Myricetin is a polyphenolic compound that belongs to the flavonoid class. Structurally similar to other bone-building polyphenols, such as fisetin, luteolin, and quercetin, myricetin is found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, tea, and even red wine. This powerful bone-smart antioxidant also has antidiabetic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
A single compound with the ability to improve the wellbeing of everything from your bones to your brain is worth knowing more about– including how to get more of it into your diet. Today’s article will teach you everything you need to know about myricetin.
Learn More About Myricetin
This compound was first isolated more than 100 years ago from the bark of a small Indian tree belonging to the genus Myrica (hence the name myricetin). At the time, interest in the light yellow-colored crystals was for their use as a dye. A study published in 1902 by a scientist named A.G. Perkin established its chemical structure (C15H10O8).1
The benefits of this flavonoid are far-reaching, due in part to the multiplicity of ways in which myricetin interacts in the body. It’s an antioxidant, disarming dangerous free radicals. It also disrupts cellular pathways, interacting with enzymes to inhibit their activities.
The results reach wide and far in the body. Below’s a breakdown of the many benefits myricetin offers.
- Protection From Free Radicals: Myricetin possesses spare electrons that it can safely offer to free radicals, preventing them from destroying healthy molecules by stealing their electrons, turning them into free radicals too.2 It’s antioxidation effects exceed that of Vitamin E, acting twice as fast on oxygen-centered galvinoxyl radicals.3 Antioxidants improve bone health by protecting the molecules that contribute to the bone remodeling process.
- Anti-Platelet Aggregation – myricetin prevents human platelets from clotting, which reduces inflammation.4 This is likely due to myricetin inhibiting thromboxane formation.
- Anti-Inflammatory – It also inhibits the signaling pathways the body uses to produce inflammation. Studies have shown activity against the Porphyromonas gingivalis-induced inflammatory response, suggesting that myricetin is a therapeutic agent for the treatment of periodontitis.5
- Arthritis Relief – Myricetin inhibits cell death and induces the differentiation of osteoblast-like cells to reduce the effects of arthritis.6
- Anti-Allergy – Mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation is significantly reduced by exposure to myricetin, through the inhibition of histamine release in cells, meaning this compound is a must for anyone trying to manage allergies.7
- Skin Care – Myricetin has anti-photoaging action on the skin. It eliminates the free radicals in the skin that cause aging when exposed to UVB rays. This also extends to protection from skin cancer. Studies have examined both topical application and the effects of the polyphenol in vitro.8,9
- Anti-Cancer – Myricetin has been shown by many studies to be cytotoxic towards a variety of human cancer cell lines, including hepatic, uterine, skin, pancreatic, prostate, lung, and colon cancer cells. It’s enzyme-inhibiting activities also interrupt the initiation and progression of cancer, meaning it both works to prevent and fight cancer cells.10
- Blood Pressure – myricetin can effectively reduce hypertension along with oxidative stress in rats. Oral application of the compound reduced systolic blood pressure, changed vascular reactivity and reversed an induced increase in heart rate.11
- Pain Relief – Myricetin produces an analgesic effect, reducing pain from physical stimuli and internal inflammation. This makes myricetin a natural alternative to dangerous painkillers including opioids.12
- Parkinson’s Disease – Myricetin mitigates neurodegenerative diseases, often through its interaction with specific brain receptors. This results in protective effects against the progression of Parkinson’s disease.10
- Alzheimer’s Disease – The same process that protects against Parkinson’s also helps to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease. This may be due to the compound’s disruption of tau proteins, which are abundant in the neurons of the central nervous system, or the blocking of damaging β-amyloid fibril formation.13, 14
- Liver Protection – Studies on mice have shown that myricetin protects the liver by restoring hepatic function and the balance of serum enzymes. It also reduces DNA damage in the liver. As Savers know, a healthy liver is essential to keeping the body’s pH in balance, protecting the bones from mineral redistribution.15
- Heart Health – Myricetin has a vasculoprotective effect. It alters vascular disease-related genes. Oral administration has been shown in mice to reduce heart rate and the levels of cardiac marker enzymes. It works to prevent atherosclerosis, and protect the heart in the presence of cardiovascular diseases.16
- Eye Protection – Because it is a strong aldose reductase inhibitor, myricetin exhibits anticataract activity. Studies in rabbits found that myricetin delayed both the onset and progression of cataract development in the the eyes. It lowers intraocular pressure, and thus is useful for the treatment of glaucoma. Good vision is incredibly important for fracture prevention, since it reduces the incidence of falls and other accidents.17
- Anti-Diabetic – Myricetin is useful for the management of non-insulin-dependent diabetes by stimulating the uptake of glucose without functional insulin receptors. In diabetic rats, administration resulted in a 50% decrease in hyperglycemia and an increase in hepatic glycogen and glucose-6-phosphate content.18
- Anti-Obesity – By decreasing the intracellular accumulation of triglycerides, myricetin combats obesity. Obese rats treated with myricetin experienced weight loss and lower plasma lipid levels. Researchers attributed the effects to accelerated fatty acid oxidation in the liver.19
- Antibacterial & Antiviral – Myricetin has been shown to act against several bacterial and viral organisms. This includes the inhibition of E.coli through a disruption of an enzyme that replicates and elongates its DNA. It also has been shown to produce significant zones of inhibition in a large number of other bacteria, including K. pneumonia, S. dysenteriae and Corynebacterium diphtheria.20 It has also been found to be a strong inhibitor of reverse transcriptase from Rauscher murine leukemia virus (RLV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).20
- Immune Boost – Studies have shown that myricetin modifies the immune response or the functioning of the immune system by stimulating the formation of antibodies, or inhibiting the activity of white blood cells.10 This makes myricetin an extra powerful tool during cold and flu season.
