Best Natural Antihistamines for Histamine Intolerance

Best Natural Antihistamines for Histamine Intolerance

Best Natural Antihistamines for Histamine Intolerance

Histamine release causes allergic symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes, and skin rashes which is a normal immune response to allergens.

That is why we reach for antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec.  But maybe we should be looking at what we are eating or perhaps foods that are natural antihistamines.

Histamine is released as a natural immune response to help protect the body and as an excitatory neurotransmitter (brain chemical) to give us that get up and go feeling.

Because histamine has many different roles in our bodies, high histamine symptoms can be extremely varied.

  • Migraines, Headaches
  • Brain Fog
  • Nausea
  • IBS – Both Constipation & Diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • PMS – Estrogen Imbalances
  • Thyroid Dysfunction
  • Nerve & Muscle Pain
  • Allergic Symptoms
  • Autoimmune Flares – Hashimoto's, Psoriasis

We can also get histamine from our diet from foods that are high in histamine like fermented foods.

If we develop histamine intolerance or the inability to manage histamine levels, this can increase histamine levels and the symptoms of histamine intolerance.

What is Histamine Intolerance?

Histamine intolerance is a food intolerance that is becoming increasingly more common.

Like most food intolerances, it involves a lack of enzymes that help to breakdown compounds like lactose (milk sugar) and histamine from foods.

For instance, with lactose intolerance, the symptoms usually involve digestive issues like diarrhea and gas.

Digestive disturbances with lactose intolerance are due to a lack of an enzyme called lactase.

Most food intolerances, once identified, can easily be managed by avoiding certain foods. Or, we can supplement with digestive enzymes like lactase.

What makes histamine intolerance more challenging to manage is the fact that our bodies produce histamine.  And, almost all foods contain some level of histamine.  There is no such thing as a “histamine-free diet.”

We become intolerant to histamine when we cannot correctly manage histamine levels, including lack of particular enzymes, poor gut health, nutrient deficiencies, and genetics.

Can Antihistamine Medications Help Reduce Symptoms of Histamine Intolerance?

Since I have struggled with histamine intolerance, I would love to say yes.  Popping a Claritin would be a lot easier than always avoiding foods high in histamine that I love, like wine and fermented foods.

But I am afraid that in most cases, medications like Benadryl won't work to reduce histamine intolerance symptoms, especially migraines and headaches.

Antihistamine medications act by blocking the cell receptors' response to histamine.  The target of these medications is predominately targeting our immune response to allergens.  

So, it will help with an allergic reaction but not for other symptoms of histamine intolerance like headaches, IBS, and anxiety.

What are Natural Antihistamines and Do They Work?

Many natural antihistamines reduce histamine by either reducing inflammation or by blocking histamine production from the mast cells.

Chronic inflammation increases the release of histamine and is a significant contributor to histamine intolerance. 

Therefore an anti-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean Diet can be very effective at reducing histamine levels.

Other natural antihistamines help support DAO production, the key enzyme that blocks histamine absorption from our food and degrades histamine.

Foods Rich Polyphenols Reduces Inflammation & Histamine

Some of the foods rich in polyphenols or bioactives are not just anti-inflammatory; they reduce histamine production, acting as a natural antihistamine.

One study found that watercress, a cruciferous vegetable, inhibited up to 60% of histamines released.  Watercress is very rich in vitamins and compounds that significantly inhibited histamine release.

Watercress is challenging to find in the grocery store and very seasonal.  Would other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower have the same antihistamine qualities?

Considering that cruciferous vegetables are high in bioactives, I would bet that they are a natural antihistamine.

Other foods, herbs, and spices that have been shown to have antihistamine qualities are:

  • Moringa – A SuperFood 
  • Chamomile Tea or Supplement
  • Ginger, Galangal (Tai ginger)
  • Turmeric
  • Apples, Peaches
  • Brazil Nuts – Due to their high selenium content.

