Quercetin for Macular Degeneration

Quercetin for Macular Degeneration

There are a wide variety of supplements that have been studied for treatment of macular degeneration. The renowned AREDS I & II (age-related eye disease study) showed significant beneficial effects in slowing or preventing AMD (age-related macular degeneration). These studies used specific nutraceuticals that included zeaxanthin, lutein, zinc and others .which exhibited a range of vision strengthening properties. 

Since this research, there has been more interest in expanding the search for additional supplementation that may be advantageous for healthy vision. This includes amino acids, herbs and other compounds that may be linked to ancient medicine and the observational studies that show significant results. There has also been research in current “hotspots” of certain cultures that practice cultural nutrition which carries unique vision enhancing nourishment.

Quercetin is a flavonol derived from the flavonoid plant group called polyphenols. It is used in humans as a supplement to boost immunity as well as an ingredient in foods and beverages. However, when scientists tracked the pathway of this unique flavonol it was found to assist ophthalmological functioning as well. 

Currently, research is indicating that quercetin may be an excellent addition to the AREDS formulas or just on its own to prevent or treat chronic and acute macular degeneration.

The Zeaxanthin-Quercetin Factor

It is no surprise that another compound from the polyphenol group makes its way to the retina. Zeaxanthin is one prominent carotenoid (compound that gives plants color) found stored in the human eye. Another is quercetin.

A study titled, ‘The therapeutic use of quercetin in ophthalmology’ published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy (Volume 137, May 2021) stated that,

“Quercetin has been widely studied in the field of ophthalmology because of its strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, anti-carcinogenic, vascular protection, neuroprotection, and other biological activities. It is expected to act as a potentially effective therapeutic drug for ophthalmic diseases.”

As quercetin is packed with a variety of healing mechanisms, it is no wonder that it sits alongside zeaxanthin. These two are an example of how nature practically gives us the tools to remain functioning on an optimal level. As the zeaxanthin-quercetin factor shows a unique connection to nature, maybe more attention will be placed on the importance of sustaining this essential source only found in nature.

Open Your Eyes to the Natural Connection

Quercetin works in conjunction with other nutritional elements, all derived from plant-based eating. It is yet one of many obvious signs that we are all connected to nature. From humans and animals to oceans and plants it is imperative we realize this unique bond so decimation of nature around us ceases and desists. Reducing factory farming and increasing sustainable harvesting of organic fruits, vegetables and grains is essential to the future health of humankind.

Quercetin is one piece of the puzzle that fits beside so many other easily attainable natural health remedies. Adding foods to your diet that contain quercetin could help strengthen your retina and macula. This could put them more on the offensive rather than the defensive when macular degeneration already has its hooks in. Give yourself and your optical health a daily quercetin boost.

Healthline lists some quercetin rich foods:

  • Capers
  • Peppers – yellow and green
  • Onions – red and white
  • Shallots
  • Asparagus – cooked
  • Cherries
  • Tomatoes
  • Red apples
  • Red grapes
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Red leaf lettuce
  • Berries — all types, such as cranberries, blueberries, and raspberries
  • Tea — green and black

These foods, eaten in the amount of about one cup at least four to five times per week, should help increase your quercetin level and help fight macular degeneration. Supplementation can assist, especially when food sources may be challenged at times. However, there are some recommendations when taking quercetin supplements.

Adjunct Quercetin

Supplementing with any herb, vitamin, mineral or enzyme should be considered as an adjunct treatment. This means it is “in addition to” what you should be getting from the natural source, namely fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Sticking to recipes that include any of the above quercetin-rich foods is where the most benefits to the eyes and AMD prevention can be found.

Research of quercetin from the University of Pisa, Italy published by Frontiers in Neuroscience stated that,

“Overall, the data obtained from this study show that the anti-oxidant and anti-apoptotic [apoptotic means cell death] effects of flavonoids [like quercetin] may limit neurodegeneration by providing neurotrophic support to prevent retinal damage in an animal model of autosomal dominant RP [retinitis pigmentosa] as in other types of retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and AMD.”

Proper dosing of quercetin for macular degeneration ranges in the 500-1000mg per day window. This polyphenol is considered safe but you should discuss quercetin supplementation with your healthcare practitioner to make sure there are no contraindications with current medications or medical history.

A randomized controlled trial of quercetin dosages by researchers from the Department of Health, Leisure, and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA reported,

“In summary, quercetin supplementation in doses of 500 and 1000 mg/day caused large but highly variable increases in plasma quercetin that were unrelated to demographic or lifestyle factors.”

Through foods high in quercetin and a daily quercetin supplement the laboratory results speak for themselves when it comes to this flavonoid benefitting macular degeneration treatment.

The Institute of Ocular Pharmacology, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, TX conducted research titled, ‘Effect of quercetin on formation of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in age-related macular degeneration(AMD)’ finding that,

“Quercetin inhibited the formation of CNV both in vivo and in vitro and increased choroidal blood flow. It could become a promising candidate for the treatment of AMD.”

Consider quercetin for macular degeneration. It could be an excellent addition to your health boosting regiment for more ocular health. Increasing quercetin just may hold off AMD symptoms or possibly even help slow down progression to keep you seeing life as long as possible.