The importance of Methylcobalamin

Histamine and Heartburn

Many people with histamine intolerance regularly take medications to control heartburn.

Histamine acts to increase hydrochloric acid secretion by cells in the stomach lining. An overload of histamine can cause the production of excess stomach acid, which is why one of the treatments for heartburn is the H2 antagonist Rani-tidine (TM)*.

Panto-prazole* is another drug for heartburn patients that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. The problem is, long-term treatment with panto-prazole* may also decrease the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B-12, resulting in a deficiency of this vitamin.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential vitamin, required for DNA synthesis (and ultimately cell division) and for maintaining nerve myelin integrity.

Symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency may develop slowly and include pale skin, weakness, tired feeling, shortness of breath, and a fast heart rate. Vitamin B12 deficiency can potentially cause severe and irreversible damage, especially to the brain and nervous system. When levels of B12 are only slightly lower than normal, they can lead to a range of symptoms including fatigue, depression and memory loss.

Foods richest in Vitamin B12 may cause problems

Foods richest in Vitamin B12 include shellfish, liver, fish, crustaceans, fortified soy products, fortified cereals, red meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Most of these foods are also high in histamine, and are best avoided by people with histamine intolerance. Fortified cereals are processed foods with B12 (not methyl B12) added to them by the manufacturer.

Problems with Vitamin B12 absorption

Furthermore, not everyone is able to absorb Vitamin B12, even if they eat foods that contain it. The human physiology of vitamin B12 is complex, and therefore may go awry, leading to B12 deficiency.

Health conditions that may lead to poor B12 absorption include:
Atrophic gastritis (thinning of the stomach lining)
Pernicious anemia
Surgery that removed part of the stomach or small intestine, including weight loss surgery
Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
Heavy drinking
Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
Long-term use of acid-reducing drugs, e.g. Panto-prazole*
A strictly vegan diet
A vegetarian diet that does not include enough eggs or dairy products to meet vitamin B12 needs
Advanced age

Cyanocobalamin is synthesized using cyanide

One way to combat Vitamin B12 deficiency is to take supplements. However, most Vitamin B12 supplements are in the form of cyanocobalamin rather than methylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is artificially synthesized in laboratories. One of the main ingredients is potassium cyanide – yes, you read it right – cyanide, the well-known poison. Cyanocobalamin is the form used in most pharmaceutical preparations because adding cyanide stabilizes the molecule.
When we ingest cyanocobalamin, we are being exposed to small amounts of cyanide.

Methylcobalamin is more easily absorbed

Furthermore, cyanocobalamin is harder for our bodies to metabolize than methylcobalamin. Many people with histamine intolerance are, without being aware of it, ‘undermethylators’. Undermethylation, or ‘histadelia’, is an inherited condition characterized by elevated blood levels of histamine.
If our bodies cannot properly methylate vitamin B12, they cannot adequately absorb it. Methylcobalamin is already methylated, and thus more easily assimilated into the body.

If you are histamine intolerant – or even if you’re not – the optimum way to make sure you’re not Vitamin B12 deficient is to take methylcobalamin. It is available from pharmacies as pleasantly-flavored pills or drops, to be dissolved slowly under the tongue.


*Note: Our web host, WordPress, appears to block certain brand names and drug names such as Rani-tidine(TM) and panto-prazole, unless they are hyphenated.

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Baked eggs with herbs

eggs en cocotteRecipe of the Month – July

Baked eggs with herbs (low histamine recipe)

From Page 151 of “Is Food Making You Sick?”

Ingredients

  • 8 free-range pastured eggs
  • 160ml (1/2 cup) thick, whipped cream of your choice [page 97], [page 102]
  • 2 green salad onions or spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • rice bran oil
  • toasted bread [“Breads” on page 193], sliced into fingers, to serve
  • butter or other HIT-friendly spread for the toast

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush the insides of eight 125ml (1/2-cup) capacity ovenproof ramekins with rice bran oil.
  • Break an egg into each ramekin.
  • Pour the cream onto the eggs, sharing it evenly among ramekins. Sprinkle the chopped vegetables over the top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Set ramekins on a baking tray in the oven, and cook for 10 minutes or until eggs are set according to your preference.
  • Serve hot, accompanied by buttered toast fingers.
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The histamine – sciatica connection

Sciatica

According to Dr. Heinrich Kremer of the Cell Symbiosis Therapy Academy,

‘Histamine dilates the small blood vessels to make them permeable to larger immune cells. It also causes fluid to move from blood vessels into the tissues. This leads to swelling and pressure on nerves of the affected tissues, which can lead to migraines, painful tension in the throat, neck, spine, thigh and adductor muscles.
Acute inflammation can also cause temporary arthralgia and neuralgia (rheumatism, sciatica, lumbago, trigeminal neuralgia).’

