Quercetin, this powerful flavonoid naturally present in the plant world, has long aroused the interest of scientists, both for its potential for intercepting free radicals and for its many physiological virtues.
The studies carried out on this ingredient are very encouraging, but scientists nevertheless wonder if it is absorbed by our body in really sufficient proportions to be able to expect a significant physiological impact. Whether in food sources (such as onion or pepper) or in nutraceutical sources (extract of the plant Sophora japonica for example) its bioavailability seems to be very limited.
How, under these conditions, to benefit from its promising effects?
The French laboratory Nutrixeal now provides innovative technological solutions to support the intestinal assimilation of quercetin. Let’s quickly come back to the characteristics of this flavonoid and the difficulties associated with its assimilation to understand the significant improvements made possible by Nutrixeal galenic optimizations.
Quercetin belongs to a family of powerful antioxidants
Flavonoids constitute a family of active ingredients particularly recognized in the nutraceutical world, in particular for their antioxidant action. Like baïaline, for example, the main active ingredient in skullcap, quercetin is an emblematic molecule of this family of compounds.
These pigments, naturally synthesized by plants, are often the source of their color. Thus, quercetin has a very characteristic bright yellow color. Within plants, flavonoids are often involved in the defense mechanisms of plants and thus enable them to cope with different kinds of external aggressions (UV rays, predators, diseases, etc.).
Among the flavonoids with recognized virtues, we also retain OPC (oligoproanthocyanidins), very present in grapes or in Pycnogenol®, a patented extract of Landes pine. These OPCs have demonstrated benefits in very diverse areas of health (circulation, antioxidant action, cardiovascular health, vision, etc.). While quercetin is not yet the subject of authorized health claims, scientific studies on its potential applications are very numerous and promising. Quercetin is now considered one of the most potent flavonoids in the scientific community.
The chemical structure of quercetin, which is particularly representative of flavonoids, in fact gives it a very strong antioxidant potential. Free radicals, also called reactive oxygen species, which accumulate in our body due to our metabolic activity but also due to external factors such as pollution, represent a threat to our health. When our body’s antioxidant defenses are not strong enough to eliminate these free radicals, the oxidative stress generated can have very significant deleterious effects on our cells. The antioxidant protection of our cells is therefore one of the major issues in nutraceuticals and one of the main characteristics of the active ingredients belonging to the flavonoids family.
Very varied shapes depending on the sources
Being very present in plants, quercetin can therefore be consumed via our diet. One finds particularly high contents in particular in the red onions, the peppers or the peppers.
Despite everything, it is necessary to consume very large amounts of these foods to hope to achieve blood levels similar to those taken into account in scientific studies. In plants, quercetin is also often complexed with sugars. It is said that plants contain glycosylated forms. However, these are difficult to assimilate by our body.
On the other hand, in food supplements, we find a form of this flavonoid free of any sweet residue. This is referred to as the aglycone form. Purified extracts, made from plants such as the Sophora japonica plant, therefore constitute a relevant solution for a significant supply of aglycone quercetin. This form has advantages over the glycosylated forms of food, but it also has some limitations in terms of bioavailability.
Faced with this observation, how to successfully take advantage of the physiological potential of the king of flavonoids? How to optimize its effectiveness in food supplements?
For many years, this problem has been questioning the Nutrixeal laboratory, which has been working on galenic optimizations to resolve these assimilation difficulties. Let’s see this in more detail …
Quercetin has many handicaps in terms of bioavailability
The form present in plants has difficulty passing the intestinal barrier
In plants, this flavonoid is complexed with sugars, which gives it good solubility in water and in the food bolus. This property is essential for good intestinal assimilation, but is however not sufficient.
In fact, it is believed that in this conjugated form, quercetin cannot directly pass the intestinal barrier. Its absorption then requires the prior intervention of our intestinal enzymes (in particular lactase, an enzyme deficient in a large part of the world population, in particular in France). This additional step considerably slows down the assimilation process.
Quercetin in food supplements is insoluble in water!
In its aglycon form, this active ingredient can easily pass the intestinal barrier without the intervention of our enzymes. This form is unfortunately insoluble in water and disperses very poorly in the food bolus, which greatly affects its absorption.
The technological challenge of the Nutrixeal laboratory: a new generation quercetin
The Nutrixeal laboratory believes it has found a technological solution to naturally and effectively improve the absorption of quercetin in food supplements, thanks to its expertise in the field of micronization of active ingredients, emulsions and micro-encapsulation.
This is how a very innovative food supplement was recently launched, called IxeaBoost®, which contains in particular a micronized, emulsified and micro-encapsulated form of quercetin with much better intestinal absorption.
By thus reducing the size of the particles below the micrometer (or micron) scale and by encapsulating the quercetin from acacia fibers, we indeed obtain a particularly water-dispersible active, that is to say much more soluble in the food bolus. The main obstacle to the assimilation of aglycone quercetin has therefore been lifted!
In the product IxeaBoost®, this new generation quercetin is combined with liposomal vitamin C, chelated zinc and micro-encapsulated vegetable vitamin D3, ingredients with widely documented action, which aim to support immune function.
With this new quercetin with high intestinal absorption, Nutrixeal intends to give this flavonoid new nutraceutical applications. The laboratory believes that its innovative and eco-responsible technology, called CapsuGreen®, could well revolutionize the food supplements market in the coming years.
The Grenoble laboratory has also invested heavily in the development of these new technologies, by equipping itself with state-of-the-art technical installations: high-performance foam concentrates, micro-encapsulation and vacuum drying lines, measurement and analysis instruments. state-of-the-art (HPLC coupled with mass spectrometry, atomic force microscope, etc.)
Convinced that the future of nutraceuticals lies largely in technological mastery and pharmaceutical innovation, the Nutrixeal laboratory therefore does not hesitate to invest resolutely to consolidate its leadership in these fields.
Content designed and offered by Nutrixeal. The editorial staff of Le Figaro did not participate in the production of this article.