We all know, thanks to the work of Drs Fuhrman, Weill and many, many other leaders in the field of nutrition and real medicine, that the anti-inflammatory diet can prevent cancer, but, despite all the recent research showing promise in treating a number of cancers with antihistamines, the study of the benefits (or dangers) of modifying dietary histamine intake is still in its infancy.
It’s something that has been on my mind, something I have researched over the last four years, discussed with medical professionals, researchers, my own partner and the many people who are in the unenviable position of having to deal with the big C themselves.
Easier said than done.
The bottom line is that a high nutrient, anti-inflammatory diet, has been shown to play an important role in cancer prevention, as well as in some cases, slowing (or reversing) its progression. Then again, so has fasting (Dr Fuhrman’s Fasting and Eating for Health), which at first seems a little counterintuitive. After all, if nutrition is so important, why do some cancers respond to starvation?
As with many conditions, each case is treated differently, with even Dr Fuhrman advocating chemotherapy over fasting, but never without a high nutrient anti-inflammatory diet, to those who might otherwise be tempted to go the nutritional route alone.
The many faces of histamine (and mast cells)
Histamine and mast cells have been shown to play an important role in the progression and prevention of cancer. I’m neither a doctor nor a scientist, so I do not feel qualified to properly interpret these studies for you. Please show the following research to your medical professional before making any changes to your diet (don’t be surprised if they have no opinion on the matter as most docs aren’t familiar with histamine). Also please understand that the research into histamine’s role in cancer is still very new, and potentially confusing, even to the researchers conducting it.
In wading through the research, I stumbled onto a great blog (Healthy Pixels) which summed up the findings nicely:
Research shows that histamine and histamine receptors affect growth of cancers of the stomach, pancreas, colon, and liver in different ways. Certain cancer cells produce a form of histamine (histidine decarboxylase) that represses inflammatory cell activity. Other studies show that histamine and mast cells may both promote and inhibit cancer at different stages! In fact, melanoma skin cancer appears to be stimulated by histamine in lab tests and inhibited by a topical drug that blocks histamine called H2 antagonist. This type of drug has been used to treat acid reflux, ulcers, and indigestion.
Furthermore, histamine is being considered to prevent the damaging effects of cancer radiation therapy.
“…histamine significantly protects two of the most radiosensitive tissues, small intestine and bone marrow, from high doses of radiation. In addition, histamine has the ability to prevent functional and histological alterations of salivary glands exerted by ionizing radiation.” – Current Immunology Reviews, 2010””
Knowing what I do, would I recommend an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory diet for cancer prevention or as an adjunct to mainstream cancer treatment? No, I wouldn’t. I can’t take that kind of responsibility.
I will however be asking NIH funded leading mast cell/histamine researcher Dr Theoharides about this, at length, when I interview him at the Colorado Wellapalooza retreat next week. Sign up here to make sure not to miss what I promise is going to be the interview that I know is going to blow all our minds.
What I will say for now, is that sometimes the stress over worrying which food to eat, the impact of etc, causes so many negative cellular changes that it negates any benefit of eating the “right” diet for your condition.
Common sense dictates that histamine from unhealthy food sources rather than phytonutrient dense ones, will always cause more harm than good, that eliminating healthy foods from a diet is unlikely to help you heal in the long run, that the body is most likely to enjoy excellent health and happiness if properly fed high nutrient foods, no matter the dietary philosophy, that lowering inflammation is good thing.
And this is why I advocate a histamine-balanced, rather than low histamine dietary approach. More on that here.
A little happiness, stress and meditation go a long way, no matter what we’re dealing with.
Easier said than done I know, but I’ve both said, and done.
Up next I’ll be sharing a new antihistamine and anti-inflammatory take on one of my favourite childhood (and adult) recipes. Don’t miss it – sign up for my newsletter here.
The Anti-cookbook, while it doesn’t treat any conditions, due to its high nutrient, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ingredients, has been instrumental in helping me feed myself on a limited diet. It features a six page list of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods. It comes in regular and Paleo.
The Low Oxalate Cookbook features antihistamine and anti-inflammatory rich recipes.
Take a peek at my low histamine and antihistamine cookbooks for more high nutrient recipes. If you’ve found this information useful I’d appreciate your support (at no extra cost to you!) – please check out my online store for your health foods, supplements, kitchen items and beauty product purchases. Affiliate sales through my online store go towards maintaining the website, funding travel to interviews and purchasing all the lovely foods for my free online recipes.
You’ll find these items in the “Shop with us” drop down menu on my homepage.
Please don’t forget antihistamine, pain killing foods can still hurt us, so please always check with your doctor before adding new foods to your diet.