Quercetin to treat Peyronie’s disease
Quercetin (kwer’-suh-tin) may be the reason the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" got started. Like so many other nutrients used by PDI against Peyronie’s disease (PD), quercetin in particular appears to help a host of disorders, from asthma to heart disease. For this reason it is often used for a well-balanced Peyronie’s disease natural treatment Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, flowers, and vegetables. However, quercetin is a special type of flavonoid that is a building block for all other members of the flavonoid family. It is primarily found in apples, onions, dark berries, citrus fruits, parsley, olive oil and black tea. Because it is a flavonoid, quercetin acts as an antioxidant combating the destructive free radical molecules that play a part in many diseases – by now you know this can apply especially well to PD. Free radical particles occur naturally during thousands of biochemical processes constantly taking place in the body. When left to wander about in the body, free radicals can damage cell membranes, damage genetic material, and possibly contribute to the aging process, as well as development of many conditions including heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants such as quercetin neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. Flavonoids, especially quercetin, offer many other health-promoting benefits. They act as antihistamines (useful in reducing allergy symptoms) and help reduce inflammation associated with various forms of arthritis. Among people with high dietary intakes of quercetin and other major flavonoids, studies show lower rates of stomach, lung, pancreatic, and breast cancers. Quercetin inhibits the buildup of a type of blood sugar that could otherwise lead to cataract formation in the lens of the eye. Of note, quercetin seems to work better when used with bromelain, a digestive enzyme found in pineapples. This is the reason our recommended quercetin product contains a good dose of bromelain. All on its own, bromelain is a particularly effective treatment for PD because it is an enzyme that attacks abnormal fibrous tissue in the body — such as the Peyronie’s scar.
Quercetin general health benefits
- Reduce cancer risk (1-13) The quercetin content of apples is high. Lung cancer was 58% lower among people who ate the most apples compared to those who ate the least. Quercetin and other flavonoids have also been shown to help reduce the risk of several cancers.
- Prevent heart attack (14-18) One cause of heart disease is overgrowth of smooth muscle cells in artery walls, a key component in the development of atherosclerosis. As it does with cancer cells, there is evidence that quercetin works in a similar way to stop the overgrowth of cells that harm the heart. A 2002 study in the journal "Surgery" reported that in laboratory tests, quercetin arrested the development of vascular smooth muscle cells by locking them in a "no-growth" state. The Rotterdam Study, published in the 2002 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined the tea-drinking habits and dietary flavonoid intakes of nearly 5,000 adults in Holland. Apparently due to black tea’s high flavonoid concentration, daily consumption of the brew reduced the risk of heart attack overall for tea drinkers.
- Stave off cataracts (8,19-21) A lifetime of unprotected sun exposure can damage the eyes as well as the skin. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, particularly the burning UVB rays, damage proteins in the lens of the eye, causing them to clump together in a whitish cloud. Cigarette smoking and a deficiency in antioxidant vitamins are other major causes of cataracts. Research indicates that quercetin blocks an enzyme that leads to accumulation of sorbitol, a type of sugar that contributes to cataract formation.
- Control asthma (22-26) Quercetin may be useful in relieving asthma (and possibly hay fever and sinusitis) as a result of its ability to reduce inflammation in the airways, and prevent the release of histamine.
- Maintain health when suffering from Crohn’s disease (27-30) Quercetin, a natural anti-inflammatory, may be helpful in countering the hallmark of Crohn’s disease: chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn’s chief signs are abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, and weight loss. The small intestine is primarily affected, and the patient develops real problems in absorbing important nutrients.
- Helps fibromyalgia (8, 24, 25, 31, 32) Similar to the case reports for arthritis, people with fibromyalgia who switched from a typical Western diet to a vegan diet high in flavonoids such as quercetin experienced improvement in their symptoms.
- Protects Prostate health (8, 25, 33-36) Some studies suggest quercetin reduces pain and other symptoms in chronic prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Preliminary studies indicate quercetin may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in test tubes. How this will translate to prevention or treatment of prostate cancer is unknown.
Don’t take quercetin if you use the calcium channel blocker felodipine, for high blood pressure. In test tubes studies, quercetin inhibited enzymes that break down felodipine; in theory this could increase blood levels of the drug and lead to unwanted side effects.
