Quercetin vs Hydroxychloroquine: What's the Difference?

Hydroxychloroquine is among the handful of COVID-19 treatments that are being studied as potential candidates that might influence the outcome in the management of COVID-19. According to a real time meta-analysis of more than 200 studies, early treatment is most successful.

Hydroxychloroquine, Quercetin and EGCG (EpiGalloCatechin Gallate) are all zinc ionophores. Meaning they all transport zinc into the cells. 

We will dive deeper into the science for each of them.

Quercetin and COVID-19

Quercetin and zinc are part of the FLCCC and Zelenko protocols for the prevention and early treatment of COVID-19. As early as 2003, Quercetin was found to provide broad-spectrum protection against SARS coronavirus in the aftermath of the SARS epidemic that broke out across 26 countries. 

Quercetin has also been found to have antiviral activity in Influenza A, Ebola and Zika viruses. Now, some doctors are advocating its use against SARS-CoV-2, in combination with vitamin C, noting that the two have synergistic effects.
Quercetin

Quercetin acts as a zinc ionophore (PubMed 2014), the same mechanism of action that hydroxychloroquine has via helping zinc pass the cell wall where it might halt viral replication.

This zinc ionophore activity of quercetin facilitates the transport of zinc across the cell membrane. It is known that zinc will slow down the replication of coronavirus through inhibition of enzyme RNA polymerase (PubMed 2010). The COVID-19 is an RNA (RiboNucleicAcid) virus and requires the RNA polymerase to replicate. Do take note that the study publication was a 2010 publication and is referring to a different coronavirus as compared to the latest coronavirus (COVID-19); though both are from the same family of coronaviruses.

As of April 2022, there have been 8 published studies of quercetin against COVID-19. For the list of studies, check out c19quercetin.com.

Quercetin and Vitamin C

Incidentally, ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and the bioflavonoid quercetin (originally labeled vitamin P) were both discovered by the same scientist — Nobel prize winner Albert Szent-Györgyi. Quercetin and vitamin C also act as an antiviral drug, effectively inactivating viruses. 

The initial MATH+ protocol was released in April 2020. In early July and August, it was updated to include quercetin and a number of optional nutrients and drugs, not only for critical care but also for prophylaxis and mild disease being treated at home.

There is evidence that vitamin C and quercetin co-administration exerts a synergistic antiviral action due to overlapping antiviral and immunomodulatory properties and the capacity of ascorbate to recycle quercetin, increasing its efficacy.

Quercetin, zinc, vitamin D, C and melatonin and part of the latest FLCCC I-MASK+ protocol. For updated prevention and early outpatient protocol (COVID-19 positive), please check out FLCCC I-MASK+ protocol.




The AAPS recommends the following outpatient treatment protocol for COVID-19:
  • Quercetin oral 500 mg twice a day.
  • Vitamin C 3000 mg
  • Vitamin D3 5000 IU
  • Zinc sulphate 220 mg
Please take note the above dosages are relatively high and is meant for 'treatment'. If you wish to continue taking these nutrients for health maintenance, you'll need to go back to the usual 'RDA or RDI' dosages after you've recovered.

A word about quercetin: Some physicians are recommending this supplement to reduce viral illnesses because quercetin acts as a zinc ionophore to improve zinc uptake into cells. It is much less potent than HCQ (hydroxychloroquine) as a zinc transporter, and it does not reach high concentrations in lung cells that HCQ does. Quercetin may help reduce risk of viral illness if you are basically healthy. But it is not potent enough to replace HCQ for treatment of COVID once you have symptoms, and it does not adequately get into lung tissue unless you take massive doses (3-5 grams a day), which cause significant GI (gastrointestinal) side effects such as diarrhea.

A word about zinc: Zinc lozenges are preferred so that the tissues of the nose and throat are rich in zinc as soon as they encounter the virus. Inorganic zinc such as zinc sulfate, is not as effective or useable by your body as chelated zinc sources. 


Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19

Historically, hydroxychloroquine was discovered during efforts to synthesize alternatives to quinine as anti-malarials. Is quinine similar to hydroxychloroquine? Hydroxychloroquine and quinine are both anti-malarial drugs. However, hydroxychloroquine is not the same as quinine as hydroxychloroquine is a synthetic drug while quinine is a naturally occurring compound found in cinchona bark. 

Quinine, was first recognized as a potent antimalarial agent hundreds of years ago. Since then, the beneficial effects of quinine and its more advanced synthetic forms, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, have been increasingly recognized in a myriad of other diseases in addition to malaria.

