Could the flavonoid quercetin be used to treat coronavirus?

Let food be thy medicine

The importance of zinc

“In developing countries, zinc deficiency is the 5th leading cause for the loss of healthy life years. In industrial countries, mainly the elderly population is affected by zinc deficiency.”

Hydroxychloroquine is a zinc ionophore

“Chloroquine exerts a pleiotropic effect in eukaryotic cells, including an elevation of vacuolar pH when trapped in acidic organelles, such as lysosomes.”

Two zinc ionophores: the synthetic antimalarial drug, hydroxychloroquine (left) and the naturally occurring flavonoid, quercetin.

Quercetin — a naturally occurring zinc ionophore.

“Dietary plant polyphenols such as the flavonoids quercetin (QCT) and epigallocatechin-gallate act as antioxidants and as signaling molecules. Remarkably, the activities of numerous enzymes that are targeted by polyphenols are dependent on zinc. We have previously shown that these polyphenols chelate zinc cations and hypothesized that these flavonoids might be also acting as zinc ionophores, transporting zinc cations through the plasma membrane.”

Quercetin — other ways that it may be helpful in treating COVID-19

Bottom line: should you eat quercetin-rich foods?

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