 

Vitamin C as Supplement is a Powerful Antihistamine

Besides vitamin B6, vitamin C is vital to DAO production (diamine oxidase), the enzyme that degrades histamine.

DAO also blocks the absorption of histamine from our food in our gut.  Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C is a powerful antihistamine.

Some evidence shows that synthetic vitamin C can be high in histamine as the majority of synthetic vitamin C or ascorbic acid comes from fermented corn. 

If you are sensitive to corn or are concerned with the potential histamine levels of ascorbic acid, Perfect Acerola might be a better choice for you as it is just one ingredient that comes from acerola cherries. 

Supplementing with vitamin C does come with challenges, however. 

Using vitamin C as an antihistamine requires larger dosages, upwards of 2000 mg. per day, to be effective.  This large of a dosage can cause digestive disturbances like diarrhea, gas, and heartburn.

You can also use vitamin C that has added minerals like this one, which reduces these negative side effects. 

Taking it throughout the day also will reduce heartburn or stomach upset from this large of a dosage.

When Not to Supplement With Vitamin C as An Antihistamine

Besides causing digestive disturbances, vitamin C in large dosage can cause oxalate toxicity.  Oxalate toxicity can lead to kidney stones, nerve and muscle pain, as well as joint pain.

We absorb oxalates from our food, and the body produces oxalates.  Vitamin C is one of the vital nutrients that are needed to make oxalates.

Several studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C can lead to oxalate toxicity.

Also, vitamin C can lead to iron toxicity.  Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron from our food which is excellent if you are iron anemic.

But if you are not, then you could absorb too much iron leading to oxidative stress and chronic inflammation from too much iron.  And, this will increase your histamine levels.

 

Quercetin and Stinging Nettle – Can They Replace Antihistamine Medications?

Quercetin is a polyphenol found in many foods, with one of the rich sources from the Allium or onion family.  Foods like green onions, garlic, leeks, yellow onions, and red onions are rich in quercetin.

But you would have to consume a large amount of these foods to have the same effect as an antihistamine medication.

Stinging nettle is a common medicinal herb found in teas and supplements and is a potent antihistamine.

As seen with HistaEze by Designs for Health, combining quercetin, stinging nettle, and vitamin C is a powerful natural antihistamine.  You are less likely to experience vitamin C's adverse side effects with a lower vitamin C dosage.

When should you not take a large dosage of quercetin? While quercetin is very effective at reducing histamine levels, it can also “down-regulate” the enzymes known as catechol-O-Methyltransferase or COMT.

COMT helps to degrade dopamine and estrogen to help balance our neurotransmitters and estrogen levels.  If you have a reduced COMT as I do, taking large dosage of quercetin may lead to anxiety and estrogen imbalances.  If you do not know your genomics or have a reduced COMT, start slowly with 250 mg. per day and increase to 500 mg.

On the other hand, a fast COMT can lead to decreased dopamine levels, and you may benefit from taking quercetin.  Are you ready to find out more about genomics testing?  

 

Could Fiber be a Natural Antihistamine?

Allergies and histamine intolerance have become more prevalent while the Western diet has become very low in fiber-rich foods.  Could there be a connection?

A recent study determined if fiber-rich foods and the metabolites produced in the gut from fiber reduced histamine levels.

They found that specific fibers, including resistant starch, helped regulate mast cells and reduce histamine levels!

Fiber also helps produce anti-inflammatory compounds like butyrate that reduce inflammation in the gut and help resolve IBS and IBD.

The fiber blend in FiberMend is an excellent combination of different types of fiber that help to rebuild and heal the gut reducing release of histamine.  Get 15% off with FREE shipping on on orders over $50.00 by signing up with my Fullscript Account.  Easy to sign up – no code necessary!

Whereas fiber in itself cannot act as an antihistamine, it does help regulate mast cell release of histamine.

It is not uncommon for my clients to have IBS, histamine intolerance, and allergies.

Resolving their digestion conditions helps overcome their histamine intolerance, allowing them to enjoy fermented foods, cheese, and even wine!

