Quercetin is a common flavonoid found in many fruits and plants. Numerous studies are now being published regarding quercetin’s anti-cancer properties. Some of these studies show how quercetin in and of itself provides significant anti-cancer activity. A number of other studies show how quercetin can be combined with chemo drugs to boost their effectiveness, especially in situations of drug resistance to treatment.

The intelligence in every cell of your body is called NF-kappaB. This gene signal figures out how the cell will deal with stress and will come up with new solutions if it has not previously seen the problem. When NF-kappaB is forced to work overtime due to an unresolved problem then its gene activity runs “hot” and is typically associated with excessive inflammation. In situations of cancer NF-kappaB is literally hijacked and its intelligence is used to further the survival of cancer cells.

It is absolutely amazing that most nutrients interact differently with cancer cells and normal cells – meaning that the nutrients tend to enhance the health of normal cells while helping to kill cancer cells. Believe me, this is a major advantage of nutrition. If chemo drugs had this ability they wouldn’t be so toxic to healthy cells.

A detailed study with liver cancer cells showed that quercetin directly turned down NF-kappaB activity, thereby interfering with the hijacking process. Furthermore, quercetin directly turned on a different set of gene signals that induced cell death to the cancer cells.

Heat shock proteins are required for your cells to be able to withstand stress. However, during the cancer hijacking then heat shock proteins are used by the cancer cells to resist treatments as well as to resist your body’s own anti-cancer immune system activity. Think of heat shock proteins like the deflector shields of the Star Trek Enterprise. A new study shows that quercetin can directly lower this heat shock protein deflector shield in tumor cells, making them susceptible to the immune system or other treatments.

Cigarette smoke is known to cause breast cancer. Using new gene tools it is now possible to see how nicotine activates genes in breast cancer cells that result in this problem. Another new study shows that quercetin turns off the very gene signals that cigarette smoke turns on. This is especially good news for those who are exposed to secondary smoke.

In a just published study the combination of quercetin and a commonly used chemo drug (Adriamycin) was able to completely eradicate established breast cancer in an animal model – something that neither compound could do by itself. Quercetin was able to promote a sustained and effective immune system response against the chemo-treated tumor.

Another recent study evaluated the ability of quercetin to help overcome resistance to a similar chemo drug (daunorubicin) as mentioned in the above study. In this case the researchers looked at one of the primary methods by which cancer cells pump the drugs back out of themselves, a reverse transport system based on something called P-glycoprotein. In a study with pancreatic cancer cells the researchers showed that quercetin disabled this reverse transport system by blocking the production of P-glycoprotein, thus enabling the chemo drug to have a much more toxic and killing effect on the cancer cells.

Collectively, these studies show that quercetin possesses a variety of potent anti-cancer attributes and can even be combined with chemo drugs to help overcome resistance to drug treatment.

Author's Bio: 

Byron J. Richards, Founder/Director of Wellness Resources, Inc., is a Board-Certified Clinical Nutritionist and a world renowned natural health expert. Richards is the first to explain the relevance of leptin and its link to solving obesity.
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