Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Vitamin C and Quercetin for Allergies
Allergies can slow down your life. They can take all the fun out of summer (or any season) and turn a dusty room into a horror chamber. Fortunately, you may be able to improve your allergy symptoms with regular nutritional supplements. While supplements aren’t right for everyone, certain antioxidants can help. Two supplements often used together to help allergies are Vitamin C and Quercetin.
Vitamin C Benefits
A water-soluble vitamin found in fruits and vegetables; vitamin C is one of the best-known and most important antioxidants. It is vital for well-being in general. The human body can’t make vitamin C — without a sufficient intake from dietary sources, people can become susceptible to harmful environmental factors. Insufficient vitamin C results in low energy, dull skin, thinning hair, and general malaise that usually involves the immune system in some way. People without enough vitamin C in their diets bruise easily and suffer from impaired healing. They are also more vulnerable to infection. A prolonged lack of vitamin C causes a severe disease called scurvy, which can become quite serious if not treated.
Does Vitamin C help with Allergies?
Getting plenty of vitamin C isn’t just important for good general health. Taking extra vitamin C — either through food or as a supplement — can have many additional benefits. Vitamin C is widely used to improve skin and hair, boost energy levels, and promote healing and exercise recovery. It may also be useful for people who suffer from general allergies. This is due to vitamin C’s role in regulating the immune system. But obtaining more Vitamin C is not as easy as drinking orange juice from a carton. These “C-fortified” foods are sources of indirect Vitamin C that creates minimal impact in our system. This is why supplementing with natural Vitamin C is not only important but also one of the easiest and most effective ways to obtain this miraculous vitamin. Check out Body Kitchen’s Vitamin C Shield, it is designed to give you a direct form of natural C.
As well as boosting your body’s ability to fight infections, Vitamin C can help prevent unwanted immune responses. It can impede histamine formation, the inflammatory substance responsible for those miserable allergy symptoms like sneezing and swollen eyes. To maximize its effectiveness against allergies, vitamin C benefits from plant flavonols — the colorful compounds that give fruits and some vegetables their tempting hues. These include the flavonol known as quercetin.
Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid compound. It’s found in many healthy fruits and vegetables, including capers, elderberries, red onions and some leafy greens. Quercetin has many positive effects on the body and is taken to help with various conditions. These include assisting with arthritis, heart disease and lung conditions such as asthma. Quercetin also has benefits for the immune system. For serious lung support, Body Kitchen has created a clinical formula, Mega NAC + Quercetin, which supports total upper-respiratory health as well as immune-system support coming from quercetin.
Quercetin for Allergies
While research is still ongoing, quercetin helps regulate the body’s immune function by stabilizing special cells called mast cells or also known as mastocytes. These cells play a crucial role in fighting off infection — but they’re also involved in allergies. Quercetin helps by regulating and neutralizing mast cells’ action, making the immune system more effective at fighting pathogens but less likely to react to allergens.
Vitamin C and Quercetin for Allergies
From this, it’s easy to see how a quercetin-vitamin C combination might offer a promising remedy for allergies. Individually, they both address histamine levels in the body. When taken together, the two antioxidants may work in synergy to reduce the amount of histamine produced by the immune system and cut down on allergy symptoms. Ideally, a quercetin-vitamin C combination, such as Body Kitchen’s, should be taken regularly throughout the day. Staged doses are necessary to sustain the histamine-suppressing effect and keep symptoms in check.
A quercetin-vitamin C supplement will be most effective when used in combination with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Make sure you eat a varied range of foods, especially foods containing other bioflavonoids. These can further boost the effects of quercetin and vitamin C. You should also take steps to remove allergens from your home and check the pollen count when going outdoors.
Before starting any supplement regimen, it’s a good idea to discuss it with a medical professional. A doctor can warn you about any potential side-effects and interactions.