Quercetin has been around for some time as it is a naturally occurring compound found in the peels of citrus, capers, certain herbs, onions, and grapes**. Quercetin is also found in the Chinese Scholar tree, one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Quercetin has some interesting and fairly potent anti cancer effects. First, it has anti inflammatory effects. We now know that cancer development and also cancer progression both rely on low grade inflammation in the body. Inflammation that is low grade may not be visible to the naked eye.
Our bodies and those of our loved dogs are constantly barraged by a host of microscopic, damaging substances daily. This creates inflammation. Excess fat in the body creates inflammation. A diet too rich in certain fats (omega 6 fatty acids) and lacking in others (omega 3 fatty acids) creates inflammation. Smoke, pesticides and herbicides, inhaled exhaust can all create this type of inflammation. Finally, cancers themselves created inflammation.
Quercetin is able to partially block the very same enzymes that are targeted when vets and oncologists use anti inflammatory medication as a part of metronomic chemotherapy. This kind of chemo is low dose, and may help to help lessen the blood flow that helps feed developing or spreading cancers.
This compound also has been shown to attack human breast cancer cells (in a test tube) in a way that is similar to some of the new dog cancer drugs, Palladia and Kinavet K-1 (masitinib).
An injected form was found to shrink sold tumors in mice. But what about taking it as a pill? This works too, but we need to protect it from being broken down so it gets in the bloodstream (this is the method used in Apocaps, and it was for these reasons that rutin, a rich source of quercetin, was included in the Apocaps formulation.).
So how can we use this interesting substance?
First, we need to be sure that we are not creating anti oxidants which could interfere with some chemo drugs and other helpful strategies (these are outlined in the Guide). If we use larger doses of quercetin, we can overcome this effect.
Secondly, we should think of quercetin for tumors of the stomach or intestine which will get the highest dose of a tablet taken by mouth. Quercetin does have other uses, but this is one easy one to remember.
All my best
**Note that onions and grapes may create toxic reactions in dogs.
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.