Research published in the journal Nutrients concludes with a powerful testament to myricetin’s wide-ranging potential:
“Available literature portrays the compound as a wonder nutraceutical, and there is no doubt that the molecule holds potential to protect against life-threatening diseases, including cancer.”21
Clearly, myricetin benefits the health of your bones via many channels, from its antioxidant qualities to the eyesight protection it offers, to the reduction of inflammation and pain.22 But the bone benefits of myricetin get even more direct.
Myricetin Helps Build Bone
Myricetin remarkably triggers a chain of events in the body that leads to an increase in bone mass. The compound increases Bone Morphogenetic Protein-2 (BMP-2) synthesis, resulting in osteoblast maturation and differentiation, and a subsequent increase of bone mass.23
Myricetin is directly involved in the production of elements necessary for building new bone, making it an essential polyphenol for anyone trying to increase the density and strength of their bones.
Foods That Contain Myricetin
Fortunately, all of these benefits are available through a multitude of delicious foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet. You probably already eat many of them, but now that you’re aware of the extra power they pack, you can prioritize them in your meal planning.
- Black Currants
- Bok Choi
- Fava Beans
- Green Chilis
- Green Tea
- Red and white wine
- Red Cabbage
- Red Onions*
- Swiss Chard*
- Yellow Peppers
* Foundation Food
Let this list inspire you to incorporate new foods into your diet that can do more than build your bones. And If you’re looking for bone-healthy recipe ideas, check out the Save Institute’s book of recipes and meal plans Bone Appétit.
Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!
Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!
Till next time,
1 Perkin A.G. “CXCIII. Myricetin. Part III.” J. Chem. Soc. Trans. 1911;99:1721–1725. Web: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/1911/CT/ct9119901721#!divAbstract
2 Joe A. Vinson, Yousef A. Dabbagh, Mamdouh M. Serry, Jinhee Jang. “Plant Flavonoids, Especially Tea Flavonols, Are Powerful Antioxidants Using an in Vitro Oxidation Model for Heart Disease” J. Agric. Food Chem., 1995, 43 (11), pp 2800–2802. Web: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00059a005
3 Bennett CJ, Caldwell ST, McPhail DB, Morrice PC, Duthie GG, Hartley RC. “Potential therapeutic antioxidants that combine the radical scavenging ability of myricetin and the lipophilic chain of vitamin E to effectively inhibit microsomal lipid peroxidation.” Bioorg Med Chem. 2004 May 1; 12(9):2079-98.
