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Int J Sports Med. 2008 Oct;29(10):856-63. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-989424. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Post-160-km race illness rates and decreases in granulocyte respiratory burst and salivary IgA output are not countered by quercetin ingestion.

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Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, United States.


This study measured the influence of the flavonoid quercetin on immune changes and incidence rates of upper respiratory tract infections in ultramarathoners competing in the 160-km Western States Endurance Run. Sixty-three runners were randomized to quercetin and placebo groups, and under double-blinded methods ingested 1000 mg/day quercetin for 3 wks before, during, and 2 wks after the race. Thirty-nine of the 63 subjects (n = 18 for quercetin, n = 21 for placebo) finished the race and provided blood and saliva samples the morning before the race and 15 - 30 min postrace. Upper respiratory tract infections were assessed during the week before and the 2-wk period after the race using an illness symptom checklist. Race times did not differ significantly between quercetin and placebo groups. Significant pre- to postrace decreases were measured for natural killer cells (43 %), granulocyte respiratory burst activity (55 %), and salivary IgA output (48 %), and increases for neutrophil (288 %) and monocyte (211 %) cell counts, with no significant group differences. Postrace illness rates did not differ between groups. In conclusion, quercetin supplementation for 3 wks before and 2 wks after the Western States Endurance Run had no effect on illness rates, perturbations in leukocyte subset counts, or decreases in granulocyte respiratory burst activity and salivary IgA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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