Over the last several years, it has come to light that I have a severe mold allergy. A typical response for me is a very swollen throat (it closes), stuttering and varying degrees of disorientation. One thing that I have noticed results in a fast improvement is eating an apple. I can’t honestly say that I knew why it worked, but it did. Recently I stumbled upon, for lack of better way of saying it, an absolute butt load of research demonstrating the ability of quercetin to act as a potent anti-histamine in mice and guinnea pigs. On average, 15 mg/kilogram of body weight resulted on a dramatic reduction in allergic asthmatic reactions and a single dose of quecertin during a reaction resulted in immediate bronchial dialation and cessation of attack.
In addition, quercetin results in the reduction of several inflammatory markers (other than histamine). When combined with resveratrol, quercetin also seems to block fat storage, promote easier weight loss and be cardio-protective (and when combined with vitamin D even more benefits are noticed). Unfortunately, their have been no human trials. But the research is very promising.
Common food sources of quercetin are green tea, red wine, red onions and apples (to name just a few). This may explain why “an apple a day keeps the doctor a way”. But apples are actually at the bottom of this food list with a mere 44 mg/kilogram of quercetin. Green tea is over 2000 mg/kilogram and Red Onions are around 1600 mg/kg. Red wine is in the middle. Red Onions actually steal the price because the iso-form of quercetin that they contain has been shown to be roughly twice as effective as those from green tea, red wine and apples, and it has a slightly longer half life so it stays in your system the longest. This may explain many of the health benefits noted from consuming the above foods. Taking quercetin as a supplement is always an option, and is very effective, yet the red onion seems to weigh in above the supplemental form as well.
So for those that have allergy problems, try eating more red onions and maybe supplemental quercetin if necessary.