Quercetin: potentials in the prevention and therapy of disease

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Nov;11(6):733-40. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32831394b8.


Purpose of review: Quercetin is discussed since several decades as a multipotent bioflavonoid with great potential for the prevention and treatment of disease. In the current review, we present the most recent findings on quercetin with regard to the pharmacology, the in-vitro and in-vivo effects in different cell systems and animal models, and the clinical effects in humans.

Recent findings: Quercetin bioavailability has been underestimated in the past and can be improved by food matrix components or particular delivery forms. Among the biological effects of particular relevance, the antihypertensive effects of quercetin in humans and the improvement of endothelial function should be emphasized. Together with its antithrombotic and anti-inflammatory effects, the latter mainly mediated through the inhibition of cytokines and nitric oxide, quercetin is a candidate for preventing obesity-related diseases. Most exiting are the findings that quercetin enhances physical power by yet unclear mechanisms. The anti-infectious and immunomodulatory activities of quercetin might be related to this effect.

Summary: Quercetin is a most promising compound for disease prevention and therapy; however, many of the effects still need confirmation by human intervention trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / physiology
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Biological Availability
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Endothelium / drug effects*
  • Endothelium / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Quercetin / pharmacokinetics
  • Quercetin / physiology*
  • Quercetin / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Cytokines
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Quercetin