 

Choline Deficiency May Make Your Histamine Intolerance Worse

Choline Deficiency May Make Your Histamine Intolerance Worse

Choline Deficiency Make Your Histamine Intolerance Worse

Are you avoiding eggs because they are high in histamine?  You may be making your histamine intolerance worse by avoiding eggs that are high in choline! 

Eggs are often referred to as being high in histamine.  But are they?  The egg whites are histamine liberators while the yolk which contains choline is actually low in histamine.

Choline is one of the most overlooked essential nutrients, and deficiencies are becoming more common, especially in post-menopausal women. 

Often referred to as a B-vitamin, choline plays a crucial role in the B-vitamin cycle or what is known as methylation.

Since our bodies make choline, it is not a vitamin as vitamins are considered nutrients that the body needs but does not make.   If the body makes choline, why has it been declared as an essential nutrient?

Many different factors, including your genetics, can increase our need for choline.  Research shows that choline's pathway is insufficient to support our body's needs, making choline a vital nutrient.

Choline Plays Many Crucial Roles Making it an Essential Nutrient

Every cell in our body depends on choline as it makes up our cellular membrane by providing phosphatidylcholine (PC) or structure to our cell walls. 

A healthy cellular membrane means that the right things like nutrients are going into our cells.  And that our cells are removing the bad stuff – making for healthy cells.

Choline also is used to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter or brain signaling chemical that is involved in learning, memory, and attention.

This neurotransmitter also plays a role in digestion by signally the production of digestive enzymes.  Are you taking digestive enzymes? 

Maybe you should increase your intake of choline-rich foods like eggs instead.

But most importantly, choline is used to make betaine, a compound that helps to recycle homocysteine in the process known as methylation.

Whew – what does that mean?  Methylation is a significant pathway in our bodies that produces SAMe.  And SAMe supports the enzyme histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT), which helps to breakdown histamine.

How Can Choline Reduce Histamine Intolerance Symptoms?

The breakdown of histamine, especially the histamine produced by our bodies, depends on methylation and folate. 

Folate and vitamin B2 are vital nutrients in methylation that provide SAMe and support for histamine N-Methyltransferase (HNMT), which helps break down histamine.

However, the body can also get SAMe from recycling homocysteine, which depends on choline, reducing the need for folate.

Reducing the need for folate is even more critical if you have genetic variants in folate like MTHFD1.  Research shows that if you have a variant in MTHFD1, you will have an increased need for choline.

How does choline help to recycle homocysteine?  Choline can be converted to betaine, which acts as a methyl donor promoting the recycling of homocysteine.

Recycling homocysteine not only produces more SAMe, it also reduces homocysteine levels which has been shown to be pro-inflammatory.

By providing support for HNMT, the histamine produced by your body is broken down and eliminated, reducing histamine levels. 

You can enjoy that glass of wine with pizza and not have to worry about getting a nasty skin rash or headache a few hours later.

Whereas choline is converted to betaine, betaine is also found in many different foods.  Some of the richest sources of betaine are beets, quinoa, wheat germ, and spinach. 

By providing choline and betaine in your diet, you can support histamine's healthy breakdown reducing symptoms of histamine intolerance.

Can a Deficiency in Choline Increase Histamine Intolerance Symptoms?

Histamine intolerance is becoming increasingly common and is often seen with autoimmune conditions, poor gut health, and allergies.

Fluoroquinolone toxicity or other chronic conditions like Lyme disease and mold toxicity can also increase the likelihood of histamine intolerance.

This is because histamine is one of the key players in our immune system response to toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Symptoms of histamine intolerance can significantly vary as histamine plays so many different roles from the production of stomach acid, hormonal balance, brain health, and of course, our immune system.

Even our mental health is affected by high histamine levels, leading to anxiety and lack of focus. Because choline plays a crucial role in support of methylation and the production of the enzyme, histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT), a deficiency may increase your histamine levels.

Since we also get histamine from our diet, your high levels of histamine will increase your intolerance to foods rich in histamines like preserved meats and fermented foods.

