In the current study, conducted by J. Mark Davis of the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health and colleagues, one group of mice was given quercetin for seven days while the remainder received no quercetin. Half of the mice in each group were exercised to fatigue on the last three days of the treatment period. One half hour following the final exercise session, the animals were inoculated with an influenza A strain, and were monitored for signs of illness for 21 days.
Mice that experienced exercise-related stress demonstrated a greater susceptibility to influenza. Ninety-one percent of these mice developed signs of the flu, compared with 63 percent of nonexercising animals. Mice that exercised to fatigue also exhibited signs of the flu earlier than other animals that developed influenza. Among those that received quercetin, however, the same rate of influenza occurred as in mice that did not exercise, demonstrating that the compound cancelled the temporary stress-related depression of immune function caused by intense exercise. Mice that did not engage in intense exercise also experienced a protective benefit from quercetin.
Quercetin, found in grapes, tea, blueberries, and other foods, is chemically related to resveratrol, a compound that has also been shown to have some antiviral benefits in laboratory studies. “Quercetin was used because of its documented widespread health benefits, which include antiviral activity, abundance in the diet and reported lack of side effects when used as a dietary supplement or food additive,” Dr Davis commented.
In previous research with quercetin, reported in the February 13, 2007 issue of Life Extension Update, athletes who received quercetin for five weeks experienced fewer viral illnesses following exercise-induced stress compared with those given a placebo.
“This is the first controlled experimental study to show a benefit of short-term quercetin feedings on susceptibility to respiratory infection following exercise stress,” Dr Davis announced. “Quercetin feeding was an effective preventive strategy to offset the increase in susceptibility to infection that was associated with stressful exercise.”
Ideally, the best approach to the flu is to avoid getting sick in the first place. This may mean using a vaccine to help bolster the immune response against specific strains, or taking nutrients such as lactoferrin that have been shown to enhance the immune system.
The Life Extension Foundation’s approach to the flu is based on the idea of preemption. At the first sign of infection, consider taking the following supplements. This program is not meant for long-term consumption because of the high doses. Only follow these recommendations for a few days. At the first sign of flu symptoms, consider taking:
Cimetidine—800 to 1000 mg/day
Pure Gar brand garlic—9000 mg once or twice a day
Kyolic aged garlic extract—3600 mg/day
DHEA—200 to 400 mg in the morning
Zinc—Two 24 mg lozenges every 2 hours while awake. This is a very high dosage of zinc and is toxic if taken for long periods. Only take this much zinc for a few days.
Melatonin —10 to 50 mg at bedtime
Vitamin C—6000 mg/day (1000 mg every hour for the first 6 hours), then 3000 mg/day (1000 mg several hours apart).
Vitamin E—400 international units (IU) daily
Green tea—725 mg/day. A decaffeinated form is available for people who are sensitive to caffeine.
Life Extension’s Fast-Acting Joint Formula includes novel joint health nutrients and can be used as a stand-alone joint health formula or as a complement to other Life Extension joint health formulas such as ArthroMax™ with FruiteX B®.
Designed to help maintain the healthy function of the articular cartilage, the sturdy yet elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints to facilitate smooth movement, Fast-Acting Joint Formula contains patented forms of hyaluronic acid and keratin, and a novel plant extract Angelica gigas Nakai.
Maintaining eye health is a major concern as we age. As we get older our eyes become vulnerable to a variety of insults that can cause irritation, dry eye, and structural problems. Applying lubricating eye drops several times a day can alleviate eye discomfort. Life Extension’s Brite Eyes III formula provides the best daily eye drop without irritation.
Brite Eyes III contains two proven lubricants (hydroxypropylmethycellulose and glycerin) that are FDA-approved for ophthalmic use.
The Brite Eyes III formula also contains the antioxidant called N-acetyl-carnosine, which helps protect the active ingredients against glycation.