What is quercetin?

Quercetin (or quercitin) is a flavonoid found in various foods, such as capers, apples and grapes. In nature, however, rarely it is found as such and most commonly comes in more complex molecular structures, such as rutin or quercitrin.

The plant with the greatest wealth of quercetin is Sophora japonica, or Sophora of Japan, which is therefore used for the extraction of quercetin for the purpose of nutraceutical products.

In recent years, quercetin has been the subject of numerous scientific publications that have investigated its antioxidant, antiviral and senolytic activity, above all. Most studies have been conducted in vitro, but human trials are also available.

Quercetin, as mentioned, is a natural substance. Why then is it not possible to take quercetin through a diet based on foods that are rich in this molecule?

First of all, the vegetables that contain quercetin have a much lower quantity than any supplement: it would take kilos of food to equal content of a tablet.

Furthermore, the main problem of this molecule is its very low absorption by the human body, to be traced in a typical characteristic of various natural substances, namely the high lipophilicity.

In the absence of a balance between hydrophilicity, which allows the dissolution in the gut, and lipophilicity, which instead allows the substance to cross the lipid membranes, the absorption of the substance is minimal, so it is almost totally expelled with the faeces and, consequently, its assumption is practically useless.

Therefore, eating, for example, capers in large quantities would never and in no case lead to the absorption of a possible quantity comparable to that obtainable with the intake of a food supplement with an adequate dosage and, above all, specifically designed to avoid the problem of the poor absorption of this precious molecule.

The Quercetin Problem: Poor Absorption

The solution: Quercetin Phytosome®

A solution to the problem of poor absorption of quercetin is its association with sunflower phospholipids, in a formulation called Quercetin Phytosome®

The Phytosome® makes it possible to make the quercetin molecule perfectly balanced between hydrophilicity and lipophilicity, so as to allow a much higher absorption in the gut compared with that achievable by the simple uncomplexed substance. This technology is referred to as “biomimicry”, as it takes its cue from what happens in nature and uses it to improve certain molecular characteristics.

In studies, Quercetin Phytosome® was found to be up to 50-fold more absorbable than plain quercetin. Thanks to the high amount absorbed, the effects of the single substance are thus amplified.

This is, at the moment, the only solution that allows to obtain such a high increase in the bioavailability of quercetin.


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