 

Bodybio PC – Phospholipid Complex

Increased Bioavailability: Most phosphatidylcholines in the market are lecithin packed in oil, which inhibits absorption. BodyBio PC is a pure liposomal phospholipid complex — avoids digestive breakup by forming liposomes; the pure phospholipids are not broken apart and are instantly utilized, re-building every cell in your body. 

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But What are Signs that You Might be Deficient in Choline?

Since choline is every cell of our bodies, symptoms can be extremely varied.  One of key symptoms is increased fat in the liver. 

How do you know if you have a “fatty liver”?  The best way to find out is to make sure that you have a Comprehensive Metabolic Panel that looks your liver enzymes either done by your doctor or through functional medicine practitioner.  

Other Symptoms of Choline Deficiency

  • Muscle Damage
  • Nerve Dysfunction
  • Poor Digestion
  • Gallbladder Dysfunction
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Glutamate Intolerance
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Elevated Liver Enzymes
  • High Homocysteine Levels
  • Mental Health – High Anxiety

One of the most overlook roles of choline is acetylcholine production, which in turn reduces glutamate “spikes”, which can increase anxiety. 

One study found that women who had higher choline intake also had the lowest anxiety levels.  This is also extremely important if you have genetic variants in GAD1 – glutamate metabolism.

 What Foods Are Rich in Choline that Can Reduce Histamine Intolerance?

There is no doubt that when I went to look up foods that are high in choline, it seemed like there was quite a bit of confusion.  One thing is for sure is that eggs and liver are the highest in choline.  But who likes liver?

If you are histamine intolerant, remember that egg whites are a histamine liberator and can increase histamine levels.  Egg yolks on the other hand, are not high in histamine and is where you will find choline. 

Other foods high in choline are:

  • Beef Liver
  • Wheat Germ
  • Eggs
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli

Good sources of betaine (another form of choline) are quinoa, beets, and wheat germ.  Betaine is used in the process known as methylation which helps to support HNMT and reduce histamine intolerance symptoms.

Are there Genomics or Genetics That Increase Your Need for Choline?

Our body makes choline through a very complicated pathway in the liver that depends on the enzyme phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase or PEMT.

Having a genetic variant or reduced PEMT enzyme can increase your need for choline from your diet.

Some studies have shown that 80% of women who were homozygous for this variant showed signs of choline depletion – liver and muscle dysfunction. Research does show that having variants in folate like MTHFD1 will increase your need for choline as folate will less available to promote methylation.

Other variants in methylation impact your need for choline, like MTHFR, MTR, MTRR, and MAT1, which will also increase your demand for additional choline.  How do you know if you have these variants?

Supplements

Should You Supplement with Choline?

The best way to safely supplement with choline is to incorporate lecithin into your diet.  You will benefit the most from using an organic sunflower or soy lecithin blending into a smoothie.  You can also use in salad dressings as an emulsifier.  My favorite organic sunflower lecithin is this one.

Using lecithin instead of supplementing with choline, you will lower the risk of forming too much trimethylamine -N-oxide (TMAO).  TMAO is a natural compound that has known to increase cardiovascular disease risk.

However, if you want to supplement with choline, it is vital to use the right form depending on your needs.  For instance, betaine or trimethylglycine (TMG) is very helpful for promoting methylation and reducing histamine intolerance.

Rather than supplement with betaine (TMG) alone,  I recommend that you look for betaine or TMG in a methylation support product like this one.

Phosphatidylcholine is another form of choline that has been shown to benefit gallbladder health, fat digestion, and fatty liver conditions.   Lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine, so you should get what you need from lecithin.

However, if you choose to supplement with capsules, then I recommend BodyBio PC, which has three phospholipids types making it more beneficial.

For brain and nerve health, especially if you struggle with fluoroquinonal toxicity, I recommend the form known as alpha-GPC.   The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is produced from this form of choline and supports brain and gut health.