Dr. Kremer’s original interesting article about the histamine – sciatica connection is, unfortunately, no longer online.

The original article was at this URL.

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Can a low histamine diet promote longevity?

High-protein diets shorten lifespan, two studies say

People on high-protein diets are likely to lose years of life along with the weight they shed, according to two studies.
It’s nearly as bad as smoking, says Dr Valter Longo, co-author of a study in the journal Cell Metabolism.

The most healthy mix is a high-carbohydrate, low protein diet, say Australian scientists who have published a study in the same journal.

This leads to increased body fat, but a longer lifespan, say the scientists from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre. They tested 25 different diet combinations on 900 mice to see what happened to their appetite, metabolic health, ageing and lifespan.

Calories aren’t all the same, says Professor Steve Simpson, academic director at the centre.

“We need to look at where the calories come from and how they interact.” Although the mice on a high-protein diet ate less and were slimmer, they also had a reduced lifespan and poor heart and overall health.

Those on a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet ate more and got fat, but lived longest.

The mice that ate a high-fat, low-protein diet died quickest. “It is an enormous leap in our understanding of the impact of diet quality and diet balance on food intake, health, ageing and longevity,” Prof Simpson says.

Co-author Professor David Le Couteur says the study is an important step towards understanding what constitutes a healthy balanced diet.

It indicates it might be beneficial for people to eat the right diet in the right proportions and let the body dictate the correct amount of food.

“If people want to live long, healthy lives they can look at their diet and exercise. That will do more good than taking all the pills in the world.” He says the healthiest mice had the lowest levels of the branched-chain amino acids derived from animal protein and often used by body builders The results are entirely parallel with the US study.

They found meat, fish and dairy products are probably causing harm.

“We provide convincing evidence that a high-protein diet, particularly if the proteins are derived from animals, is nearly as bad as smoking,” says the University of Southern California’s Dr Longo.

His study analysed the diet of 6831 middle-aged and older adults.

Those who derived more than 20 per cent of their calories from protein were four times more likely to die of cancer or diabetes than other people.

AAP

Source: The Australian

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Chemicals in baby products increase allergies

Baby wipes linked to rise in skin problems

The Sydney Morning Herald
March 3, 2014
Bridie Smith Science Editor, The Age

Dermatologists are reporting increasing numbers of parents and carers presenting with skin problems linked to using disposable baby wipes.

In a research letter published in The Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, dermatologist Rosemary Nixon from the Skin and Cancer Foundation reports that an ingredient used to prevent bacterial infection in moist wipes is now the most common cause of dermatitis in patients sampled.

The preservative, methylisothiazolinone or MI, accounted for 11.3 per cent of skin reactions in 353 patients seen at two clinics last year, up on 8.4 per cent in 2012 and 3.5 per cent in 2011.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of allergic reactions,” she said. “It could be because the concentration might be too high because it’s been on the skin too long, or because the skin is damaged, allowing the chemical to get through the epidermal barrier.”

Professor Nixon said patch testing for the ingredient started in 2011, after similar reports surfaced in Europe. She said the trend was also occurring in the US where, like in Australia, the preservative has been used in a range of water-based products, including cosmetics and personal products such as deodorants, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreens and moisturisers since the early 2000s. Professor Nixon said she expected dermatitis caused by using wet wipes was probably under-diagnosed in adults, with many people putting the allergic reaction down to other factors because the red itchy rash appeared up to 48 hours after contact. In infants, an allergic reaction might be put down to nappy rash.

“I’m sure we only see the tip of the iceberg in our clinic; there’s probably a bit more out there than people realise,” she said.

