It's allergy season, and if you're looking for an alternative to allergy medicine, you may want to try a quercetin supplement. Quercetin is a "flavonoid" found in many plants, including the fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts that we eat. Flavonoids, like quercetin, boast antioxidant properties that protect our cells from damage. In addition, quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with allergies, arthritis pain and discomfort, improve athletic performance, and prevent disease.
This shopping guide discusses more of the benefits of these bright yellow pills, and also includes our top brand recommendations like Now Foods Quercetin with added bromelain for extra anti-inflammatory support.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is one example of approximately 6,000 types of flavonoids, a compound commonly found in plants that is responsible for their color. Flavonoids are also called "plant pigments" for this reason, and quercetin is bright yellow in color.
Quercetin vs. free radicals
Quercetin works as an antioxidant to combat free radicals that form in the body and cause oxidative stress, or damage, on our cells. This damage is thought to lead to diseases like cancer or heart disease, which is why a diet rich in antioxidants is so important to preventing chronic illness.
Pollution, cigarette smoke, even a diet high in trans fats and sugar can lead to free radicals forming in the body and causing inflammation. Antioxidants reduce or eliminate free radical damage, thus inflammation, in the body.
Some conditions that may benefit from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant quality of quercetin are as follows:
Allergies, including seasonal and food
Infections, including sinus and urinary tract
Irregular blood sugar
Considerations when choosing quercetin supplements
Form: Most quercetin supplements come in capsule form, which are slick and generally easy to swallow. Kids, however, may do better with a gummy form that a select few manufacturers make. Powder forms of quercetin are also available and can be mixed into a beverage or food. Liquid forms are available in drops or sprays.
Dosage: The recommended dose of most quercetin capsules is two pills per day, or less with higher strength capsules. Powders and liquid forms are generally two scoops, two drops, or two sprays per day.
Potency: The strength of quercetin supplements can range between 500 milligrams and 1,200 milligrams per dose. The recommended daily dosage for children is lower, at 100 milligrams per day.
Additional ingredients: Some formulas include additional ingredients to enhance the antioxidant effects of quercetin. Bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapples, is often added as is vitamin C, an antioxidant known for its immune-boosting effects.
Quercetin supplement prices
Quercetin supplements range in price from $13 to $40. A higher priced supplement may include added beneficial plant extracts or higher potency formulas.
Q. Can I take too much quercetin?
A. It's best to start with a low dose of 500 milligrams a day. Increased amounts, especially over 1,200 milligrams per day, can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea. Excessively high doses can lead to kidney problems.
Q. Who shouldn't take quercetin?
A. Don't take quercetin if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. People with high blood pressure may experience increased heart rate when taking quercetin supplements with bromelain. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement regimen.
Quercetin supplements we recommend
Best of the best: Now Foods Quercetin With Bromelain
Our take: Trustworthy and quality quercetin supplement with added bromelain.
What we like: This two-pack offers a generous supply of capsules. Each dose provides 800 milligrams of the flavonoid and 165 milligrams of bromelain. Vegetarian capsules.
What we dislike: Don't take if you have an allergy to pineapples.
Best bang for your buck: Doctor's Best Quercetin Bromelain
Our take: An affordable option for a quercetin cap boosted with bromelain.
What we like: Vegetarian capsules. Bioavailable form of quercetin. Gluten- and soy-free product. Low price for quality formula.
What we dislike: Even with this low dose, can cause intestinal discomfort in some users.
Choice 3: Jarrow Formulas Quercetin
Our take: Pure, top-quality quercetin supplement at a steal.
What we like: Doesn't contain bromelain, a plus for those sensitive to pineapples. Free of common allergens. Highly reputable brand. Popular with allergy sufferers. Vegetarian.
What we dislike: Nothing.
Ana Sanchez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.