Allergy vitamin

What helps them?

• Niacin in laboratory studies prevents the release of histamine by the mast cells. That being the case, in human allergy, niacin ought to reduce the severity of allergic response. Indeed, in human studies, seasonal allergy sufferers showed rapid improvement of hay fever symptoms when given niacinamide injections in the muscle or into the vein. While these routes of administration are not handy for home use, you can take niacin (in the form called niacinamide) by mouth. Recommendation: Niacinamide in a dose of 200 to 300 mg per day should help to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.

Allergy vitamin•  Pantothenic acid has proven to reduce allergic drainage and nasal stuffiness in a number of clinical reports. Recommendation. Begin with a 100 mg dose at bedtime. Earliest signs of relief of symptoms may occur in 15 to 30 minutes. If your symptoms fail to respond sufficiently, you may have to increase your dose to 250 mg once or even twice daily.

• Allergy vitamin: In people who suffer symptoms from MSG sensitivity (and cannot tolerate Chinese food prepared with monosodium glutamate, MSG, as a result), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) has proven to be of some use. We know of no information, nor could we find reports of any, that suggested that this vitamin might be beneficial in allergy to other substances. Recommendation: Take 50 mg of vitamin B6 daily for at least 12 weeks.

• Allergy Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) supplementation has shown benefit in allergic asthma, chronic hives (urticaria), chronic allergic dermatitis, and sensitivity to sulfites (found, for example, in egg yolk and some wines). Recommendation: B12 taken orally or by injection in a dose of 500 micrograms weekly for 4 weeks should result in improvement to these allergic symptoms. Several medical studies reported the use of 2000 to 4000 micrograms of B12 in a sublingual (one that dissolves under the tongue) form that absorbs rapidly—in 15 minutes—and hangs around for a 24-hour period, making it ideal to combat sporadic but predictable exposures to allergens. (Such exposures would be cleaning out the attic, visiting a relative who has cats, or drinking an unknown wine that might contain sulfites.)

•  A whole host of clinical research indicates that vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms, probably by reducing the release of histamine by the mast cells, and may protect against life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Recommendation: Take 1 to 4 grams of vitamin C daily. Unless you already take vitamin C for other reasons, begin slowly, at 500 mg a day, and work up to a dose of 4 grams per day over a period of a week or two. We recommend that you use the crystalline (powdered) form of ascorbic acid instead of tablets or capsules, because it's easier to inch the dose upward. The usual strength of the powder is 1 teaspoon equals 4 grams. Mix your dose into a citrus-flavored beverage (lemon-lime, orange, grapefruit) to blunt its sourness. It will not go into solution unless the beverage is carbonated, which we also heartily recommend for this purpose.

•  Allergy Vitamin E, at least in clinical study, has also shown some antihistaminic properties, but the hard science is sketchy so far. There are so many other reasons to take vitamin E, however, that those of us interested in health and longevity will already be supplementing it. Recommendation: Take 600IU vitamin E daily. Begin with a 100 IU dose and check your blood pressure. Some people will suffer an elevation of blood pressure on supplemental vitamin E. If your pressure remains at or below an average of 140/90 on 4 or 5 readings, you may increase to 200 IU Check again. If your pressure is still normal, increase to 400 IU, and so on, to 600 IU.

Allergy vitamin• Calcium and magnesium, if deficient, may worsen allergic asthmatic symptoms. While we could find no specific dosage recommendations for treatment in the literature, the connection of deficiency and symptoms seems valid. Recommendation: Prevent deficiency of these two minerals by consuming at least a baseline intake of 500 mg calcium and 200 mg magnesium.

• Molybdenum is a trace element necessary to detoxify sulfites and is found to be low or lacking in the majority of people sensitive to sulfites (in egg yolks or wine). Cases of severe sulfite allergy with asthma have responded to molybdenum treatment by administration into the vein twice weekly (doses of 250, 500, then 750 micrograms). Although the intravenous route won't work for general home use, you can take the element by mouth. Recommendation: Begin with about 100 micrograms daily and, after 2 to 3 weeks, increase to 200 micrograms, then 400 micrograms if needed.

• Allergy vitamin: In people with chemical sensitivities, deficiency in zinc seems to worsen the problem. Supplementation to correct the deficiency seems to help, and may do so by inhibiting the release of histamine from the mast cells. Recommendation: Begin with 50 to 60 mg chelated zinc (the picolinate, aspartate forms) daily. Increase the dose to twice daily. Warning: Zinc supplementation with an ionic (not chelated) form of the mineral, such as zinc sulfate, can cause you to become deficient in copper, leading to anemia.

•  Research has shown that quercetin, one of the bioflavonoids, reduces allergic symptoms by preventing histamine release from the mast cells and by inhibiting inflammation. Recommendation: Take a total daily dose of 1 to 2 grams of bioflavinoid complex (containing quercetin) divided throughout the day (for example, 500 mg 3 times daily) for no longer than 2 to 3 weeks.

Essential Fats

• Oleic acid, a fat found in olive oil, has been shown to inhibit histamine release. Recommendation: Use this oil where possible in cooking.

• Linoleic acid (GLA) and fish oils (EPA) also inhibit the inflammation that causes swelling and irritation from allergies. If you suffer with allergies, you feel this inflammation in your stuffy nose, weeping red eyes, and wheezy breathing, as well as the itch and redness of your skin if you break out in rashes from allergy. Refer to the eicosinoids, (Section we, pages 24-27) for more information about these fats. Recommendation: EicoPro, 2 capsules, 1 to 3 times daily. You can construct a reasonable substitute for this combined product with a daily intake of 500 mg of evening primrose oil (a source of linoleic acid in capsule form), plus 1000 mg EPA fish oil, plus 200 IU vitamin E. Take the combination 1 to 3 times a day. (Warning to diabetics: EPA fish oil can cause blood sugar fluctuations in some diabetics. Carefully monitor your blood sugar if you use this supplemental oil and discontinue its use if your blood sugar becomes difficult to control.)

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