A glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away?

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Does quercetin inhibit our deterioration process?

On the Science in Pictures website, there is an interesting article by Nana Fischer with the tantalizing headline: These common foods can prevent deterioration in the elderly.

Well, I am starting to get older and am a dyed-in-the-wool opponent of deterioration in general and mine in particular. So any nutritional tip that leads to delaying – possibly even postponing – that process is welcome.


A multi-year US study shows that flavonols, particularly the antioxidant quercetin, play an important delaying role against deterioration.

Flavonols are plant pigments naturally occurring in foods. They belong to the larger group of flavonoids. A 12-year study of 1,701 people found that at 10 mg higher intake of quercetin per day, vulnerability (deterioration) decreased by 20%.

Foods such as apples, blackberries, tomatoes, capers, kale, grapes, chives, cherries and broccoli all contain higher amounts of quercetin.

That 10 mg (extra) per day is quite doable because a medium-sized apple contains about 10 mg of flavonols; apple egg so to speak. Because protein, by the way, is also very good against all kinds of effects of aging.

So according to the researchers, there is something to the saying An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

Quercetin is thus found in many foods. Also in wine?

Yippee! Yes, wine is also rich in quercetin. Since quercetin is found mainly in the grape skin, the levels in red wine are higher than in white wine. In addition, aging wine in wood barrels also contributes to high quercetin levels, as the substance slowly passes from the wood into the wine. (WikipediA)

The highest amount of quercetin found in wine was 2.11 mg per 100 g of red wine from the Syrah grape. But to put it in perspective a bit, 100 grams of raw capers contain 234 mg of quercetin per 100 grams.(abiomed.com)

So to get to 10 mg of quercetin, you need to drink about half a liter of red wine (Syrah) per day. But whether that is wise?

Better have an apple every day, then. And one glass of red wine to be sure.

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