You can receive 15% off the recommended supplements by signing up for my FullScript account on these products.

Purchase products through our Fullscript virtual dispensary.

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How to Overcome Oxalate Toxicity and Avoid Oxalate Dumping

How to Overcome Oxalate Toxicity and Avoid Oxalate Dumping

How to Overcome Oxalate Toxicity and Avoid Oxalate Dumping

Green smoothies full of spinach, kale, and made with almond milk may seem like a great idea to clean up your diet.  But it also might be the cause of your oxalate toxicity.

Superfoods like spinach, kale, and nuts are high in oxalates, and typically our bodies naturally eliminate them through healthy digestion and elimination.  However, if oxalates are not eliminated safely and start to build up, this can lead to many health consequences like painful kidney stones.

Oxalate toxicity leads to high levels of oxalates in the urine or what is referred to as hyperoxaluria.  If oxalates are not eliminated properly through the gut, they end up in the kidneys where they don't belong.  There are two types of hyperoxaluria, primary and secondary.

There are genetic mutations with primary hyperoxaluria, which is the most common form of oxalate toxicity.  

In the case of these genetic variances, you would have to maintain a low oxalate diet and monitor your kidney health.  The organic acid test (OAT) will help identify if there is a possible genetic variance that could be the cause of your of your high oxalates.  

You can determine if you have these genetic mutations with the organic acid test and genomics testing.

However, secondary hyperoxaluria has many causes, including increased dietary intake of oxalates, poor gut health, and reduced ability to absorb fat properly.  In addition, dysbiosis or imbalances in gut bacteria can lead to increased absorption of oxalates.

 

Where do We get Oxalates?

The primary source of oxalates is from our diet.  Juicing with vegetables and fruits like spinach, kale, beetroot, kiwi, along with nut milk, is exceptionally high in oxalates.  Along with increased fluids from the juicing, the oxalates are more readily absorbed into the gut and not adequately eliminated.

We also can get high oxalates from excessive intake of the building blocks of oxalates as our bodies produce oxalates. 

For instance, over supplementing with vitamin C, a significant nutrient needed to form oxalates, can increase production.

The compound hydroxyproline, a major component of collagen, is also broken down into oxalates.

Could consuming supplemental collagen that is so popular these days lead to high oxalates?

The answer to this is not clear, but with poor gut health and nutrient deficiencies like vitamin B6, supplementing with collagen can potentially lead to oxalate toxicity.

How do We Get Oxalate Toxicity?

One of the significant causes of oxalate toxicity is poor digestion and fat malabsorption.  When we eat foods high in fat, the liver and gallbladder release bile.

Bile does two things; breakdowns fat into small globules for easy absorption and binds oxalate to calcium for elimination.

Without bile from your liver and gallbladder, you would not be able to absorb and digest fat properly.  Also, oxalates would not be eliminated, leading to oxalate toxicity.

So instead of removing the oxalates, you absorb them instead, increasing your toxicity.

Nutrient deficiencies can also come into play here, especially vitamin B6 as it is a critical co-factor in the breakdown of oxalates into glycine (a significant protein building block).

The microbiome helps to reduce oxalates as they are the energy source for bacteria known as oxalobacter formigenes.

Imbalances in the gut microbiota like candida (yeast) overgrowth can impact the diversity in bacteria, including oxalobacter formigenes that help reduce oxalate absorption.  Again, here we are back to the gut.

Calcium with Meals Eliminates Oxalates Safely

Remember that bile can combine oxalates with calcium forming a complex that we cannot absorb.  This complex is then eliminated through the stool.  By taking calcium supplementation with meals, you can promote the elimination of oxalates safely.  And save your kidneys from forming kidney stones.

A great product that contains calcium with other minerals is Pure Encapsulations, Calcium Magnesium Citrate.  This supplement also addresses mineral deficiencies like magnesium, often seen with oxalate toxicity.

Remember taking calcium on an empty stomach will lead to oxalate kidney stones; always take it with meals.

