The Growing Older, Living Younger Project

Quercetin, rutin, saffron and turmeric

Apr 20, 2021 | 2021 April A to Z Challenge, Nutrition

No, I am not planning to cheat on the daily challenge by including  Q,R,S and T in this post. I just surfaced from another voyage of discovery down the curiosity rabbit hole . This time I was trying to make sense of the myriad antioxidants, polyphenols, bioflavonoids and so on that are referred to in articles in the popular press and found in various combinations of supplements in magazine ads. 

When I ask people to list the supplements they are currently taking, I am often bemused by what is on the list, depending often on the person who is advising them, or which of the latest ‘gurus’ they are listening to. I have to admit that I have lingered far too long on some of these videos, waiting to find out what are the magic 5 ingredients that will melt away tummy fat while you dine our doughnuts or supercharge your metabolism while you change your favorite TV show with the remote. 

For a while it was all about turmeric but people confused cumin and curcumin. Curcumin is the active polyphenol in turmeric, which belongs to the hinger family.  Cumin is from the parsley family. I have the powdered form, from the dried seeds but I find the flavour too intense for me.  both cumin and curcumin are said to be anti-inflammatory.  

Saffron is my favorite spice for its vibrant yellow colour and flavour. It is the dried yellow stigma of the  purple crocus and the most expensive spice because of the enormous number of flowers required to make it for market. As well as an intense food ingredient, it is supposed to be good for calming  anxiety and depression.  

Quercetin is very topical at the moment with suggestions that it has an anti-viral effect. Quercetin and rutin are being studied for their antioxidant, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory effects. Rutin contains a quercetin molecule bound to a sugar molecule which are separated after ingestion and digestion occurs. Food sources are green tea, Apples, onions and red wine, amongst a host of other vegetables and fruits. I get the flavonoids from my diet but some are also in certain of my nutritional supplements.  It’s important if you are taking Quercetin as a single supplement to be sure that you ae taking an excessive dose. Digestive upset is common and higher doses may cause 

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