Quercetin reduces illness but not immune perturbations after intensive exercise

David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson, Sarah J. Gross, David P. Jenkins, J. Mark Davis, E. Angela Murphy, Martin D. Carmichael, Charles L. Dumke, Alan C. Utter, Steven R. Mcanulty, Lisa S. Mcanulty, Eugene P. Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of quercetin supplementation on incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and exercise-induced changes in immune function. METHODS: Trained male cyclists (N = 40) were randomized to quercetin (N = 20) or placebo (N = 20) groups and, under double-blind procedures, received 3 wk quercetin (1000 mg·d) or placebo before, during, and for 2 wk after a 3-d period in which subjects cycled for 3 h·d at approximately 57% Wmax. Blood and saliva samples were collected before and after each of the three exercise sessions and assayed for natural killer cell activity (NKCA), PHA-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation (PHA-LP), polymorphonuclear oxidative-burst activity (POBA), and salivary IgA output (sIgA). RESULTS: Pre- to postexercise changes in NKCA, PHA-LP, POBA, and sIgA did not differ significantly between quercetin and placebo groups. URTI incidence during the 2-wk postexercise period differed significantly between groups (quercetin = 1/20 vs placebo = 9/20, Kaplan-Meier analysis statistic = 8.31, P = 0.004). CONCLUSION: Quercetin versus placebo ingestion did not alter exercise-induced changes in several measures of immune function, but it significantly reduced URTI incidence in cyclists during the 2-wk period after intensified exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1561-1569
Number of pages9
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Cycling
  • Natural killer cells
  • Neutrophils
  • Salivary IgA
  • T lymphocytes


Dive into the research topics of 'Quercetin reduces illness but not immune perturbations after intensive exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this