Isoquercetin as an Anti-Covid-19 Medication: A Potential to Realize

Front Pharmacol. 2022 Mar 2:13:830205. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2022.830205. eCollection 2022.


Isoquercetin and quercetin are secondary metabolites found in a variety of plants, including edible ones. Isoquercetin is a monoglycosylated derivative of quercetin. When ingested, isoquercetin accumulates more than quercetin in the intestinal mucosa where it is converted to quercetin; the latter is absorbed into enterocytes, transported to the liver, released in circulation, and distributed to tissues, mostly as metabolic conjugates. Physiologically, isoquercetin and quercetin exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, and anticoagulant activities. Generally isoquercetin is less active than quercetin in vitro and ex vivo, whereas it is equally or more active in vivo, suggesting that it is primarily a more absorbable precursor to quercetin, providing more favorable pharmacokinetics to the latter. Isoquercetin, like quercetin, has shown broad-spectrum antiviral activities, significantly reducing cell infection by influenza, Zika, Ebola, dengue viruses among others. This ability, together with their other physiological properties and their safety profile, has led to the proposition that administration of these flavonols could prevent infection by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), or arrest the progression to severity and lethality of resulting coronavirus disease of 2019 (Covid-19). In silico screening of small molecules for binding affinity to proteins involved SARS-CoV-2 life cycle has repeatedly situated quercetin and isoquercetin near to top of the list of likely effectors. If experiments in cells and animals confirm these predictions, this will provide additional justifications for the conduct of clinical trials to evaluate the prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy of these flavonols in Covid-19.

Keywords: COVID—19; SARS—CoV—2; antiviral; coronavirus; isoquercetin; quercetin.

Publication types

  • Review