Quercetin is a biochemical found in common foods: Apples, onions, tea, and others. In normally ingested doses it appears to be safe. Quercetin appears to have potentially interesting antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, and anti-cancer proporties, for which reason it is under regular scientific study. In some cases, as with interstitial cystitis, a pain chronic condition thought to arise in the bladder, quercetin has been administered in combination with such ingredients as glucosamine and chondroitin.
Along with curcumin and pollen extract, quercetin is among the most commonly cited natural prostatitis treatments. One can easily find it being promoted on a range of web sites. It is sold in various formulations by herbal remedy vendors. So the question is why? What is the scientific basis for the application of quercetin for prostatitis?
As of September, 2010, the National Library of Medicine database contains one randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of quercetin. Published in 1999, the study involved 30 patients who had had category III chronic prostatitis for at least 6 months; the group median/mean duration from initial diagnosis to study enrollment was not provided. Their previous treatments were not described and the reader has no idea if these patients were treatment "virgins" or hardened, treatment failures.
The average age of placebo patients was 43.5 years and of quercetin patients 46.2 years. One month after enrollment, the results were that:
Overall, the quercetin group symptoms responded in approximate equivalence to what is seen in historical pollen extract and therapeutic massage trial comparisons. Because of its design and report, the study does not answer these questions:
- In the placebo group, mean CPSI score dropped from 20.2 to 18.8
- In the quercetin group, mean CPSI score dropped from 21.0 to 13.0
- Would quercetin perform at this level in hardened, treatment-resistant cases?
- What happens after a month of treatment: Do symptoms improve, stabilize, or worsen?
- Would apples work as well as a supplement bought in a store or over the internet?
Apart of open questions about its effectiveness in prostatitis treatment, there are open questions in regards to the safety of quercetin and the manner in which quercetin is promoted.