Quercetin and Chemotherapy
Test tube and animal studies suggest that quercetin may enhance the effects of doxorubicin and cisplatin, two chemotherapy medications used to treat cancer. More research is needed to determine if quercetin has any application to people being treated with either of these agents. In addition, use of antioxidants at the same time as chemotherapy is somewhat controversial. Therefore, more research is needed before conclusions about safety and effectiveness can be drawn.
Possible Side Effects
There are no known side effects associated with quercetin in supplement form. No long-term adverse effects from the use of quercetin are noted in the medical literature. However, it is always best to use any supplement only in cooperation and knowledge of your healthcare provider.
Flavonoids are important for human health. Of the flavonoids, quercetin (3,3′,4′,5-7-pentahydroxyflavone) has shown the greatest biochemical activity among the flavonoids studied in experimental models. For this reason quercetin has been the subject of hundreds of scientific reports in the past two decades; it has been extensively studied by researchers around the world, starting with the discovery of both vitamin C and flavonoids by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi who received the Nobel Price in 1937 for research in this area. Like vitamins, flavonoid compounds are not produced in the body and must be supplied through the diet or by supplements. Due to its antioxidant effect, quercetin can inhibit inflammatory processes mediated by leukotrienes, the inflammatory mediators a thousand times more powerful than histamines, and lysosomal enzymes that support localized inflammation. In addition, it stabilizes mast cell membranes and prevents the release of histamine and other inflammatory agents. Many flavonoids inhibit tumor formation, with quercetin consistently demonstrating significant anti-tumor activity against a wide range of cancers: squamous cell carcinoma; leukemia; and cancers of the breast, ovaries, colon, rectum, and brain.
Safety of Quercetin
Quercetin appears to be extremely safe to use. Carcinogenic and teratogenic studies in rats and rabbits have shown that it is without apparent side effects even when consumed in very large quantities (2,000 mg. per Kg. of body weight) for long periods of time (up to 2 years). Unlike the citrus flavonoids, quercetin has no interaction with any drug. It can be used even during pregnancy.
Peyronie’s disease connection
After reading all the good things that quercetin does for so many different health conditions, we might expect it to have a very good report in relation to Peyronie’s disease treatment – and it does, but as usual this relationship must be indirectly applied from studies of cellular activity in other areas. Quercetin functions like other flavonoids in enhancing the collagen structural network. The theory behind using nutritional components of scar tissue to treat excessive scar tissue, which research seems to support, is that in a deficiency of a flavonoid the structural integrity of the collagen (scar) network is weakened. This structural problem is expressed as an excessive development of the fibrous network, resulting in a greater than usual scar. Some would think that a scar or excess fibrous tissue would result from an excess of nutrients, or flavonoids, but actually the opposite happens. In a state of nutritional deficiency, as with a flavonoid like quercetin, there is such a weak and disorganized production of the collagen support structure that the body keeps on producing more and more tissue material since it is of poor quality. Only when there are sufficient flavonoid, and therefore good quality tissue structure, is there a reduced need for structural material and therefore a smaller scar results. It works like this: If you had to build a house of lumber, but only had cracked, split and knotty wood to build with, you would have to use more of it – really lay it on – to make sure that the house would have some degree of strength. If it you were working with good wood, you could afford to use less of it. The same thing apparently happens in the body under this theory: Deficient quercetin levels result in weak collagen and fibrous tissue elements, more of it is needed for tissue repair, resulting in a larger but weaker scar. A 2003 study in Singapore investigated the role of quercetin in relation to excess scar development as a result of over proliferation of fibroblasts, overproduction of collagen, and contraction of scar material that characterize pathologic scars. The conclusion drawn from this work was, “(f)rom this in-vitro study, quercetin seemed to have good potent effects to inhibit proliferation and contraction of excessive scar-derived fibroblasts”.(38) Another paper from the same group in Singapore reports after doing additional study that “the described activities of quercetin on the IGF system and collagen expression may provide a novel approach for the use of quercetin in treatment and/or prevention of hypertrophic (excess) scar…”(39) Northwestern University Medical School, at their Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Unit, reported on research they performed on excess scar formation on rabbit ear tissue. They concluded, “…a significant improvement in dermal collagen organization was noted on comparing Mederma-treated scars with untreated control scars…The active product in Mederma, allium cepa, has as its derivative quercetin, a bioflavonoid noted for its antiproliferative effects on both normal and malignant cells, and its antihistamine release effects. These properties could theoretically prove beneficial in reversing the inflammatory and proliferative responses noted in hypertrophic scars. Despite the authors’ inability to demonstrate a reduction in scar hypertrophy, the improvement in collagen organization noted in the Mederma-treated scars suggests it may have an effect on the pathophysiology of hypertrophic scar formation.”