Quercetin makes zinc a better corona protector
Zinc supplementation can reduce the risk of corona infection and complications, we reported a few weeks ago. The protective effect of zinc is probably even stronger when co-supplemented with quercetin, an attentive twitterator told us.
Zinc & quercetin
A few weeks ago, shortly after we reported on the association between low zinc levels and the risk of corona infection, Luctor & Submergo tweeted the tweet you see above. The link goes to the Dutch website zelfzorgcovid.nl, [zelfzorgcovid19.nl] which provides evidence-based information about corona and, among other things, supplementation and nutrition.
On that website we found the in vitro study by Spanish biochemist Husam Dabbagh-Bazarbachi that this post is about. The research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2014.
In the study, researchers exposed cells to a form of zinc and then measured how well the cells could absorb this element. The researchers also carried out these tests when they exposed the cells to the green tea flavonoid EGCG, quercetin and clioquinol in addition to zinc.
Based on previous studies and their chemical structure, the researchers suspected that EGCG and quercetin are ionophores: body-foreign molecules that can guide other molecules with an electrical charge through the membrane of cells. It was already known in 2014 that clioquinol is an ionophore.
And yes. Both quercetin and EGCG increased the concentration of zinc in the cells.
"Natural flavonoids can be added to an arsenal of drugs that may be used to modulate zinc homeostasis and regulate zinc-dependent biological pathways", summarize the researchers.
The compilers of self-care covid19.nl have drawn up supplementation schedules that should reduce the risk of corona infection. They recommend, among other things, a daily dose of 15 milligrams of elemental zinc in an easily absorbable form, plus several hundred milligrams of quercetin.
This advice makes sense. Zinc inhibits virus replication, and so does quercetin. Because quercetin also increases the absorption of zinc by cells, the combination of the two could well have a synergistic effect.
There are also some studies in which green tea supplementation protects against virus infection. One problem with EGCG, the main active ingredient in green tea, is that it can cause liver damage to a small group of people. [Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2009 Apr;65(4):331-41.]
J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Aug 13;62(32):8085-93.
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