Background: Quercetin, a well-known naturally occurring polyphenol, has recently been shown by molecular docking, in vitro and in vivo studies to be a possible anti-COVID-19 candidate. Quercetin has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, and antiviral properties, and it is characterized by a very high safety profile, exerted in animals and in humans. Like most other polyphenols, quercetin shows a very low rate of oral absorption and its clinical use is considered by most of modest utility. Quercetin in a delivery-food grade system with sunflower phospholipids (Quercetin Phytosome®, QP) increases its oral absorption up to 20-fold.
Methods: In the present prospective, randomized, controlled, and open-label study, a daily dose of 1000 mg of QP was investigated for 30 days in 152 COVID-19 outpatients to disclose its adjuvant effect in treating the early symptoms and in preventing the severe outcomes of the disease.
Results: The results revealed a reduction in frequency and length of hospitalization, in need of non-invasive oxygen therapy, in progression to intensive care units and in number of deaths. The results also confirmed the very high safety profile of quercetin and suggested possible anti-fatigue and pro-appetite properties.
Conclusion: QP is a safe agent and in combination with standard care, when used in early stage of viral infection, could aid in improving the early symptoms and help in preventing the severity of COVID-19 disease. It is suggested that a double-blind, placebo-controlled study should be urgently carried out to confirm the results of our study.
Keywords: Phytosome®; SARS-CoV-2; botanicals; coronavirus; infectious diseases; pneumonia.
© 2021 Di Pierro et al.