Quercetin: A Molecule of Great Biochemical and Clinical Value and Its Beneficial Effect on Diabetes and Cancer

Diseases. 2022 Jun 29;10(3):37. doi: 10.3390/diseases10030037.


Quercetin belongs to the broader category of polyphenols. It is found, in particular, among the flavonols, and along with kaempferol, myricetin and isorhamnetin, it is recognized as a foreign substance after ingestion in contrast to vitamins. Quercetin occurs mainly linked to sugars with the most common compounds being quercetin-3-O-glucoside or as an aglycone, especially in the plant population. The aim of this review is to present a recent bibliography on the mechanisms of quercetin absorption and metabolism, bioavailability, and antioxidant and the clinical effects in diabetes and cancer. The literature reports a positive effect of quercetin on oxidative stress, cancer, and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Moreover, research-administered drug dosages of up to 2000 mg per day showed mild to no symptoms of overdose. It should be noted that quercetin is no longer considered a carcinogenic substance. The daily intake of quercetin in the diet ranges 10 mg-500 mg, depending on the type of products consumed. This review highlights that quercetin is a valuable dietary antioxidant, although a specific daily recommended intake for this substance has not yet been determined and further studies are required to decide a beneficial concentration threshold.

Keywords: antioxidant; cancer; diabetes; flavonol; quercetin.

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.