You can also eat foods high in calcium like dairy products to help the elimination of oxalates.  Ironically, plant-based foods high in calcium are not as effective because the calcium is not readily absorbed.

 

What are the Symptoms of Oxalate Toxicity?

The number one and most painful symptom of oxalate toxicity is kidney stones.  Because oxalates have a crystal-like structure, they can combine with minerals and form complexes.  These complexes can become embedded into tissue and glands like the thyroid leading to a myriad of symptoms.

Oxalate absorption causes a deficiency in sulfate, a nutrient that plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut, detoxification, and strengthening our bones, ligaments, and tendons.

Wow!  Both sulfate and oxalates depend on the same transporter; whatever we have the most of wins.  For every oxalate molecule absorbed, we lose a sulfate molecule.

For this reason, symptoms of oxalate toxicity also are related to sulfate deficiency, such as hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances.

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Insomnia
  • Joint & Nerve Pain
  • Eye Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Kidney Stones (calcium oxalate), Gout
  • Thyroid Issues – Hormonal Imbalances
  • Gluten Intolerance
  • IBS – Diarrhea, Constipation or Both
  • Neurotransmitter Imbalance – Low Serotonin
  • Mineral Deficiencies – Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium

How Do You Determine if You Have Oxalate Toxicity?

The best way to test for oxalate toxicity is the organic acid test.  This simple at-home test also tests for candida (yeast) and fungal infections.  Candida overgrowth has been found to promote oxalate toxicity and must be addressed to overcome high oxalates.

Other values on the OAT test, like nutrient values, open the door for healing opportunities by addressing the underlying cause of your oxalate toxicity.

How to Overcome Oxalate Toxicity?

Whereas avoiding foods high in oxalates seems like the logical first step, you would also be avoiding some of the keys foods that are high in sulfur like kale. 

Kale and other green leafy vegetables are also high in crucial nutrients that help you detox, support methylation, and heal the gut.

Even chocolate contains key antioxidants; won't it be great to eat chocolate without worry about oxalates?

The three key ways to reduce oxalates are to support the liver/gallbladder, address mineral deficiencies, balance the microbiome, and gradually reduce foods high in oxalates.

By gradually reducing foods high in oxalates, you will avoid the condition known as oxalate dumping, making your symptoms worse.

What is Oxalate Dumping?

When you drastically reduce foods that contain oxalates, the oxalates that have accumulated will start to move.  Oxalates have a crystal-like structure with sharp edges and create pain as they begin to move out of tissue like the thyroid and into the bloodstream.  Symptoms of oxalate dumping are:

  • Sandy, Grainy Stool
  • Pain w/Urination
  • Moodiness, Irritability
  • Painful Bowel Movement

To avoid oxalate dumping, start very gradually by reducing high oxalate foods by 5-10% per week.  The best way to do this is to start by eliminating the high oxalate foods my Low Oxalate Food Guide.

Better yet, you can use Cronometer that tracks not just your nutrition, but oxalates!  End the madness looking at food lists and know how many oxalates you are consuming.  You can also set goals and limits on oxalates ensuring you are not going over your limit (depends on how high your oxalates are on your organic acid test).

Eat Smarter, Live Better

How do Your Support the Liver/Gallbladder Reducing Oxalates?

By helping your liver and gallbladder to produce bile, you will eliminate the oxalates safely.  The added bonus would be improved fat absorption and better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins; A, D, E, and K.  Start by making sure you are consuming a diet that contains healthy fats; low-fat diets are the perfect way to clog up the gallbladder and liver.

For additional support and healthy elimination of oxalates and reducing fat malabsorption, I recommend using  LV-GB Complex by Designs for Health.

This product contains everything you need to improve gallbladder and liver function.  And to eliminate oxalates safely, reducing oxalate toxicity.  

LV-GB Complex™ is a comprehensive formula designed to support bile flow for the normal processing and elimination of toxins including oxalates through the specific combination of nutrients and herbs in this formula.

