Quercetin is structurally similar to the anti-allergic drug disodium cromoglycate (cromolyn). In vitro and animal studies demonstrate that quercetin stabilises mast cells, neutrophils and basophils inhibiting antigen- as well as mitogen-induced histamine release (Blackburn et al 1987, Busse et al 1984, Middleton & Drzewiecki 1982, Middleton et al 1981, Ogasawara et al 1996, Pearce et al 1984). Inhibition of inflammatory enzymes, prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and modulation of Th2 excess may further contribute to the anti-allergic effects. Pretreatment with quercetin does not appear to produce any additional benefits.

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