IBS getting on your nerves? If the studies I’m reading are anything to go by, step one appears to be calming those nerves! I’ve spent a great deal of time reporting on the role of stress on mast cell activation, histamine release, allergies and general inflammation. Stress can cause mast cells to release histamine, thereby causing/worsening allergic symptoms, that’s according to National Institutes of Health funded mast cell expert Dr Theoharides. Stress can also cause an increase in symptoms for those with mast cell related conditions such as autism, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, interstitial cystitis, migraine headaches, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.
The good news is that in my experience, a low histamine, anti-inflammatory diet can help. (Check out my books for more on that.) It doesn’t hurt to throw in a good dose of daily meditation while you’re at it.
Other than that, the potentially great news is that the L. paracasei probiotic can reverse the gut permeability (leaky gut anyone?) and internal hypersensitivity. Sounds good right? There’s more.
Seems that stress can also cause bacteria to cling to the gastrointestinal tract, but this bacteria was prevented from sticking to the mesenteric lymph nodes (in this study) by a mixture of L. rhamnosus and Lactobacillus helveticus
More brilliant news…
The probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus (and a few others) down-regulate the IgE and Histamine 4 receptor while also up-regulating anti-inflammatory agents like (IL)-8. In English (to quote a group friend): the probiotic turns down the dial on two important allergy/mast cell cell/histamine receptors, while enhancing the activity of anti-inflammatory agents.
I’ve been exploring the catch-22 of probiotic supplementation for some time now. The dilemma? Probiotics are necessary for proper intestinal function – the histamine lowering enzymes diamine oxidase and monoamine oxidase live there, so fixing up our poop tube seems like a good idea right? But fermented foods raise histamine levels.
But gut health is so important to our condition that I continue running periodic searches on probiotics. What I’ve found so far is that I’m looking for a a probiotic supplement containing Bifidobacterium infants and Bifidobacterium longum. Today I found that Lactobacillus reuteri is something I definitely want in there. Rather excitingly to me, this new study proves something I’ve been talking about for ages – that not all histamine is bad for us. Lactobacillus reuteri causes histidine to convert to histamine, but this particular histamine raises cAMP (this is good!), and kills inflammation! This study finally backs up the assertion that not all histamine is bad and as such should not be entirely eliminated from the diet.
So I’m looking for a probiotic supplement with inflammation lowering…
(read the article below to understand the logic)
Lactobacillus reuteri (raises histamine in the short term but elevates anti inflammatory cAMP levels)
But also Lactobacillus plantarum (lowers/inhibits tyramine and putrescine)
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Lactis, Lactococcus Lactis, and Lactobacillus plant arum which do not have any effect on biogenic amines like histamine and tyramine.
Lactobacillus casei (produces histamine and tyramine)
Lactobacillus Bulgaricus (increases histamine alone)
For now I’ve decided to avoid Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus, until I find studies showing that their histamine raising qualities are in fact something we want, because it raises cAMP levels/fights inflammation.
The original post…
Probiotic supplements are fermented (a no go for histamine intolerance/histamine related disorders) and some strains actually raise histamine and tyramine in the body. The good news is that strains commonly found in babies can actually lower histamine, helping us fight allergies and lower our overall histamine burden.
Lactobacillus casei (TISTR 389) andLactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus (TISTR 895) were found to produce BA (biogenic amines). The highest levels of histamine (1820.9 ± 3.5 mg L−1) and tyramine (5486.99 ± 47.6 mg L−1) formation were observed for the TISTR 389 strain, while TISTR 895 produced only histamine (459.1 ± 0.63 mg L−1) in the decarboxylase broth. Biogenic amine potential was not observed for the Lactobacillus acidophilus,Lactobacillus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, and Lactobacillus plantarum strains studied. This study confirmed that BA formation is strain dependent and not related to the species. Read the full study here.
Lactobacillus casei was shown to produce histamine and tyramine, while Lactobacillus Bulgaricus increased histamine alone.
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Lactis, Lactococcus Lactis, and Lactobacillus plant arum did not have any effect on biogenic amines like histamine and tyramine.
And now for…The GOOD
One of the perks of being the member of a highly educated online community who are incredibly proactive in their own healthcare, is that they often help fill in the missing links. Today I was reminded of studies I found last year which talked about the histamine-lowering effects of two strains of probiotic bacteria, Bifidobacterium infants, Bifidobacterium longum, commonly found in infant intestines. The studies also noted that the longum species had significant IgE mediation action. This means it could prove helpful to those with allergies. Read the full study here.
Does this mean you can cure your histamine intolerance/histaminosis/mastocytosis with a histamine-lowering probiotic? Doubtful. Could it be helpful? Possibly. Why the cautious optimism? Because I have experienced a variety of reactions to supplements over the years. But if you’re going to try probitic supplementation, this might be a good place to start.
I would not recommend starting this, or any supplement, without consulting your doctor. If you do try, please go slowly. If you prefer to go the nutritional route, a diet low in histamine is a good place to start – check out my post on pre-bioitic foods here.