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Substance found in fruits and vegetables reduces likelihood of the flu
Date:9/3/2008

t study hypothesized that exercise would increase the chance of the mice getting the flu but that quercetin would counteract the increased risk.

Davis and his colleagues examined four groups of mice. Two groups performed three consecutive days of running to fatigue on a treadmill to mimic a short period of stressful exercise. One group of runners received quercetin, the other did not.

The remaining two groups did not exercise. One non-exercise group received quercetin while the other did not. All four groups were then exposed to a common flu virus, H1N1.

The researchers found that:

  • Stressful exercise increased susceptibility to the flu. The mice that exercised to fatigue for three days were more likely to develop the flu than the mice that did not exercise (91% versus 63%).
  • The mice that exercised developed the flu much sooner than those that did not (6.9 days versus 12.4 days).
  • Mice that exercised and took quercetin had nearly the same rate of illness as those that did not exercise. In other words, quercetin canceled out the negative effect of stressful exercise.
  • The severity of the symptoms among those mice that either did not exercise or those that exercised but took the quercetin was about the same.
  • Quercetin had protective effects for the mice that did not exercise.

Although this study was done with mice, a recent human study found that people who took quercetin suffered fewer illnesses following three days of exhaustive exercise compared to those who did not. Unlike the mouse study, the humans were not inoculated with a virus.

"This is the first controlled experimental study to show a benefit of short-term quercetin feedings on susceptibility to respiratory infection following exercise stress," said Davis. "Quercetin feeding was an effective preventive strategy to offset the increase in susceptibility to infection that was associated with stressful exercis
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Contact: Christine Guilfoy
301-634-7253
American Physiological Society
Source:Eurekalert

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