Dietary quercetin intake is suggested to be health promoting, but this assumption is mainly based on mechanistic studies performed in vitro. Previously, we identified rat lung as a quercetin target tissue. To assess relevant in vivo health effects of quercetin, we analyzed mechanisms of effect in rat lungs of a chronic (41 weeks) 1% quercetin diet using whole genome microarrays. We show here that fatty acid catabolism pathways, like beta-oxidation and ketogenesis, are up-regulated by the long-term quercetin intervention. Up-regulation of genes (Hmgcs2, Ech1, Acox1, Pcca, Lpl and Acaa2) was verified and confirmed by quantitative real time PCR. In addition, free fatty acid levels were decreased in rats fed the quercetin diet, confirming that quercetin affects fatty acid catabolism. This in vivo study demonstrates for the first time that fatty acid catabolism is a relevant process that is affected in rats by chronic dietary quercetin.