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.
Seeking Health‘s Probiota Bifido supplement contains some of the beneficial probiotics in my post on histamine lowering probiotics. They’re offering free shipping on orders over $50 to the states.
While fermented foods are usually way off the menu for those of us with allergies, histamine intolerance, mast cell activation or mastocytosis, probiotics are necessary for healing the gut and preventing any further allergies from developing . You’ll find a list of histamine healthy probiotics here – and you’ll find most of the beneficial ones in this supplement below. I just recently discovered this brand in the US – thanks to my readers! Click on the image on the right for free shipping if you live in the states. If you’re in the UK I suggest checking out Optibac Probiotics.
Bifidobacterium infantis super strain. I haven’t tried this one myself – it’s derived from goat milk.
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?
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.
This all goes hand in hand with what I’ve been saying for years: the focus should be on health as a whole, rather than lowering or avoiding histamine. We need to support the immune system, lower inflammation and heal the gut.
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.
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.
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 but no effect on histamine)
Histamine neutral strains…
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus Lactis, Lactococcus Lactis, and Lactobacillus plantarum 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.
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.
You’ll find a full low histamine Christmas menu and my strategy for eating out over the holidays in the Happy Holidays Christmas Book, your gift with the purchase of any of my low histamine cookbooks.
Join my mailing list for more recipes and to be the first to know when registration for my low histamine webinar opens.
Take a peek at my low histamine and antihistamine cookbooks for more high nutrient recipes.
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