Quercetin – A Possible Breakthrough Treatment for Alopecia Areata

Quercetin is a flavonoid widely distributed in nature. In human studies, it has been shown to block the manufacture and release of inflammation-causing substances. In the case of Alopecia Areata (AA) there is an established correlation between the onset of AA and the release the Heat Shock Protein HSP70, involved in the inflammatory response. In this study HSP70 was inhibited by both local and systemic administration of Quercetin, and effectively prevented the onset of AA, and resolved AA in those treated. Given that no reliable treatments AA have been developed, and that most who do seek treatment are subjected to side effect wrought systemic and injectable corticosteroids, this is big news.

Prevention and treatment of alopecia areata with Quercetin in the C3H/HeJ mouse model
Tongyu Cao Wikramanayake & Alexandra C. Villasante & Lucia M. Mauro & Carmen I. Perez & Lawrence A. Schachner & Joaquin J. Jimenez

Abstract Alopecia areata (AA) is an autoimmune nonscarring hair loss disorder. AA can be acute, recurrent, or chronic. Current therapeutic options for AA are limited, and there is no effective prevention for recurrent AA. We have previously shown a correlation between the expression of HSP70 (HSPA1A/B), a heat shock protein involved in the inflammatory response, and the onset of AA in the C3H/ HeJ mouse model. In this study, we tested the effects of quercetin, a bioflavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties, on AA development and HSP70 expression in the C3H/HeJ model. Mice with spontaneous AA were treated with subcutaneous quercetin or a sham injection. Hair regrowth was observed in lesional areas in all the quercetin-treated mice, but in none of the sham-treated mice. In addition, non-alopecic C3H/HeJ mice were heat-treated to induce alopecia, along with quercetin or sham injection. Whereas 24% of the heat-treated mice with sham injections developed alopecia, none of the mice receiving quercetin injections did. As expected, the level of HSP70 expression in quercetin-treated areas was comparable to control. Furthermore, we showed that systemic delivery of quercetin by intraperitoneal injections prevented the spontaneous onset of AA. Our results demonstrated that quercetin provided effective treatment for AA as well as prevention of onset of AA in the C3H/HeJ model, and warrant further clinical studies to determine whether quercetin may provide both treatment for preexisting AA and prevention of recurrent AA. The ready availability of quercetin as a dietary supplement may lead to increased patient compliance and positive outcomes for AA.

      Unlike Corticosteroids, which have catastrophic side effects that preclude their sustained usage, Quercetin has multiple documented benefits for human health. Quercetin supports immune function, clears excess congestion, improves bone strength, and ameliorates mild allergy problems. It is also used in weight management programs. Quercetin, is an antioxidant that quenches free radicals. Studies have also shown that quercetin may also be a potential solution to cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of mortality in the Western world.

      If you are currently dealing with Alopecia Areata, or simply want to prevent its occurrence or recurrence, it would be reasonable, based upon this new information, to integrate a moderate to high dose of Quercetin into your existing hair loss treatment regime.