Quercetin appears to be beneficial in people with prediabetes metabolic syndrome because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Quercetin is a common flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. It has shown various potential beneficial biological benefits. It is particularly prevalent in citrus fruits, apples, , parsley, sage, tea, onions and red wine. Grapes, berries and leafy green vegetables also contain some quercetin. Is there anything that green leafy vegetables do not contain? 🙂
Quercetin is one of the nutrients that give vegetables and fruits their power to help your metabolism. Prediabetes metabolic syndrome can become full diabetes partly from the increased inflammation throughout the body from increased so-called “reactive oxygen species” associated with a poor metabolism. These are oxygen containing molecules that cause damaging oxidation and resultant inflammation. Oxygen is not always good, especially when it’s in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This “oxidative damage” contributes to the development of the components of metabolic syndrome including:
- high blood pressure
- increased body weight – particularly in the abdominal area which causes increased fat in and around the organs including the liver
- unhealthy fats (lipids) in the blood
The authors of a recent quercetin animal study, published in the Journal of Nutrition, suggests that a Quercetin supplement may have a role in the management of prediabetes metabolic syndrome. If you have borderline diabetes, including different anti-oxidants along with the food you eat may help you reverse prediabetes and prevent full type 2 diabetes with all its potential life-altering side effects. Of course, you should start with healthy real food…real plants and animals, and not food from a package.
The study involved four groups of male rats:
- Group 1 was fed a corn starch-rich diet for 16 weeks.
- Group 2 was fed a “high-carbohydrate, high-fat” diet for 16 weeks.
- Group 3 was fed a corn starch-rich diet for 8 weeks and then the same diet fortified with quercetin for 8 weeks.
- Group 4 was fed the “high-carbohydrate, high-fat” diet for 8 weeks and then the same diet fortified with quercetin for 8 weeks.
Results showed that, compared to the corn starch-fed animals, the rats that ate the “high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet” gained more weight and abdominal fat, had unhealthy blood fats (lipids), unhealthy blood sugar levels, higher blood pressure, poorer cardiovascular health, and fattier livers (NAFLD).
Addition of quercetin to the “high-carbohydrate, high-fat” diet, was shown to lessen most of the unhealthy metabolic syndrome findings although body weight and unhealthy blood fats (dyslipidemia) did not change. Abdominal obesity, cardiovascular changes, and NAFLD appeared improved apparently from decreased oxidative stress and inﬂammation
I have placed the quotation marks around “high-carbohydrate, high-fat” because many readers of this study may just pass over how this was defined. Today’s paradigm of “fat is bad” cause many people to automatically assume it was the “high-fat” in the diet that caused the prediabetes metabolic syndrome findings in these lab rats. That is not necessarily the case.
The cornstarch diet was about 68% simple polysaccharide carbohydrate, and about 0.7% fat, whereas the carbohydrate used in the high-carbohydrate diet was about 68% carbohydrate, mainly as fructose and sucrose, and about 24% fat from beef tallow.
I would argue that eating close to 70% of calories from fructose and sucrose is primarily what caused the development of metabolic syndrome findings in these lab rats. 24% calories from fat is not high-fat. I see this type of language very often in both human and animal studies. Fat is often either directly or indirectly implicated in the development of ill-health, whereas in many cases, when you look a little further into the research, often the carbohydrates can actually be more readily implicated.
Eating a high carbohydrate diet with higher fat, especially packaged carbohydrate “food” containing processed vegetable oil fats, is a recipe for prediabetes, and eventual full blown type 2 diabetes.
This study also used diabetic lab rats to determine if quercetin may have a beneficial effect on the “thinning of the bones” (osteopenia).
Quercetin again showed strong anti-oxidant capability and activity, and it significantly lowered the level of oxidative DNA damage. The findings showed a potential beneficial effect of quercetin on diabetic osteopenia in rats, and raises the possibility of developing quercetin for potential use in human diabetic osteopenia.
Eat plenty of healthy vegetables and you will get quercetin in your diet. Kale is an often overlooked flavonoid-rich vegetable. It is a member of the cabbage family and is a source of numerous phytonutrients, including quercetin, vitamins, and calcium.