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      Quercetin, Inflammation and Immunity

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          In vitro and some animal models have shown that quercetin, a polyphenol derived from plants, has a wide range of biological actions including anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities; as well as attenuating lipid peroxidation, platelet aggregation and capillary permeability. This review focuses on the physicochemical properties, dietary sources, absorption, bioavailability and metabolism of quercetin, especially main effects of quercetin on inflammation and immune function. According to the results obtained both in vitro and in vivo, good perspectives have been opened for quercetin. Nevertheless, further studies are needed to better characterize the mechanisms of action underlying the beneficial effects of quercetin on inflammation and immunity.

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          A critical review of the data related to the safety of quercetin and lack of evidence of in vivo toxicity, including lack of genotoxic/carcinogenic properties.

          Quercetin is a naturally-occurring flavonol (a member of the flavonoid family of compounds) that has a long history of consumption as part of the normal human diet. Because a number of biological properties of quercetin may be beneficial to human health, interest in the addition of this flavonol to various traditional food products has been increasing. Prior to the use of quercetin in food applications that would increase intake beyond that from naturally-occurring levels of the flavonol in the typical Western diet, its safety needs to be established or confirmed. This review provides a critical examination of the scientific literature associated with the safety of quercetin. Results of numerous genotoxicity and mutagenicity, short- and long-term animal, and human studies are reviewed in the context of quercetin exposure in vivo. To reconcile results of in vitro studies, which consistently demonstrated quercetin-related mutagenicity to the absence of carcinogenicity in vivo, the mechanisms that lead to the apparent in vitro mutagenicity, and those that ensure absence of quercetin toxicity in vivo are discussed. The weight of the available evidence supports the safety of quercetin for addition to food.
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            Bioavailability and bioefficacy of polyphenols in humans. II. Review of 93 intervention studies

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              Quercetin ameliorates metabolic syndrome and improves the inflammatory status in obese Zucker rats.

              The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of chronic administration of high doses of quercetin on metabolic syndrome abnormalities, including obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and insulin resistance. For this purpose, obese Zucker rats and their lean littermates were used. The rats received a daily dose of quercetin (2 or 10 mg/kg of body weight) or vehicle for 10 weeks. Body weight and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were recorded weekly. At the end of the treatment, plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, free-fatty acids (FFAs), glucose, insulin, adiponectin, and nitrate plus nitrite (NOx) were determined. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) production, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) protein expression were analyzed in visceral adipose tissue (VAT). The raised SBP and high plasma concentrations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, FFA, and insulin found in obese Zucker rats were reduced in obese rats that received either of the doses of quercetin assayed. The higher dose also improved the inflammatory status peculiar to this model, as it increased the plasma concentration of adiponectin, reduced NOx levels in plasma, and lowered VAT TNF-alpha production in obese Zucker rats. Furthermore, chronic intake of the higher dose of quercetin enhanced VAT eNOS expression among obese Zucker rats, whereas it downregulated VAT iNOS expression. In conclusion, both doses of quercetin improved dyslipidemia, hypertension, and hyperinsulinemia in obese Zucker rats, but only the high dose produced antiinflammatory effects in VAT together with a reduction in body weight gain.

                Author and article information

                15 March 2016
                March 2016
                : 8
                : 3
                [1 ]Institute of Animal Nutrition, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China; qiumengyouzhi@ 123456163.com (J.Y.); hanchunyan920317@ 123456163.com (C.H.); jiaxinyang8040@ 123456163.com (J.Y.); mariach046@ 123456yahoo.com (M.T.C.); 13674620839@ 123456163.com (S.W.)
                [2 ]Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in South-Central China, Ministry of Agriculture, Hunan Provincial Engineering Research Center of Healthy, Livestock, Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical, Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125, China
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: liyao@ 123456neau.edu.cn (Y.L.); liuhn@ 123456isa.ac.cn (H.L.); yinyulong@ 123456isa.ac.cn (Y.Y.); Tel.: +86-147-4515-6908 (Y.L.); +86-731-8461-9767 (H.L. & Y.Y.)
                © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution (CC-BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Nutrition & Dietetics

                quercetin, inflammation, immune function, dietary sources, metabolism


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