4 Tzeng SH, Ko WC, Ko FN, Teng CM. “Inhibition of platelet aggregation by some flavonoids.” Thromb Res. 1991 Oct 1; 64(1):91-100. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1776142/
5 Wang ZH, et al. “Myricetin suppresses oxidative stress-induced cell damage via both direct and indirect antioxidant action.” Environ Toxicol Pharmacol. 2010 Jan; 29(1):12-8.” Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21787576/
6 Kuo PL. “Myricetin inhibits the induction of anti-Fas IgM-, tumor necrosis factor-alpha- and interleukin-1beta-mediated apoptosis by Fas pathway inhibition in human osteoblastic cell line MG-63.” Life Sci. 2005 Oct 21; 77(23):2964-76. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15982670/
7 Park HH, Lee S, Son HY, Park SB, Kim MS, Choi EJ, Singh TS, Ha JH, Lee MG, Kim JE, Hyun MC, Kwon TK, Kim YH, Kim SH. “Flavonoids inhibit histamine release and expression of proinflammatory cytokines in mast cells.” Arch Pharm Res. 2008 Oct; 31(10):1303-11. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18958421/
8 Jung SK, Lee KW, Kim HY, Oh MH, Byun S, Lim SH, Heo YS, Kang NJ, Bode AM, Dong Z, Lee HJ. “Myricetin suppresses UVB-induced wrinkle formation and MMP-9 expression by inhibiting Raf.” Biochem Pharmacol. 2010 May 15; 79(10):1455-61. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20093107/
9 Jung SK, Lee KW, Byun S, Kang NJ, Lim SH, Heo YS, Bode AM, Bowden GT, Lee HJ, Dong Z. “Myricetin suppresses UVB-induced skin cancer by targeting Fyn.” Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 15; 68(14):6021-9. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18632659/
10 Deepak Kumar Semwal, et al. “Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities.” Nutrients. 2016 Feb; 8(2): 90. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772053/
11 Borde P, Mohan M, Kasture S. “Effect of myricetin on deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt-hypertensive rats.” Nat Prod Res. 2011 Sep; 25(16):1549-59. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21391110
12 Hagenacker T, Hillebrand I, Wissmann A, Büsselberg D, Schäfers M. “Anti-allodynic effect of the flavonoid myricetin in a rat model of neuropathic pain: Involvement of p38 and protein kinase C mediated modulation of Ca²+ channels. Eur J Pain. 2010 Nov; 14(10):992-8. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20471878/
13 Hyman BT, Van Hoesen GW, Damasio AR, Barnes CL. “Alzheimer's disease: cell-specific pathology isolates the hippocampal formation.” Science. 1984 Sep 14; 225(4667):1168-70. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6474172/
14 Ono K, Yoshiike Y, Takashima A, Hasegawa K, Naiki H, Yamada M. “Potent anti-amyloidogenic and fibril-destabilizing effects of polyphenols in vitro: implications for the prevention and therapeutics of Alzheimer's disease.” J Neurochem. 2003 Oct; 87(1):172-81. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12969264/
15 Matić S, Stanić S, Bogojević D, Vidaković M, Grdović N, Dinić S, Solujić S, Mladenović M, Stanković N, Mihailović M. “Methanol extract from the stem of Cotinus coggygria Scop., and its major bioactive phytochemical constituent myricetin modulate pyrogallol-induced DNA damage and liver injury.” Mutat Res. 2013 Aug 15; 755(2):81-9. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23830930/
16 Lian TW, Wang L, Lo YH, Huang IJ, Wu MJ . “Fisetin, morin and myricetin attenuate CD36 expression and oxLDL uptake in U937-derived macrophages.” Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Oct; 1781(10):601-9. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18662803/
17 Hodges LC, Kearse CE, Green K. “Intraocular pressure-lowering activity of phenolic antioxidants in normotensive rabbits.” Curr Eye Res. 1999 Sep; 19(3):234-40. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10487961/
18 Ong KC, Khoo HE. Effects of myricetin on glycemia and glycogen metabolism in diabetic rats. Life Sci. 2000 Aug 25; 67(14):1695-705. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11021354/
19 Chang CJ, Tzeng TF, Liou SS, Chang YS, Liu IM. “Myricetin Increases Hepatic Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor α Protein Expression and Decreases Plasma Lipids and Adiposity in Rats.” Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012():787152. Web: “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22474525/”
20 Naz S., Siddiqi R, Ahmad S, Rasool SA, Sayeed SA. “Antibacterial activity directed isolation of compounds from Punica granatum.” J Food Sci. 2007 Nov; 72(9):M341-5. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18034726/
21 Semwal D.K. et al. “Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities.” Nutrients. 2016 Feb; 8(2): 90. Published online 2016 Feb 16. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772053/
22 Song Y., Zhang Y.M., Xu J., Hua R. Periphery analgesic effect of myricetin on a rat model of inflammatory pain. Chin. Pharmacol. Bull. 2015;31:1108–1111. Web: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/284818983_Periphery_analgesic_effect_of_myricetin_on_a_rat_model_of_inflammatory_pain
23 Hsu YL, Chang JK, Tsai CH, Chien TT, Kuo PL. “Myricetin induces human osteoblast differentiation through bone morphogenetic protein-2/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.” Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Feb 15; 73(4):504-14. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17113042/