By supporting liver and gallbladder function, LV-GB Complex™ assists with the elimination of fatty substances from the liver, with the digestion and assimilation of fats and fat-soluble vitamins.*

LV-GB Complex

Ditch the Sugar – Balanced Microbiome

Since yeast and fungal overgrowth is often seen with high oxalates, it is recommended that you reduce sugar and fruit to help reduce yeast or candida overgrowth.

By reducing candida overgrowth, you can rebuild the microbiome's diversity, increasing the oxalobacter formigenes that use oxalates for energy.

Ultimately, an organic acid test or at-home stool test like VIOME GUT TEST would give you the right direction to help rebuild your microbiota with the right probiotics and prebiotics.  Just taking probiotics does not improve diversity unless you have removed the overgrowth first, and in some cases can make it worse.

To rebalance the gut, you must address the overgrowth and “reseed” your garden with the right probiotics and prebiotics.

The best probiotics to help rebalance the gut are soil probiotics – Designs for Health Probiospore Probiotics.

Probiospore Probiotics

ProbioSpore™ is an industry-leading broad-spectrum, targeted, spore-based probiotic used to optimize gastrointestinal (GI) health.*

Spore-based strains such as Bacillus are vital to the food chain, as they have the intrinsic ability to produce a multitude of enzymes, secretory proteins, antimicrobial compounds, vitamins, and carotenoids helping to rebuild the microbiome and reduce oxalates.

Find Out What is Causing your Oxalate Toxicity

The organic acid test (OAT) is the gold standard for determining if you have oxalate toxicity and how you can overcome high oxalates and enjoy chocolate again!

Too often, we go down the road of eliminating foods hoping to resolve our symptoms.  And, don't get down to the cause.   For instance, high supplementation with vitamin C (over 500 mg per day) can lead to high oxalates.  

Pretty soon, we are eliminating foods that are high in key nutrients, like sulfur, which can worsen your symptoms.

Oxalate toxicity is an excellent example of why just eliminating the foods will not resolve the problem.

And, it will make things worse as so many foods high in oxalates like nuts, kale, spinach, and lentils are high in the nutrients you need to heal the gut, resolve autoimmune, and overcome Cipro toxicity.

 

Could Your Allergies Be A Food Sensitivity or Intolerance?

Could Your Allergies Be A Food Sensitivity or Intolerance?

nWe often blame our sniffling, sneezing, and watery eyes on those spring flowers, budding trees, and of course, grasses.  But for some of us, we have these allergic reactions year-round – can’t blame that on spring flowers and the budding trees.

Maybe it is not an allergy to something in our environment but to something that we have eaten.  That skin rash or sneezing after we ate something could be a food allergy.  Or, it could a food intolerance.

So, if you are not getting a response from taking medications like an antihistamine, your symptoms might from a food allergy or food intolerance.

But is there a difference between food allergies and food intolerances?

What is a Food Allergy?

Most food allergies are followed with an immediate response and involve skin rashes, swollen lips, and/or tongue and in some cases stuffy nose.  They are also not “dose-dependent”; in other words, you only need to eat a bite to get a reaction.

You will have a higher chance of having a food allergy if you have environmental allergies as there is cross-reaction with environmental allergens and certain foods.

So, if you are allergic to ragweed, there is a high probability that you will be allergic to cucumbers.  Get my guide to see if your environmental allergies might be related to food allergies. 

How can you tell if you have a food allergy?  Well, the immediate reaction is the first clue.  Eat a bite of an apple, get swollen lips, there is a good chance you are allergic to apples.

You can be tested for food allergies using a skin prick test but it is very inaccurate.  Blood or serum tests for food allergies are also highly inaccurate.

If you are going to test for food allergies, make sure that the test is testing for what is referred to as the IgE response, not IgG response.  How do you know?  Check with the lab or the practitioner that you are working with.

Most of the inexpensive and common lab testing for food sensitivities only test for IgG response which is very inaccurate.  Testing for food sensitivities is completely different than testing for food allergies.  Testing for food sensitivities tests for reactions to the sugars in food while testing for food allergies tests for the proteins in food.

