Quercetin, Fisetin, Apigenin and Berberine – and Apples – May Protect Against Myocarditis


by Nils Osmar. Dec. 7, 2022. Medical Disclaimer

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplements. All supplements can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen. I am not claiming that diet or supplements are a substitute for medical care.  See full Medical Disclaimer

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). For a variety of reasons, myocarditis is a growing concern for many people. Its rates have been increasing in recent years.

Symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Swelling of the legs, ankles and feet
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias)
  • Fatigue
  • Light-headedness or feeling like you might faint
  • Flu-like symptoms

Severe myocarditis can result in:

  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack or stroke. If the heart muscle is injured and can’t pump blood, the blood that collects in the heart can form clots, which can then lead to strokes.
  • Rapid or irregular heart rhythms, which can also increase the risk of stroke
  • Sudden cardiac death

Causes of myocarditis

According to a Mayo Clinic article, the causes of myocarditis can include:

  • Viruses. … including those that cause the common cold (adenovirus); COVID-19; hepatitis B and C; parvovirus, which causes a mild rash, usually in children (fifth disease); and herpes simplex virus.Gastrointestinal infections (echoviruses), mononucleosis (Epstein-Barr virus) and German measles (rubella) also can cause myocarditis. ..
  • Bacteria (including) staphylococcus, streptococcus, and bacteria that cause diphtheria and Lyme disease.
  • Parasites (including) Trypanosoma cruzi and toxoplasma. Some parasites are transmitted by insects and can cause a condition called Chagas disease….
  • Fungi. A fungal infection may cause myocarditis, particularly in people with weakened immune systems. Those linked to myocarditis include yeast infections, such as candida; molds, such as aspergillus; and histoplasma, often found in bird droppings.
  • Certain medications or illegal drugs (drug-induced myocarditis). These include drugs used to treat cancer; antibiotics, such as penicillin and sulfonamide drugs…
  • Chemicals or radiation. Exposure to carbon monoxide and radiation …
  • Other inflammatory diseases.… (including) lupus, Wegener’s granulomatosis, giant cell arteritis and Takayasu’s arteritis.

mRNA vaccines

According to a JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) article, myocarditis can also be triggered in some people by injection with Pfizer mRNA vaccines. The risk is highest in young males but also exists in other groups. (Of course, the risks of vaccination need to be weighed against the risks of not vaccinating.) See study: Myocarditis Cases Reported After mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccination in the US From December 2020 to August 2022

From the JAMA study:

Based on passive surveillance reporting in the US, the risk of myocarditis after receiving mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines was increased across multiple age and sex strata and was highest after the second vaccination dose in adolescent males and young men.

The association between mRNA vaccines and myocarditis does not mean or imply that everyone who got the vaccine will get myocarditis. But it has been established that in some groups the risk may have been increased.

Preventing (or healing from) myocarditis

Many cases of myocarditis heal spontaneously. Others become worse over time. There are compounds that appear to be protective against the condition. According to a recent study, these protective compounds include apigenin, quercetin, berberine, nicotine, astragaloside (from astragalus). Interestingly, apples have been found to have particular benefits.

From the study:

Polyphenols are a large group of phytochemicals and plant-based foods including fruits, vegetables, cereals and beverages with more than one phenolic groups [20], [21].

Natural polyphenols possess cardioprotective properties due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and cardio-protective activities [22].

Apples absorb into the bloodstream due to their rich phenolic content and exert their beneficial effects [23], [24]. Flavonoids in apple leaves (hyperoside, isoquercitrin, avicularin, rutin, and quercitrin), dihydrochalcones (phloridzin, and phloretin), phenolic acids and flavon-3-ols (catechins and epicatechin) have revealed a high antioxidant activity with a DPPH < ABTS < FRAP pattern. Flavanols including epicatechin, catechin and oligomeric flavan-3-ols (procyanidin B1 and B2) are also found in apple fruits [22].

Apple flavanols are shown to reduce inflammation via inhibiting transcription factor NF-κB and the expression of NF-κB-regulated genes as well as their immunomodulating activity [23]. Chlorogenic acid, a phenolic acid in apple, is potent free radical scavenger.

Generally, flavonoids and phenolic ingredients in apple are shown to decrease cardiovascular incidents through antioxidant activities, up-regulation of lipoprotein lipase activity and anti-inflammatory properties [24]. Moreover, apple polyphenols increase antioxidant/anti-inflammatory defense by reducing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, COX-2 inhibition, down-regulation of NF-κB, TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8, inhibiting ROS…

Apple pectin

Another study found that apple pectin appears to have a protective effect. See study: Apple pectin, a dietary fiber, ameliorates myocardial injury by inhibiting apoptosis in a rat model of ischemia/reperfusion

Medical care

My point in this article is not to recommend that. anyone eat apples or take supplements instead of getting care from a doctor, but to share information about some recent studies. Taking supplements or eating apples are of course not substitutes for medical treatment.

What I’m doing

I’ve increased my consumption of applies, and I’m continuing to take quercetin, berberine and apigenin. I’ve increased my consumption of all of these compounds in the past two years. I’ve found that apples can raise my blood sugar, so I eat small amounts rather than whole apples.

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