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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Known Histamine Inhibitors / Natural Anti-Histamines (And an Overview of Histamine's Functions)


It's been a while since I touched on this subject. So many people talk about chronic allergies and asthma, especially now during the summer - and some during the fall as well. I am going to elaborate on histamine's role in all of this and also explain how you can reduce or stop the negative effects of histamine. However first you should know what histamine is and what it does.

Histamine is not a "bad chemical", unfortunately it's one of those things often lumped into the bad category because at moderate to high blood concentrations, it tends to promote bronchial constriction and allergy symptoms. It also is the chemical identified to produce a rhinitis when one gets a cold; effectively giving the cold "symptoms". 

Thus, if you had no histamine - you wouldn't know when / if you get a cold.

In fact, some individuals with very low histamine almost never get sick (or fail to produce symptoms of)...however, this is a rare phenomenon. 

In addition, histamine is a known proteolytic enzyme - that is, it promotes protease activity and thus protein catabolism in some tissues. As histamine is an immune modulator or regulator itself - high levels can cause suppression of the immune system.

However there are benefits of histamine and these are also left out when one takes OTC or prescribed anti-histamines.

Benadryl, Zyrtec, Allegra and Seroquel (!) are all example of potent Anti-Histamine drugs, selective for the H(1) receptor - H1 receptors are histamine receptors that are involved in wakefulness and promote calcium channel release(!)(!)(!). Calcium Channels are basically spontaneous electrical waves that help to conduct messages between nerves. Calcium itself (the mineral) gets transformed into an ion that is present in these electrical waves.(!)
What this means is when histamine binds to H(1) and activates the receptor, the above effects occur through calcium channel activation (mainly).
Just think Histamine is the Key -----H(1) receptor is the Lock/Door ---- now Histamine opens it and allows the calcium channels to flood in and out.

Now the reason why we need some calcium channels - is to promote alertness and cognitive ability. Now indeed, there are other neurotransmitters that can promote calcium channels, but none are quite as potent as H(1) receptors and other Histamine receptors for that matter.

So the use of anti-histamine drugs not only produced drowsiness and sedation, but due to the fairly long half-life of some of them, it may interfere with some normal cognitive (thinking) abilities then next day.

It even sais it on the label - "may cause drowsiness, use caution when operating a vehicle etc"
We've all seen it.

So what other options are there besides drugs - what are some natural anti-histamine's you can take for allergies and asthma?

Well let's go on to figure out (briefly) how histamine is produced - and why some of us are hassled with high levels.

Histamine is produced from the amino acid "L-Histidine" - so any Foods we eat that contain histidine, will increase histamine levels. (ESPECIALLY Processed foods or GMO's, which contain abnormal and synthetic forms of histidine).

In addition, eating cheese often and taking whey protein (both contain fairly high levels of histidine) - will increase histamine levels quite significantly.

There's another part of this chain missing though, in order for L-Histidine to be converted into Histamine, you have to have an enzyme called "Histidine Decarboxylase"....this enzyme is significantly inhibited (reduced) by CATECHINS. Catechins are the beneficial component's of Green Tea extract - but you need a potent HIGH EGCG content and / or high Catechin content to actually do this.

That means simply drinking green tea will have only a very slight and insignificant effect on histamine production.

However, taking High EGCG / Catechin extracts of Green Tea (GTE = Green Tea Extract) will certainly reduce HDC (Histidine Decarboxylase) and thus histamine production.

GTE / EGCG will NOT shut down histamine production completely, it will simply normalize the levels.

Thus you won't get the Sedative effects that Pharmaceutical preparations give.

My personal favorite Green Tea / EGCG extract Supplement is the one shown below.

Image is clickable and will take you to the product page.


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