested negative to COVID-19 after one week, compared to two out of 21 in the standard care group. Sadly, one patient in the standard care group died.
But what about patients who are already ill enough to be hospitalized? Another trial studied the benefits of quercetin among 60 people, adding it to two antiviral drugs and comparing the combination to the antivirals alone. While three out of 30 people in the antiviral-only group died, everyone taking quercetin survived. The average hospital stay was also 1.5 days shorter in the quercetin group.
How Does Quercetin Work?
Quercetin has several key benefits when it comes to resolving viral infections. Not only does it have direct antiviral effects, but it also supports the immune response and helps our bodies from runaway inflammation.
First, it is possible that quercetin interferes with up to 85% of the proteins in SARS-CoV-2. These include those involved in new viruses destroying the infected cell so they can escape, and viral replication, alongside the infamous spike protein. The spike protein allows SARS-CoV-2 to enter cells, so blocking it may lead to a smaller viral load and less tissue damage.
Quercetin also has anti-inflammatory benefits. In many cases, it’s not the virus itself that causes so much damage, but the immune system’s response. Thankfully, quercetin may lessen the activity of persistent, serious fatty acid-based inflammatory pathways. It significantly cuts down C-reactive protein levels, too, which is one of the most important inflammatory markers that you will often see in a standard blood test.
Even better, quercetin stimulates the activity of immune cells, meaning it has potential to support us against a wide range of illnesses. This includes both the instant, non-specific side of immune function and the adaptive side that produces antibodies and “learns” to recognize infections. Immune cells travel more readily to the infection, divide faster to meet the required numbers for fighting infection, and are more effective in destroying the microbes.
Quercetin Phytosome Shows Promise
Overall, Quercetin Phytosome may be an effective additional tool you can use to help with the fight against viral infections. More confirmatory trials are necessary, but it appears effective in reducing viral load and helping the immune response
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