Quercetin Benefits for Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

Did you know that quercetin benefits go beyond that of the commonly known allergy support it gives? This flavonoid is mostly found in apples, citrus fruits, raspberries, honey, leafy greens, onions, parsley, sage, tea, red grapes (and red wine), and cherries (1).

Specifically, quercetin inhibits the release of histamine from the immune system. Therefore, it functions as a natural anti-histamine and reduces side effects such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and sinus congestion.

Want to learn more?

Expert integrative family practitioners at Atlanta’s CentreSpringMD explore taking quercetin supplements and eating quercetin-rich foods to help with autism and ASDs (autism spectrum disorders).

Quercetin Benefits for Autism and ASDs

ASDs are neurodevelopmental disorders. They affect brain growth and development, causing attention, cognitive, and learning defects, repetitive behaviors, and social impairment such as

communication problems (2). Doctors found that increased oxidative stress and a weak immune system leading to brain inflammation are found in people with ASDs. Therefore, one study claims that combinations of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids could be a great choice of supplemental therapy for ASDs (2).

5 Science-Backed Quercetin Benefits from Human and Animal Studies:

  • Quercetin supplementation has been found to be anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory (3). Chronic inflammation leads to serious health issues and disease. Consuming large amounts of certain flavonoids can neutralize free radicals and decrease oxidative stress, thereby stabilizing mast cells.
  • Research shows dietary flavonoid intake of quercetin has improved mental and physical performance and reduces the risk of infection (4). Reducing your risk of infection starts with reducing inflammation. Brain inflammation can cause brain fog and a lack of focus.
  • It is common for autistic children to have gastro-intestinal (GI) issues. Randomized controlled trials found that quercetin benefits protect the GI tract from becoming inflamed due to its anti-inflammatory properties (5).
  • Many parents report that their children with ASDs have “allergy-like” symptoms (6). As mentioned earlier, quercetin is a natural anti-histamine.
  • ASDs contribute to behavior problems due to oxidative stress. Quercetin’s antioxidant properties protect the brain and help curb behavior changes and issues by reducing oxidative stress (7).

Quercetin-Rich Foods and Dietary Supplements

The USDA found raw onions, kale, hot peppers, rutabagas, and a variety of fresh herbs and edible leaves to have the highest amounts of quercetin (8). Other research found high amounts of quercetin in green and black dry tea leaves (9). While this article is focused on quercetin benefits for children, teenagers and adults are living with ASDs too. Thus, the recommendations below can be followed by people of all ages.

  • Brew green or black tea to keep in the fridge or drink a cup of hot tea in the morning. Add a bit of honey and lemon, which both contain quercetin as well.
  • Focus on eating apples and adding raw onion to as many dishes as you can.
  • Make sure to consume leafy greens every day, especially kale and spinach.
  • Is it hard for you to consume high amounts of quercetin through your diet? Talk to your doctor about supplemental quercetin intake.

Quercetin Benefits

Quercetin-rich foods and quercetin supplements offer multiple health benefits for children and adults with ASDs, allergies, and more. Are you looking for more information and support regarding ASDs for you or your child?

Here at CentreSpringMD, Atlanta’s premier integrative family medicine center, we provide medical advice, a wellness plan, and more for long-term success. One of our integrative practitioners will sit down with you and your family for an in-depth consultation to understand your overall health.

Contact CentreSpringMD today for an in-person or virtual consult. We are excited to be a part of your path to better health and wellness.


1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/quercetin

2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1517/14656560903107789

3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808895/

4. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2009/07000/Effects_of_the_Dietary_Flavonoid_Quercetin_Upon.12.aspx

5. http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0327-95452003000200001

6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925443910002954

7. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jdn.10025

8. https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400525/Articles/AICR03_VegFlav.pdf

9. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/10/3285S/4687618?login=true



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