Myricetin is a natural substance found in many vegetables and fruits. It is a good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory with a range of potential benefits for the heart, brain, skin, and more. However, there isn’t a single clinical trial to confirm its effectiveness as a supplement. Read on to learn the benefits, food sources, and side effects of myricetin.
What is Myricetin?
Myricetin, also known as myricetol, is a naturally occurring compound that belongs to the group of chemicals known as flavonoids. Flavonoids are known for their antioxidant properties. Myricetin stands out in this group as a particularly strong antioxidant .
A variant of myricetin (dihydromyricetin or ampelopsin) likely gives the oriental raisin tree its “anti-hangover” properties. The oriental raisin tree has been used as a hangover cure, as it reduces the alcohol levels in the blood .
Myricetin is also attached to many sugar storing molecules in plants (glycosides). Glycosides in flowers of Roselle are beneficial for patients with high blood pressure, as they reduce blood pressure.
- May protect the brain and heart
- May help with diabetes
- May have anticancer properties
- May improve skin health and eyesight
- Not a single clinical trial
- May interact with certain drugs
- Long-term safety unknown
Myricetin occurs naturally in many vegetables and fruits along with other edible parts of plants. Red wine also contains myricetin .
Good sources of myricetin include:
- Oranges 
- Blueberry leaves 
- Japanese raisin tree (oriental raisin tree) 
- Grapes (grape seeds) 
- Broccoli 
- Cabbage 
- Peppers (red chili, green chili, bell peppers) 
- Garlic 
- Cashew (shoots) 
- Guava 
- French beans 
- Tomato 
- Apple 
- Green and black tea 
Myricetin interacts with enzymes and suppresses their activities (enzyme inhibition).
It inhibits phosphodiesterase enzymes (PDE), which are involved in inflammatory responses against injuries or toxins .
Myricetin also blocks aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Due to this effect, scientists have studied it for breast cancer prevention [9, 10].
Myricetin, like all flavonoids, has strong antioxidant properties [11, 12].
In a test tube study, the antioxidant activity of myricetin increased in the presence of ascorbic acid and iron .
Myricetin prevents human platelets (blood cells) from clotting, which is an important step in the inflammation process .
It also suppressed protein kinase enzymes, many of which act as signaling molecules during inflammation .
Myricetin also inhibited snake venom PLA2, which causes inflammation and pain .
Based on these effects, scientists are researching myricetin for chronic inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and atopic dermatitis .
Potential Health Benefits of Myricetin
Animal and Cellular Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of myricetin for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based studies; they should guide further investigational efforts but should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
1) Anticancer Properties
Myricetin was able to kill cancer cells and inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer in lab animals .
Since myricetin is a good antioxidant, it protects DNA from oxidative damage, which greatly contributes to cancer development [18, 19].
However, it can also act as a pro-oxidant in the presence of certain ions such as copper. In this form (myricetin-copper complexes), myricetin is toxic to cancer cells causing cell death (apoptosis). Copper-myricetin complexes produce reactive oxygen species that break DNA in cancer cells [20, 21].
Cisplatin, in combination with myricetin, increased inhibition of cancer cell growth and increased cell death compared to cisplatin by itself .
In test tubes, myricetin suppressed cervical, brain, blood, prostate, colon, and other types of cancer cells [23, 24, 25, 26, 27].
The above research is promising, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the actual anticancer effects of myricetin in humans. At this point, it can’t be recommended for cancer prevention or treatment.
2) Brain Protection
The progression of Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with an increased phosphorylation of tau proteins. According to cellular research, myricetin may slow down this process .
It also blocks β-amyloid aggregates formation, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease .
Myricetin improved spatial learning in mice subjected to stress. This improvement was associated with its ability to increase BDNF in the hippocampus .
In cell-based studies, it increased the activity of GABA-A receptors, which play a central role in brain functions and mental health [30, 31, 32].
3) Heart Disease
In test tubes, myricetin protects the heart from impaired blood flow by inhibiting the activation of STAT-1 .
Myricetin treatment caused a 27% decrease in cholesterol deposition in blood vessels of guinea pigs .
In rats, myricetin reduced oxidative damage and high blood pressure. It also slowed down the heart rate and reduced sodium in the urine .
In rats, myricetin treatment decreased high blood sugar by 50% within a couple of days of treatment .
Myricetin also increased glucose uptake by muscles and other cells [37, 38].
5) Skin Protection
Myricetin inhibits the Fyn protein, which is associated with skin cancer in the presence of UV rays .
It also suppresses RAF kinase enzyme, which is responsible for wrinkle formation in the skin .
In test tubes, myricetin-3-O-β-rhamnoside (myricetin with an added rhamnose sugar) boosted skin regeneration and wound healing .
Cataracts are one of the most common eyesight problems of the elderly. Due to its antioxidant and glucose-balancing properties, myricetin prevented cataract formation in rats .
Myricetin protects retinal cells. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help in relieving retinal swelling (macular edema) .
In rats, myricetin was effective at relieving pain .
Myricetin acted as an anti-allergen in mice allergic to egg white .
Limitations and Caveats
The available myricetin studies were performed in test tubes, cells, or animals. In the absence of clinical evidence, myricetin can’t be recommended for any health condition.
Myricetin Side Effects & Precautions
Keep in mind that the safety profile of myricetin is relatively unknown, given the lack of clinical studies. The list of side effects below is not a definite one, and you should consult your doctor about other potential side effects, based on your health condition and possible drug or supplement interactions.
You should avoid inhaling myricetin because it may cause shortness of breath.
Protective gloves and goggles should be used when handling myricetin. It causes skin, eye, and respiratory irritation .
Children and pregnant women should avoid poorly researched supplements such as myricetin.
Supplement-drug interactions can be dangerous and, in rare cases, even life-threatening. Always consult your doctor before supplementing and let them know about all drugs and supplements you are using or considering.
Myricetin improved the uptake of tamoxifen (for cancer), doxorubicin (increased uptake only when taken orally to treat cancer), and losartan (to treat high blood pressure) .
The rate of increased uptake of drugs was directly related to the dose of myricetin.
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Most of the users are happy with the results they are getting. Users have shown satisfaction over the ability of myricetin to maintain blood pressure, weight, and blood glucose.
Some of the users had a neutral opinion after using myricetin as they weren’t sure if they were getting results specifically due to myricetin since they were using other supplements too.
No major side effects were reported.