Despite dramatic advances in medical technology, chronic diseases are on the rise. Asthma, a life-threatening respiratory condition, and other allergy related diseases, have now reached epidemic proportions, increasing by an astonishing 74% over the last decade, affecting over 15 million Americans.
An allergy or asthma attack occurs when the immune system mounts an assault against an offending substance, usually food or something in the environment. Allergies are often at the root of many chronic conditions that vanish once you remove the allergic substance, for example: asthma, eczema, bronchitis, fatigue, migraines, gastrointestinal disorders, weight gain, heart palpitations, and depression.
According to many health care practitioners, Quercetin can be taken to combat the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Quercetin, a “cousin” of the more-well known bioflavonoid rutin, is one of a thousand or so members of the bioflavonoid family, a group of coloring pigments that provide plants antioxidant protection against environmental stress. Quercetin is able to inhibit allergy and inflammatory responses by inhibiting the release of antibodies which cause histamine to be released.
Histamine released into the tissue and blood produces the conditions related to allergies and asthma including: runny, swollen nose, blocked sinuses, itchy eyes, skin blotches, coughing and wheezing, etc. Quercetin also inhibits the production of enzymes responsible for manufacturing a fatty acid called leukotrienes (LTs) which impedes the constriction of millions of tiny air sacs within the lungs causing the asthmatic response.
However, Quercetin is not soluble in water causing it to be a poorly absorbed nutrient. Bromelain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme from pineapples, increases the absorption of Quercetin.
Bromelain also inhibits several common inflammatory mediators. Bromelain is widely used in sports medicine to reduce the pain and swelling of bruises, sprains, and muscle tears. One such study from an orthopedic surgeon treated 59 of his patients with Bromelain. His results showed that treatment with Bromelain resulted in a clear reduction in both swelling and the symptoms of pain. (Food Chem Toxicol. 1995; 33(12):1061-1080.)
From the research performed to date, it is clear that Quercetin combined with Bromelain may provide the necessary punch to overcome the difficult cold and allergy seasons.