Are Food Sensitivities the Same as Food Allergies?

In a nutshell, no.  First, food sensitivities are dosage-dependent and secondly, the reaction is delayed.  So that omelet with 3 eggs may take until the evening to get a response.

Food sensitivity reactions are usually constipation, diarrhea, headaches, joint pain, and brain fog versus the runny nose or sniffles.

The most accurate food sensitivity testing is MRT from Oxford Labs.  Why?  Because they test multiple immune responses to 170 foods and chemicals.   The MRT test is one of the few lab tests that tests for chemicals; some of these chemicals relate to food intolerances like tyramine (think red wine).

Tyramine is a also a close “cousin” to histamine; if you are sensitive to tyramine most likely you are also histamine intolerant.  By the way, both share the genes that help to degrade them.

 

But What About Food Intolerances?

The  most common food intolerance that causes allergic reaction in some people is histamine intolerance.

Most food intolerances are caused by lack of an enzyme or poor gut health (poor microbiome) which supports the breakdown of common food chemicals like histamine and say lactose from dairy products.

Histamine is found the highest in fermented foods, preserved meats, cheese, canned fish and alcoholic beverages.  For some people they will react with sneezing and sniffling after they consume enough histamine rich foods.

Others will react with headaches, migraines, GERD or heartburn, and low blood pressure (some will have high blood pressure depending on their genes).

Almost all food intolerances are related to genomics – nutrigenomics including histamine, lactose, and tryamine.  Certain gene variants will reduce the enzyme function that breakdown food chemicals like histamine, lactose, sulfur, and tyramine.  Other genes will promote histamine production making it harder to balance histamine.

Food intolerance testing – it is very difficult to test for food intolerances and usually a trial and error.  A nutrigenomics test is a great first step as this takes a great deal of work out of the process.

Because histamine intolerance originates in the gut and the predominant enzymes that degrades histamine in mostly produced in our gut, testing for intestinal permeability and the DAO enzyme is currently the most accurate way to test for histamine intolerance.  The best test for this the Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment Test by Precision Point.

Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment Package

Ever Notice that We Get Allergies as We Get Older?

Maybe it is really is histamine intolerance?  Ever notice those “allergies” get worse as we get older?  There might be a connection here.

As we get older, our digestion can become impaired.  For one, we produce less gastric acid as we get older which means we don’t absorb nutrients from our or breakdown food very well.

It doesn’t help that we also start taking digestive aids like proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec or H2 blockers (Zantac); both of which lower stomach acid reducing the breakdown of foods.

This also leads to partially broken-down food in our digestive system which can feed opportunistic bacteria like yeast in our gut.

Managing histamine levels depends on a healthy gut, balanced microbiota, and nutrients like vitamin B6.  It has been shown that some bacteria actually produce histamine and if you have an overgrowth this will make your more histamine intolerant.

Nutrients like vitamin B6 helps us to produce the enzymes known as diamine oxidase (DAO).  DAO helps to block the absorption of too much histamine and with a reduced function of DAO, it can lead to intolerance.

Managing histamine intolerance can be a challenge but you can reduce your symptoms with natural antihistamine or use dietary supplements that contain quercetin like Thorne's Quercetin Phytosome.

Thorne Quercetin Antihistamine

Nutrigenomics & Histamine Intolerance

For me, my discovery of my histamine intolerance was just using a food journal and trying to connect the dots to my migraines. 

After a while, I realized that the combination of red wine, pizza was sure to trigger for migraine the next day.  All foods are high in histamine even the tomato sauce.

After getting my first genomic test it became crystal clear why had such a tendency towards histamine intolerance.  I had many variants in the pathway that helps to breakdown histamine or block absorption of histamine from food.

Histamine intolerance is related to gene variants in, MTHFR, vitamin B6, HNMT, COMT, and DAO.  And, if you have a reduced function in methylation, this also can impact your metabolism of histamine