That is a question I have wanted to answer ever since I read on Tyler’s blog that Quercetin can help increase height. After I put up the “Supplements Guide” section I got a comment where Tyler says that Lithium and Quercetin don’t act synergistically to help increase height since they seem to inhibit/ cancel out each other’s effects. Lithium seems to be for height increase for people before growth plate closure and quercetin is for people after growth plate closure. This is one of the only supplements that seems to have a chance of doing it so the research for this post much be as accurate and detailed as possible.
First, we see what good old Wikipedia has to say (source).
A few key points derived from Wikipedia…
It is “a flavonol, is a plant-derived flavonoid found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains. It also may be used as an ingredient in supplements, beverages or foods.” ( Flavoids are a class of plant organic compounds that are not directly involved in the normal growth, development, or reproduction of an organism)
It is a naturally-occurring polar auxin transport inhibitor. Polar auxin transport is the regulated transport of the plant hormone auxin in plants. It is an active process, the hormone is transported in cell-to-cell manner and one of the main features of the transport is its directionality (polarity). The polar auxin transport has coordinative function in plant development, the following spatial auxin distribution underpins most of plant growth responses to its environment and plant growth and developmental changes in general. Auxins are a class of plant hormones (or plant growth substances) with some morphogen-like characteristics. Auxins have a cardinal role in coordination of many growth and behavioral processes in the plant’s life cycle and are essential for plant body development. The (dynamic and environment responsive) pattern of auxin distribution within the plant is a key factor for plant growth, its reaction to its environment, and specifically for development of plant organs
Quercetin itself (aglycone quercetin), as opposed to quercetin glycosides, is not a normal dietary component.
Quercetin has neither been confirmed scientifically as a specific therapeutic for any condition nor been approved by any regulatory agency. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any health claims for quercetin
Me: It seems that the rest of the Wikipedia article just report that Quercetain has been reputed to be able to help prevent or decreased risk of Cancer, inflammation, fibromyalgia and may also be antiviral. This news would suggest that it might even cause height inhibition. Most supplements and processes I’ve seen that can potentially help increase height also has been shown to possibly increase the risk of cancer because of its anabolic effects. So a quick look at wikipedia gives no indication that Quercetin has any chance of causing height increase.
So we must see what exactly would lead a researcher to claim this. Let’s see what HeightQuest has to about it. In a recent post entitled “Grow Taller With Sophorae Beans (Quercetin)” the idea is that quercetin has the ability to inhibit the beta-catenin. So far I have not been able to get to doing a full research on the Wnt/Beta-Catenin Pathway but let’s first assume that the pathway does cause the inhibition or the loss of ability for chondrogenesis (and possibly chondrocyte differentiation, chondrocyte proliferation, or chondrocyte hypertrophy in some way) If this compound which is sold as a supplement in most GNC stores can inhibit the pathway it should not be enough evidence that it would work in causing the chondrocytes to start being formed and differentiated. It would only stop any inhibition but sometimes an effect can be happening and there is already no or a limited amount of chondrogenesis to begin with. What you thought you stopped inhibiting was itself not inhibiting anything in the first place. Since this idea was for bones with no more growth plate ,we can assume that any bone marrow in the epiphysis where the load would be would probably not be creating much chondrocytes anyway. Who then can really say that it is the Wnt/Beta-Catenin pathway that is supressing chondrocytes from being spontaneously being formed at a dramatic rate if their effects on the inside of the epiphysis were inhibited in some way? Of course anything is possible and it has to be proven who really is right with some experimentation He states “Sophorae Beans, although this may be mostly due to Quercetin, increase TGF-Beta and IGF-1 levels. ”
From the University of Maryland Medical Center there is a page dedicated to Quercetin which seems to say many of the same things over like that it is an antioxidant and has possible anti-cancer forming properties. There is also a very small section in claiming it has anti-histamine properties, prevents the damage of bad cholesterol (LDL) , has beneficial effects on hypertension (high blood pressure), rheumatoid arthritis, and heart disease due to how it removes the blocking of blood flow in veins (atherosclerosis). There is even a study that shows that this compound may be better than even reservatrol in helping in prevention of cancer occurence.
As for the sources which contain naturally found quercetin, you find…
Fruits and vegetables — particularly citrus fruits, apples, onions, parsley, sage, tea, and red wine — are the primary dietary sources of quercetin. Olive oil, grapes, dark cherries, and dark berries — such as blueberries, blackberries, and bilberries — are also high in flavonoids, including quercetin.
Quercetin supplements are available as pills or capsules. They are often packaged with bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapple) because both are anti-inflammatories. Other flavonoid rich extracts include those from grape seed, bilberry, Ginkgo biloba, and green tea.
There are also water soluble forms of quercetin available, such as hesperidn-methyl-chalcone (HMC) or quercetin-chalcone.
From the section on cancer…
Scientists have long considered quercetin, and other flavonoids contained in fruits and vegetables important in cancer prevention. People who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to have lower risk of some types of cancer. And animal and test tube studies suggest that flavonoids do indeed have anti cancer properties.
As a last effort to see if there is any other connection to Quercetin supplementation and possible chondrogenesis, the only thing I found in search goes back to the article written on HeightQuest. The arguement was always that Quercetin as a flavanone has the ability to inhibit the Wnt/Beta-Catenin pathway which can lead to ectopic cartilage formation. Even he says that if the cartilage is formed in abnormal locations, they can aggregate together enough to form any type of micro growth plates. However, I do agree with Tyler on the idea of cycling supplements to get the sensitivity of the bone cells back if you plan to try using the LSJL method along with supplementation.
Since there is no connection between the ability of Quercetin to really cause chondrogenesis, I would say that Quercetin has no ability to lead to possible height increase after physical maturity. There are articles like “The antioxidants curcumin and quercetin inhibit inflammatory processes associated with arthritis.” which show that quercetin inhibits proliferation of cells who multiply due to inflammation. Other studies like “Quercetin attenuates warfarin-induced vascular calcification in vitro independently from Matrix Gla protein” shows that it has some cartilage to bone prevention abilities but nothing that says that it can actually cause or increase chondrocytes to form. Maybe during physically maturity, in its ability to act as an antioxidant and reduce inflammation, it can help prevent the stunting of growth from inflammation, but other than that, in my personal opinion from the research I’ve done, Quercetin would not be effective.