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Quercetin, a flavonoid found in red grapes, red wine, apples, berries, and tea, is a potent antioxidant that has a number of properties that make it a good candidate for managing various prostate health problems. These benefits have been noted for nearly two decades.
Quercetin for prostate health
In 1999, for example, researchers reported that quercetin “provides significant symptomatic improvement” in men who have chronic nonbacterial prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, which is the most common type of prostatitis. Two-thirds of the patients also said their quality of life had improved after quercetin treatment. The study’s authors attributed the positive results to quercetin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In another study, researchers combined quercetin with two plant enzymes that also have anti-inflammatory abilities, bromelain and papain. Again, the patients experienced an improvement in symptoms.
Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it a good candidate for men who want help with prostate biopsy recovery, as it may reduce pain and swelling associated with the procedure. A study involving rats examined the impact of quercetin on inflammation induced by carrageenan versus rats that were not given quercetin. The results showed that quercetin modulated the inflammatory response in the rats compared with controls.
A study published in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry noted that quercetin could play a key role in helping prevent the spread of prostate cancer. Quercetin has also been shown to promote and enhance the death of prostate cancer cells in several studies conducted at the University of Pittsburgh.
In several other studies, researchers reported on the ability of quercetin to promote and enhance cell death in human prostate cancer cell lines. For example, a 2017 study reported on how quercetin was effective both in vivo and in vitro in reducing prostate tumor volume and inducing cell death in prostate cancer cells.
How to take quercetin
The suggested dose of quercetin for prostate health is no more than 1 gram daily without consulting your healthcare provider. A suggested dose of quercetin is 500 mg twice a day, but you should talk to your doctor before taking this supplement. Side effects may include headache and upset stomach.
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Kim YH, Lee YJ. TRAIL apoptosis is enhanced by quercetin through Akt dephosphorylation. J Cell Biochem 2007 Mar 1; 100(4): 998-1009
Lee DH et al. Role of Bax in quercetin-induced apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. Biochem Pharmacol 2008 Jun 15; 75(12): 2345-55
Morikawa K et al. Inhibitory effect of quercetin on carrageenan-induced inflammation in rats. Life Science 2003 Dec 26; 74(6): 709-21
Shahed AR, Shoskes DA. Oxidative stress in prostatic fluid of patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome: correlation with gram positive bacterial growth and treatment response. J Androl 2000; 21:669-75
Shoskes DA et al. Quercetin in men with category III chronic prostatitis: a preliminary prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Urology 1999; 54(6):960-63.