Canadian researchers exploring first potential “broad-spectrum” antiviral
Updated: Sep 5
Hint...it’s probably already sitting on your naturopath’s shelf.
Quercetin, a plant bioflavonoid and commonly prescribed nutrient in naturopathic medicine has found new legs recently as a potential treatment for the coronavirus.
A recent article published in Maclean's, highlights emerging research from McGill University, on the use of quercetin as a potential “broad spectrum” antiviral drug that could fight a range of viruses. Led by famed Canadian researcher Michel Chrétien, the doctor and his team believe that the drug might work on COVID-19. (1)
Quercetin, found in the rind and pulp of citrus fruits is commonly used in our practice to help downregulate histamine in allergy sufferers and more importantly as part of our naturopathic supportive cancer protocols.
Quercetin is one of the most versatile anti-cancer agents found in nature.
A defining characteristic of cancer cells is their increased demand for sugar or glucose. One of the ways that cancer cells accomplish this is by upregulating or increasing the activity of GLUT1 receptors. Quercetin inhibits or blocks this pathway. (2) Quercetin also blocks Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) which is associated with the growth and spread of tumours. (3)
Inflammation is another hallmark of cancer. Quercetin inhibits Prostaglandin E2 (PGE-2), an inflammatory mediator that promotes tumour growth (4) as well as Interleukin 6 (IL-6), another inflammatory mediator that is characteristically increased in the cancer microenvironment. (5)
The list of potential cancer pathways, positively impacted by quercetin, really do go, on and on!
So, to think that this commonly prescribed naturopathic nutrient, may also be used as an antiviral is really interesting. To learn more, speak with your naturopathic doctor or integrative healthcare provider.