Apples and onions may protect athletes from the flu, reports Food Quality News.
Researchers from the University of South Carolina and Clemson University conducted a study on mice that found stressful exercise increased the mices susceptibility to the flu, but quercetin--a compound found in onions and apples--was found to negate these effects.
It was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.
The reports says that if the results can be reproduced in humans, expect to see the compound in sports nutrition (onion-flavored energy drink, anyone?) to help those with heavy training regimens, such as endurance athletes and soldiers.
Lead researcher Mark Davis is quoted in the article: "Quercetin was used because of its documented widespread health benefits, which include antiviral activity, abundance in the diet and reported lack of side effects when used as a dietary supplement or food additive."
The article says a past study of quercetin showed health benefits including reduction of blood pressure in people with hypertension.
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