Quercetin is a geroprotector
If you take a capsule of quercetin once a week, you probably will not prolong your life. No sir. But perhaps this weekly dose will ensure that you stay healthy longer. We base this statement on an animal study that the Chinese researcher Lingling Geng published in Protein Cell. According to Geng, weekly administration of quercetin has no effect on the life span, but it does have a positive effect on the health span. In mice.
Geng and his colleagues supplemented male 16-month-old C57BL/6J lab mice with a little quercetin every week until they were 22 months old. When the test started, the mice were middle-aged. When the test was over, the mice were elderly.
Another group of mice did not receive quercetin.
Mice's fur deteriorates when they reach old age. Quercetin supplementation prevented this.
Aging makes the muscles less strong. When the researchers determined how much force the test animals could cling to with their front legs, they discovered that the older mice that had received quercetin were stronger than older mice that had not received quercetin.
There was less senescence-associated beta-galactosidase [SA-B-Gal] in the muscles and brown and white fatty tissue of the 10-week young mice [Y] than in the tissues of the old mice [O]. That makes sense. Senescence-associated beta-galactosidase is a marker for aging. The more senescence-associated beta-galactosidase there is in tissues, the more they are out of date.
However, supplementation with quercetin [QUE] limited the increase in senescence-associated beta-galactosidase.
As organisms age, retrotransposable elements in the DNA of their cells become more active. These are pieces of genome that researchers used to call junk DNA. The figure above shows that quercetin reduced the activation of a number of retrotransposable elements.
Extrapolation to humans
Extrapolating the results of this research to people is not that simple. The researchers gave their test animals very little quercetin. If the mice had been human, they would have received 1 milligram of free quercetin every week. That is almost nothing, but this small dose was in a buffered saline solution with PEG400. Administered in this way, the bioavailability of quercetin increases.
How much does the bioavailability increase? We do not know that.
Protein Cell. 2019 Oct;10(10):770-5.
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