Quercetin: A Potent Ally in the Battle Against Cancer
Quercetin, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, has emerged as a significant force in the fight against cancer. Its ability to reduce blood sugar and blood fats is just the beginning of its remarkable properties.
The connection between chronic inflammation, free radical development, and an increased risk of cancer is well-established. These factors contribute to cell proliferation, DNA damage, and carcinogenesis. Quercetin's potential to counteract these harmful processes has been demonstrated in numerous studies, revealing its ability to arrest the cancer cell cycle and affect multiple pathways. Moreover, it has been shown to be a natural Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor.
Despite the abundance of studies and reviews, there remains a scarcity of research on humans and cancer. The following sections detail the effects of Quercetin on various types of cancer in laboratory and animal studies.
In a study involving mice, Quercetin demonstrated its capacity to block angiogenesis (the formation of blood supplies) at a level comparable to Tamoxifen. It accomplished this by inhibiting the calcineurin pathway. A review of Quercetin's action in breast cancer indicates that it can induce apoptosis, influence telomere structure, and potentially suppress Cancer Stem Cell generation. However, this research is limited to laboratory and animal studies.
A study with mice yielded significant results, showing that Quercetin induced apoptosis through the mitochondria intrinsic and caspase-dependent pathways. It also prompted mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and autophagy, which typically play a protective role in ovarian cancer. Another lab study reported that Quercetin decreased the viability and induced apoptosis of metastatic ovarian cancer cells.
In a study on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Quercetin was found to inhibit the migration and invasion of cell lines and reduce cell invasion ability in bone metastasis in vivo (mice). The survival times of the animals also increased significantly after Quercetin supplementation.
As a potent anti-inflammatory compound, Quercetin appears to be a natural treatment for highly inflammatory prostate cancer. Limited research suggests that Quercetin may prevent the initiation of prostate cancer by indirectly blocking the activity of two crucial genes in its pathogenesis: androgen receptor and prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Other studies have demonstrated cytotoxic effects on cancer cells, but not healthy cells. Quercetin's impact on prostate cancer cells is attributed to the detachment of Bax from Bcl-xL and the stimulation of caspase families.
In laboratory studies, Quercetin has been shown to inhibit the tumorigenesis of colorectal cancer by impeding the polarization of M2 macrophages and downregulating hsa_circ. It also inhibited cancer cell proliferation and migration.
Quercetin and Dementia (Alzheimer's):
Beyond its hypoglycemic benefits, Quercetin exhibits hypolipidemic activities. Several in vitro studies have revealed its neuroprotective properties, safeguarding neurons from oxidative damage and reducing lipid peroxidation. As an antioxidant, it protects the brain and inhibits amyloid-β protein fibril formation, minimizing cell breakdown and several critical inflammatory cascade pathways. Quercetin supplementation has also been shown to improve cognitive performance in Alzheimer's patients.
A typical dose ranges from 500-1000 mg per day, depending on the illness, whether the goal is prevention or treatment, and whether the individual is concurrently taking medications.