How Quercetin Benefits the Brain and Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease
Quercetin is the red pigment in apple skins and it is also a flavonoid, and flavonoids are powerful antioxidants. Many health experts believe that quercetin has much stronger antioxidative and anticarcinogenic activities than vitamin C and that it is a disease-fighting antioxidant that protects cells throughout the body, including the brain. Quercetin benefits are so expansive that they can appear to be nearly endless. A 2004 US study has even found that quercetin benefits significantly to the protective effects of neuronal cells from oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity found in Alzheimer Disease.
According to Dr Chang Y. Cy’ Lee, a professor of food science at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Cornell University and one of the co-authors of the 2004 study, quercetin has been found to prevent brain damage. Dr. Lee recommends people to eat plenty of fresh apples because they have some of the highest levels of quercetin when compared to other fruits and vegetables and apples may therefore be among the best food choices for fighting Alzheimer’s Disease.
Consumers should buy organic apples even though they are usually a bit more expensive. This is because the skins in non-organic apples may contain traces of chemicals from pesticides and fungicides which may be harmful to health. If you buy non-organic apples, make sure you wash them with a mild soap and don’t forget to eat the apple skin because it contains a lot of that powerful quercetin antioxidant.
Other Findings for Quercetin Benefits and Alzheimer’s Disease
Also a new British study published in the December 2013 edition of The BMJ has found that eating an apple a day not only protects against Alzheimer’s Disease but really can keep the doctor away: if individuals over the age of 50 ate just one extra apple a day, approximately 8500 deaths from vascular disease could be prevented in the United Kingdom. The reduction in vascular deaths by adding an apple to their diet would be on par with the reduction that would be observed if all UK individuals over 50 years of age were prescribed statin therapy.
Linking Quercetin Benefits to the NEM Stress Response
Our bodies have a built-in regulatory system that controls our response to stress. This system is referred to as the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM. Beginning in the Hypothalamus at the base of the brain, signals are then sent to the pituitary gland and then to the adrenal glands. From that point, the adrenal glands secrete hormones which control everything from blood pressure to digestive functions. It is important that our NEM Stress Response is operating efficiently because any dysfunction can equate to ongoing issues such as fatigue and chronic malabsorption.
The NEM Stress Response also has a clear link to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) because at its root, an imbalanced stress response can overwork the adrenal glands. There is an inflammatory response that derives from stress which is often known to wreak havoc on our bodies over long periods of time. Quercetin benefits our bodies by lowering inflammation and helping to correct several chronic issues such as ulcers, high cholesterol, and even viral infections.
This is of quite important note because when the body is under stress, the adrenal glands temporarily postpone absorption of cholesterol and other nutrients, resulting in high blood-cholesterol levels and poor digestive tract health. When one is considering the role of quercetin as it relates to AFS recovery, it is wise to pay attention to the link in inflammatory response repression. The list of complications resulting from high levels of inflammation is long, it can even take the form of chronic pain, something nobody wants to experience.
No single dietary supplement is without certain risks. You should always be aware of how your body reacts and make slow, gradual changes. It is important to take action regarding participation in your own AFS recovery but it is necessary to take pragmatic steps to achieve wellness. There is not a single treatment or dietary change that will solve everything but incorporating quercetin is a good place to start. Sometimes it can actually be as simple as picking up an apple a day, as cliche as that may seem, to begin the process of AFS recovery. Natural medicine has long been a mainstay of an overall healthy lifestyle and when we consider how much momentum it is gaining throughout modern culture, now might be a good time to start paying attention.
Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.