(40) From the Netherlands comes a rating of the protective effect of 12 different naturally occurring oxidants on fibroblasts. Vitamin E was found to have the greatest protective ability of the 12 investigated, and quercetin had the next greatest protective ability.(41) Two reports from Europe, one from England the other from Italy, state that quercetin displays antioxidant ability against free radical attack of fibroblasts.(42, 43) Lastly three sources reported favorably on the ability of quercetin to inhibit or block growth of fibroblast cells via different biochemical processes.(44-46) Quercetin has been heavily studied for the last 30 years because it seems to do good things for a broad assortment of problems. It is a widely used and popular nutritional product for this reason. It would stand to reason, just like vitamin E, vitamin C, and copper, because quercetin is involved in a wide variety of human biochemical activities it has the potential to influence a wide variety of health problems. The long list of problems for which quercetin has been given strong endorsement by medical research is impressive. It is reasonable to think that something as widely distributed in nature as quercetin, and broadly fundamental to health, might also be useful in reducing the excess scar of PD. Quercetin is strongly supported by diverse research as being beneficial in scar tissue reduction; it has more good science and research than most therapies that can be used for PD. However, all this information must still be connected back to PD, since the two have not been researched together. But it should be noted that few nutrients have been given so much study for its effect on fibroblast activity and antioxidant activity, both of which are critically important to PD. Abundant and strong correlation to scar tissue activity supports the use of quercetin as part of any PD treatment plan.
Commercial product information
This concludes the technical discussion concerning QUERCETIN. What follows next is the presentation of commercial information about a particular product that PDI endorses and sells in its Natural Complementary Medicine Products division. Peyronie’s Disease Institute does this so that you may easily identify what we think is the best therapy product of its kind, and then make it available for sale easily and at the best price we can. Please bear in mind that PDI cannot answer your questions or help you with your therapy plan if we do not have knowledge, experience or confidence with “foreign” therapies. On the PDI website we clearly state, “Sorry, but due to the volume of emails PDI receives and with limited hours available in a day, we can only answer questions from PDI customers. When you purchase your therapy products only from PDI you have full access to the vast experience and careful assistance available to our customers. If you purchase inferior grade or questionable bargain products elsewhere, you will have to rely upon that source for whatever help you might need later.” We take this position because after doing this work since 2002 we sincerely believe that you stand a better chance to reverse your PD if you only use products listed in the PDI and Natural Complementary Medicine websites.
Quercetin product recommendation
Quercetin-Bromelain PDI uses Quercetin-Bromelain Complex made by Douglas Labs/Amni. It is our opinion it is the best value for the money, and it comes from a large and well established 50-year old nutrition company. PDI has found no other formula that comes close to this quercetin formula. It has a very high dose of quercetin at 333 mg per capsule, coupled with 100 mg of bromelain, 200 mg of vitamin C and magnesium ascorbate to assist assimilation of the nutrients.
Quercetin recommended therapy for Peyronie’s disease treatment
Quercetin is best taken when paired with bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory derived from pineapples. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy activity of its own, but is of even greater importance because it also increases the absorption of quercetin through the digestive membrane. As a suggestion, taking two to four of these tablets, twice daily between meals might be a good way to get a therapeutic dose. After improvement has stabilized, taking one to two, twice daily between meals might be a good maintenance dose. For ideas and suggestions to put quercetin and bromelain together with other important elements of care, see Create a Peyronie’s Treatment Plan. Order Quercetin Why Buy from PDI? 1. Service PDI offers email support and assistance for the products and services we provide. We provide experience and interest in helping you with PD. PDI is here to help you with questions about the products we sell. This is an extremely valuable service the others cannot possibly match. 2. Quality and Quantity Repairing the Peyronie’s scar is such an important mission. It is critical you use a high quality and quantity of nutrients. We have done the hard part selecting good companies and products. Buy with confidence. 3. Value PDI has a competitive pricing structure of which we are proud. We doubt you can find better products that deliver the quality and quantity for the prices we have set. 4. Convenience The longer you take to start treating PD, the longer and more difficult treatment becomes, and the likelihood of success deteriorates. Everything you need is here, right now, in one place.
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Department of Comparative Anatomy and Anthropology, Maria Curie-Sklodwska University, Lublin, Poland.