Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has garnered a lot of attention in the last few years. It naturally occurs in apples and onions, as well as other fruits and vegetables, and acts as a very powerful antioxidant. It has many other actions, but when it comes to allergy season, it is most well known for its ability to stabilize mast cells. Mast cells are part of our immune system, and among other things, contain histamine. You likely know histamine for its ability to make you sneeze, feel congested, have burning eyes, and create mucus that runs and runs and runs. Stabilizing mast cells can help reduce the release of histamine and help you avoid the extremes of allergy symptoms. Quercetin's ability to prevent allergy symptoms is why this powerful phytonutrient is very popular this time of year.
But not all supplements are created equal, and in fact, quercetin is VERY hard to absorb from food or supplements, largely because it is fat-soluble. This means that the clinical efficacy of quercetin is very limited, unless you take a form that has been optimized for your body. When looking for an allergy relieving supplement containing quercetin, look for two specific forms: EMIQ and LipoMicel. These two forms of quercetin are up to 10-fold more absorbable, meaning you need to take ten times less to feel the health benefits! And, they are clinically proven, so you can trust you are getting a product that will ultimately help you.
Most health food stores will have these two forms on their shelves, but if in doubt, speak to your health care provider to suggest a brand for you. I suggest taking quercetin a week or two before you think your allergy symptoms will start to get the most benefit out of it. So put your tissue box away and get out in the garden this spring with optimized quercetin!