That is NOT a typo – research has revealed a nutrition supplement that can cut your risk of acquiring a viral illness such as a cold or the flu by 9 times! That supplement is Quercetin. Quercetin is a phytochemical (plant chemical) found in many plants including apples, plums, red grapes, green tea, and onions to name a few.
This supplement has proven beneficial for prevention and treatment of many viruses including Herpes simplex type 1; Polio-virus type 1; parainfluenza virus type 3, respiratory syncytial virus; influenza A and B viruses; H1N1 virus, H3N2 virus and H5N1; hepatitis A and B viruses; Dengue Virus; and Streptococcus Pneumonia infection.
Quercetin also reduces inflammation and works as an antihistamine and is frequently used to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. Quercetin has also been proven to boost mental and physical performance when under extreme physical stress. As one set of researchers commented " Quercetin has been shown to reduce viral internalization and replication in vitro, and viral load, lung inflammation and airways hyper-responsiveness in vivo."
The three key ways that Quercetin inhibits viruses are:
Inhibiting a virus’s ability to infect other cells (viruses literally infect your cells then take control of them and make them produce more virus!)
Inhibiting replication of already infected cells
Reducing infected cell’s resistance to treatment with anti-viral medication
Department of Defense Research on Quercetin
In a 2007 study from Appalachian State University researchers did a study funded by the Department of Defense. The study used had 40 cyclists divided into two groups with one group receiving 1,000 mg per day along with vitamin C and niacin while the other group got a placebo.
They had the athletes ride a bicycle for three hours per day, three days in a row. 45 percent of the placebo group contracted a viral illness after the physical stress compared to just 5 percent of the quercetin supplement group.
In a 1985 Study, researchers found that quercetin reduces the infectivity and replication of Herpes Simplex Type 1, Polio-Virus Type 1, and parainfluenza type 3 along with respiratory syncytial virus.
A 2016 Study found that quercetin inhibited a wide range of influenza strains including H1N1, H3N2, and H5N1.
In collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) a supplement called “Q-Force” was developed that is proven to:
Increase Mental Alertness
Strengthen the Immune System
Provide Sustained Energy
Reduce Oxidative Stress and Muscle Soreness Post Exercise
However there are many high quality quercetin supplements available with the best ones containing quercetin, bromelain (a digestive enzyme from pineapple that boosts absorption), and vitamin C,
Quercetin is also an excellent allergy fighter - see previous blogpost on this application here: http://workoutanytime.blogspot.com/2017/04/nutritional-strategies-for-allergy-and.html