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Eating capers activates key proteins in the brain and heart

If you enjoy capers, we have good news for you. According to a new study, a commonly found compound in pickled capers, quercetin, activates proteins required for normal human brain and heart activity.

The study, which was published in Communications Biology, found that quercetin can directly regulate proteins required for bodily processes such as the heartbeat, thought, muscular contraction, and normal functioning of the thyroid, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract.

They found that quercetin, a plant-derived bioflavonoid, modulates potassium ion channels in the KCNQ gene family. These channels are highly influential in human health and their dysfunction is linked to several common human diseases, including diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, and epilepsy.

If you’re not familiar with capers, they are the unopened flower buds of the prickly caper plant Capparis spinosa. Capers have been used as folk medicine for hundreds if not thousands of years. Now it seems capers are the perfect snack for both their olive-like taste and their health benefits. 

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