Is quercetin same as quinine? No. Quercetin is a phytonutrient whereas quinine is a naturally occurring compound found in cinchona bark and was used as an antimalarial agent. However, both quercetin and quinine are known to have zinc ionophore properties i.e. they transport zinc into the cells. 

Hydroxychloroquine, developed in the 1950s from chloroquine, an old anti-malarial drug, is registered in around 60 countries under trade names such as Plaquenil, Quensyl and Plaquinol.
 
Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of Chloroquine is a widely used medication by people with lupus or arthritis. 

Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is not effective when used very late with high dosages over a long period (RECOVERY/SOLIDARITY), effectiveness improves with earlier usage and improved dosing. Early treatment consistently shows positive effects. Negative evaluations typically ignore treatment time, often focusing on a subset of late stage studies.

As of April 2022, there have been more than 30 studies of Hydroxychloroquine for early treatment with an overall average improvement of 64% as compared to the control groups.

Here’s a chart from c19early.com that shows that hydroxychloroquine performs better than ivermectin when given as early treatment in terms of risk reduction of dying from COVID-19:


The overall improvement for hydroxychloroquine is better than ivermectin (for early treatment); 72 % vs 43 % in terms of death rate. Importantly, hydroxychloroquine needs to be given 'early'.

The latest FLCCC I-MASK protocol has also incorporated hydroxychloroquine as part of the prevention and treatment protocols:
I-MASK protocol and hydroxychloroquine

The difference in terms of effectiveness for hydroxychloroquine is distinctly different when given early vs late treatment (75% vs 19%), as shown in the summary chart below:


The evidence tracking on Hydroxychloroquine versus COVID-19 is available at c19hcq.com (constantly updated).


Do you need a prescription for hydroxychloroquine?

Yes, hydroxychloroquine is a prescription drug and you do need it to be prescribed to you by a doctor.

Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19 Updates

June 9, 2021: Study shows hydroxychloroquine treatments increased coronavirus survival rate by almost three times.

Apr, 2021: Prevention study from Singapore (N=3,037) showed "Positive impact of oral hydroxychloroquine and povidone-iodine throat spray for COVID-19 prophylaxis: an open-label randomized trial."

Jan 24, 2021: Dr Vladimir Zelenko published a white paper on "Nebulized Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 Treatment: 80x Improvement in Breathing".

Conclusion

While treatments and supplements are important factors that might influence the COVID-19 outcomes, do take note that factors like pre-existing health conditions, especially high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity might elevate the risk. Take steps to control hypertension and blood sugar fluctuations with diabetes, as these conditions are associated with more severe disease if infected. This may also help you maintain a healthy weight, which is important because obesity has been associated with an increased risk of requiring intubation or dying among people hospitalized with COVID-19, particularly those under 65 years of age. Risk was 60% greater among those with severe obesity (BMI > 34.9 kg/m2) compared to patients of normal weight (BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 kg/m2) (Anderson, Annals Int Med 2020).

Viral infections like the COVID-19 also put added stress on your body, which can affect your blood pressure, heart rate, and overall heart function. That can raise your probability of having a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, make sure your blood pressure is well controlled during this pandemic.

Aside from supplements and preventive treatments, there are other ways that may help improve immune response and to prevent you from catching the coronavirus.
  • Wear protective face mask. This is to protect not only yourself but others.
  • Abundant evidence suggests that eating whole in fruits, vegetables and whole grains—all rich in networks of naturally occurring antioxidants and their helper molecules—provides protection against free radicals.
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Avoid Sugar, red meat and processed foods.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Try to minimize stress.
  • Drink enough water to keep your body hydrated.
  • Avoid excess alcohol.
  • Avoid crowded areas.
  • Regular physical activity (outdoor activities may not be allowed in countries with 'lock-down').
  • Consult your nearest local healthcare provider if you have any doubt.


More COVID-19 related topics > COVID-19

Just so you know, we may earn commission from shopping links. We rely on your support to fund our expenditure across our network. 


Over the counter products you can purchase on Amazon for COVID-19 prevention based on the FLCCC prevention protocol >
  • Vitamin D3: 1,000 - 3,000 IU daily (Amazon)
  • Vitamin C: 500 - 1,000 mg twice daily (Amazon)
  • Quercetin: 250 mg daily (Amazon)
  • Melatonin: 6 mg before bedtime (causes drowsiness) (Amazon)
  • Zinc: 30 - 40 mg/day (elemental zinc). Zinc lozenges are preferred. (Amazon)
Be aware that most of the dosages are above the recommended daily value and therefore should not be taken on a long term basis. 

Related item: Fingertip Pulse Oximeter (Amazon)

Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of third party sites. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your health care professional before using products based on this content.

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