Bioflavonoids: proanthocyanidins and quercetin and their potential roles in treating musculoskeletal conditions

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2002 Jul;32(7):357-63. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2002.32.7.357.


As a clinician treating musculoskeletal conditions, one is continually in search of safe and more effective treatment methods that will hasten tissue healing. Chronic inflammation has been shown to cause connective tissue degradation. Typically, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and/or corticosteroids are used to control the inflammatory process, however, long-term use has been associated with potentially serious side effects. The purpose of this article is to introduce and describe literature on 2 natural compounds, namely, proanthocyanidin (PCO) and quercetin, which are 2 specific types of bioflavonoids, and to discuss their potential benefits in treating musculoskeletal conditions. There is evidence to suggest that flavonoids may be beneficial to connective tissue for several reasons, which include the limiting of inflammation and associated tissue degradation, the improvement of local circulation, as well as the promoting of a strong collagen matrix. An overview of bioflavonoids as well as relevant research, safety issues, absorption, and specific sources of PCO and quercetin in foods and through supplementation is included.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthocyanins / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Flavonoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Proanthocyanidins*
  • Quercetin / therapeutic use*


  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Flavonoids
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • proanthocyanidin
  • Quercetin