Therapeutic Potential of Quercetin to Decrease Blood Pressure: Review of Efficacy and Mechanisms

Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Science, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA, USA.
Advances in Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.9). 01/2012; 3(1):39-46. DOI: 10.3945/an.111.001271
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Epidemiological studies beginning in the 1990s have reported that intake of quercetin, a polyphenolic flavonoid found in a wide variety of plant-based foods, such as apples, onions, berries, and red wine, is inversely related to cardiovascular disease. More recent work using hypertensive animals and humans (>140 mm Hg systolic and >90 mm Hg diastolic) indicates a decrease in blood pressure after quercetin supplementation. A number of proposed mechanisms may be responsible for the observed blood pressure decrease such as antioxidant effects, inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme activity, and improved endothelium-dependent and -independent function. The majority of these mechanisms have been identified using animal models treated with quercetin, and relatively few have been corroborated in human studies. The purpose of this review is to examine the evidence supporting the role of quercetin as a potential therapeutic agent and the mechanisms by which quercetin might exert its blood pressure-lowering effect.

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