Seasonal allergies have arrived for many. And with that, comes all of the hallmark allergy symptoms for those affected.
The goal with functional medicine is to identify WHY seasonal allergies are occurring for someone (this is where advanced testing comes in) and to treat naturally based on scientific evidence for nutrient support.
There has been a significant increase in allergies in the last 100 years. This is due to increased environmental exposures and increased sensitization to allergens due to increased toxin burdens.
Seasonal allergies are an IgE-mediated inflammatory disorder. This means that this allergy disorder begins in your immune system. Allergic reactions occur when the body’s immune system overproduces the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody.
When someone with seasonal allergies encounters a substance such as dust, mold, or pollen, then their body can overreact and release increased amounts of these antibodies to “attack” that allergen leading to commonly experienced allergy symptoms.
In today’s society, individuals are increasingly rendered “hyper-sensitive” as a result of environmental toxicity, which is an accumulation of environmental toxins that overload the body’s ability to detox and the immune system’s ability to function normally.
If you were to have to choose two supplements for fending off seasonal allergies this season we would recommend our Hist-Pro capsules and our Daily Defense powder.
We refer to these two products as our “seasonal allergy kit“.
The loading dose we recommend is 2 capsules three times per day for 7-10 days and then 2-4 caps per day for maintenance (depending on individual allergy response) during allergy season.
Two scoops one to two times per day mixed in water or organic nut milk of choice.
If you have any questions about bio-individual dosing, please schedule a free consult with one of the Drs. Wolfson health coaches here.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in fruits and veggies that can reduce allergy responses. A Japanese study found that quercetin significantly inhibited the release of histamine in the nasal mucosa of individuals with allergy rhinitis. According to another review of the evidence, the recommended dosing for allergy rhinitis ranges from 250-600 mg, three times per day before meals (a dose easily achieved with Hist-Pro). The efficacy of quercetin is enhanced when taken with bromelain (again achieved with Hist-Pro).
Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme that comes from pineapple juice and pineapple stems. This proteolytic enzyme is able to break down and degrade large, allergenic protein complexes. By reducing circulating allergenic complexes, bromelain is able to reduce hypersensitivity reactions in people affected by seasonal allergies. Research has shown that bromelain’s anti-allergic effects are likely due to its ability to reduce inflammation, break down allergenic proteins and decrease levels of histamine. Furthermore, it has been found that bromelain can lower airway inflammation and support respiratory tract health.
Stinging nettles leaf has the ability to reduce symptoms of allergies such as runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and sore throat. The main mechanism of action is through its roles as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. In fact, a recent 2017 clinical trial looked at the ability of stinging nettles leaf to manage allergy symptoms and found a significant improvement in severity of clinical symptoms.
N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC, is highly mucolytic (meaning it thins mucous), which is a common characteristic of pharmaceuticals that treat respiratory conditions. This antioxidant is very effective at relieving allergies. NAC has long been effectively used for lung conditions such as asthma, COPD and respiratory illnesses. A 2003 study found that NAC was able to significantly reduce the nasal inflammatory cascade that occurs in allergies (and thus improved allergy outcomes).
Vitamin C is a well-studied natural therapy for allergies. Vitamin C is able to dramatically reduce histamine levels, which aids in decreasing allergy symptoms and duration. In fact, it is referred to as a natural “anti-histamine” as it can prevent secretion of histamine and clear histamine from the blood. As an antioxidant, vitamin C is also able to prevent the body from over-reacting to environmental triggers and help reduce the occurrence of allergies. A 2018 study analyzed the effects of high-dose IV vitamin C on allergy patients and found that vitamin C significantly reduced allergy symptoms.
N-acetyl cysteine, or NAC, is highly mucolytic (meaning it thins mucous), which is a common characteristic of pharmaceuticals that treat respiratory conditions. This antioxidant is very effective at relieving allergies. NAC has long been effectively used for lung conditions such as asthma, COPD and respiratory illnesses. A 2003 study found that NAC was able to significantly reduce nasal inflammatory cascade that occurs in allergies (and thus improved allergy outcomes)
Bacterial dysbiosis and leaky gut are often at the root of seasonal allergies. In fact, it has been found that children who grew up in sterile environments have a greater chance of allergies (related to both the environment and food). A robust gut flora is key to helping the body react normally (i.e. not overreact) to foreign stimuli. A 2010 review of the research revealed that probiotics decreased severity and duration of allergy rhinitis (seasonal allergy) episodes. L. Acidophilus is believed to be one of the best bacterial strains for preventing allergies and boosting immune function.
Turmeric’s key compound, curcumin, has the ability to decrease inflammation and irritation associated with allergies. A 2008 study showed that curcumin was able to effectively inhibit the allergic response in mice. Curcumin is highly anti-inflammatory and can help to ameliorate the hallmark allergy symptoms of nasal discomfort and itchy eyes.
Ginger is a great remedy that can help to reduce inflammatory and irritative allergy symptoms associated with the eyes, nasal passages and throat. A recent study using a mouse allergy model found that ginger was able to lower inflammation, and eradicate seasonal allergy symptoms.
Proteases are enzymes that are able to breakdown large inflammatory allergy proteins and aid in the degradation of these compounds. The breakdown of these allergenic proteins, which create the irritation, helps to alleviate allergy symptoms and reduce seasonal discomfort.
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