Hormesis and synergy: Pathways and mechanisms of quercetin in cancer prevention and management

Ashley J. Vargas, Randy Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

117 Scopus citations


Quercetin is a unique dietary polyphenol because it can exert biphasic dose-responses on cells depending on its concentration. Cancer preventative effects of quercetin are observed at concentrations of approximately 1-40 mMand are likely mediated by quercetin's antioxidant properties. Pro-oxidant effects are present at cellular concentrations of 40-100 mM. However, at higher concentrations, many novel pathways in addition to ROS contribute to its effects. The potent bioactivity of quercetin has led to vigorous study of this compound and revealed numerous pathways that could interact synergistically to prevent or treat cancer. The effect of intake and concentration on emerging pathways and how they may interact are discussed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-428
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition reviews
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010



  • Estrogen receptor
  • HSPs
  • P53
  • Quercetin
  • ROS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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