What is all the hype about Quercetin?
Posted: 09 November 2009 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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What is all the hype about Quercetin? Athletes are using it to supposedly “improve performance” and people claim it cures everything from Autism to Cancer (silly of course).

From what I understand, it’s found naturally in several healthy foods in small amounts. We rational people know that doesn’t mean it’s OK to extract it and put it in a pill at hundreds of times the concentration… but of course supplement sellers are doing just that.

I tried searching for it on Science Based Medicine and Quackwatch, but could only find claims that it is a bogus Autism treatment on Science Based Medicine, and a couple of FDA warning letters to supplement companies on Quackwatch/Casewatch. I’d like to see some “real” information on this product, so I’m properly armed with information next time the quacks come calling.

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Posted: 09 November 2009 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have taken it for allergies (hay-fervor with sinus headache), and it helps. That is all i can speak of for it, I don’t know why it would help sports performance.

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Posted: 09 November 2009 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This compound, and the flavanoids geenrally, are in the “not ready for prime time” categry as far as clinical therapies. There are promising in vitro and animal model studies, and some clinical trials (Phase I) are ongoing, but there is no sound evidence for safety and efficacy in humans for anything. There are lots of weak corrrelational arguments along the lines of: eating fruits and vegetables is associated with les cancer>>flavanoids are present in fruits and vegetables>>flavenoids prevent/treat cancer. It’s a plausible and promising avenue of study, but anyone selling anything and claiming there is evidence for using it in the real world is lying.

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Posted: 09 November 2009 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ahhhhhh so that’s why there is “higher than usual hype” surrounding it. Because slick marketers can point out that it works in a dish, perhaps some mice, and trials are underway or starting soon. These things lend it legitimacy to the average Joe.

A quick internet search of Quercetin reveals parents are pumping their autistic children full of it (how frightening!) and some people saying it prevents and cures cancer (doesn’t everything on the internet?) It appears to be sold in a lot of “men’s health and fitness” type places claiming to boost athlete performance, which sounds odd. Seems people are grabbing hold of it and slapping labels of any sort on it. One FDA letter I came across warned a company to stop selling it as a remedy for Avian Flu, a couple of years back. I’d bet my last dollar that same company slapped an H1N1 label on there in the last few months.

I knew it was marketed for bogus reasons, but I also knew I’d heard about it somewhere before in a legitimate source, the word Quercetin rang a bell. I must have skimmed over a mainstream article about one of the promising sounding studies you mentioned. I’m curious to see what happens with further clinical trials.

This all sounds similar to the hype about Resveratrol? Resveratrol was being investigated as a possible helpful substance, right? But now it’s sold online using scummy “negative option marketing” scams as a weight loss miracle and wrinkle cure… I’d bet a lot of the same companies are behind the online marketing of this Quercetin.

[ Edited: 09 November 2009 07:35 PM by Jules ]
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Posted: 09 November 2009 08:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Yes, it seems to be in exactly the same category as resveratrol.

An newspaper article I read once about resveratrol touched on this phenomenon:

For the purveyors of vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies, [the time between lab studies and clinical trials] is a five- to seven-year opportunity not to be missed. Consumers’ dreams of forestalling the ravages of age have been engaged, and they will buy and swallow anything that gleams with the luster of science. While they wait for science to flesh out resveratrol’s promise, consumers’ demands for the stuff can be built, tapped and satisfied with products that offer plenty of promise but tread lightly around the preliminary state of the scientific evidence.

“There’s a watershed time for a good nutraceutical,” says Dr. Joseph Maroon, a University of Pittsburgh neurosurgeon, author of a book titled “The Longevity Factor” and co-founder of a company, Xenomis, which rolled out a line of resveratrol-based supplements last May.

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