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Histamine poisoning is not uncommon

Fatal histamine poisoning

Earlier in 2014 two people met a tragic death after eating fish. The culprit was found to be scombroid poisoning.
Scombroid poisoning is a now-outdated term for histamine fish poisoning. It is also sometimes known as pseudoallergic fish poisoning, histamine overdose, or mahi-mahi flush.
Histamine is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Scombroid fish histamine poisoning is hard to detect without scientific equipment, and can be fatal.
‘The term scombroid was used because the first fish species implicated in this poisoning were from the suborder Scombridae, which includes mackerel, tuna, marlin, swordfish, albacore, bonito, skipjack, and almost 100 other species (Scombridae is derived from the Greek word scombros, which means mackerel or tunny). The term histamine fish poisoning is now considered more appropriate because many cases are from nonscombroid fish. Examples include mahi-mahi (dolphin fish), amberjack, herring, sardine, anchovy, and bluefish.’

Source: Medscape

Histamine poisoning is not uncommon

Doctor warns scombroid poisoning involved in Bali death of Noelene and Yvana Bischoff is not rare

Connor O’Brien
Albert & Logan News
February 10, 2014

Yvana Bischoff, 14, and Noelene Bischoff who died in Bali after suspected food poisoning. Source: News Limited

A BRISBANE doctor who treated his wife for the same type of food poisoning which killed a Queensland mother and daughter in Bali says the illness is more common than most people think.

Noelene and her 14-year-old daughter Yvana Bischoff died while holidaying in Bali in January.

The subsequent autopsy indicated that they died from a combination of scombroid poisoning from food that was suspected to be tainted and existing medical conditions.

Experienced Daisy Hill general practitioner Nick Stephens cautioned that scombroid poisoning is actually not that rare, after treating his wife for it last year.

“It’s the most common form of fish poisoning in the world,” Dr Stephens said.

“But on the other hand, the complication of death (resulting from scombroid poisoning) is rare.”

Having been in the industry for 35 years, Dr Stephens was stunned when his wife Lorraine turned up at his clinic on Melbourne Cup day last year with systems of scombroid poisoning.

Mrs Stephens had been out for lunch at a South Bank restaurant when she and three friends had a major reaction about ten minutes after eating mahi mahi fish – the same variety the Bischoff’s had consumed shortly before their deaths.

Dr Stephens, 64, said when his wife arrived at his work she was bright red, having palpitations and struggling to breathe.

“I’ve never seen a patient ever look so red with a headache and the palpitations. So, obviously, with a severe dosage it can kill,” he said.

Dr Stephens said an analysis of the symptoms left him in no doubt that his wife had suffered from scombroid poisoning, even though it can be difficult to confirm.

“You cannot run a blood test or doing anything else to confirm it,” he said.

“They’ve had exactly the same problem with these people overseas, they can’t confirm it but they can’t find anything else.”

Since the attack, she has suffered from pancreatitis, which her husband believes may be a rare complication from scombroid poisoning.

Source: the Courier Mail

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Pastured eggs are better for you

Pastured eggs contain more nutrients

Hens allowed to roam free in grassy pastures filled with weeds and wildflowers have access to an extensive range of nutrients. Numerous insects, worms and beetles thrive in green meadows. Thus, in addition to the valuable plant materials available to the hens, they can also feed on mini-beasts which are naturally rich sources of protein, vitamins, enzymes and minerals.

Pastured eggs are lower in stress hormones

Caged hens are constantly under stress. Some become so distraught and anxious due to their imprisonment that they pluck out their own feathers. The ‘stress hormone’ cortisol has been linked with obesity, decreased immune function and osteoporosis. The low levels of stress in free-roaming, contented hens means fewer stress hormones – such as cortisol – pass into the eggs and thence into our bodies.

Pastured eggs are better for you

A study looking at the Vitamins A, E and fatty acid composition of the eggs of caged hens and pastured hens found that:
‘Compared to eggs of the caged hens, pastured hens’ eggs had twice as much vitamin E and long-chain omega-3 fats, 2.5-fold more total omega-3 fatty acids, and less than half the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids (P<0.0001). Vitamin A concentration was 38% higher (P<0.05) in the pastured hens’ eggs than in the caged hens’ eggs…’

This is why pastured eggs are better for you!

H.D. Karsten, P.H. Patterson, R. Stout and G. Crews,
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems / Volume 25 / Special Issue 01 / March 2010, pp 45-54
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1742170509990214,
Published online: 12 January 2010

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Hay Fever

Hay Fever and Histamine

Hay fever is known to medical professionals as “allergic rhinitis”. Despite its name, it’s not really caused by hay. The term was invented in the 1800s when people believed the symptoms were cause by the smell of hay that had been freshly cut.

Hay fever is caused by the body’s allergic response to allergens such as pollen, dust mites, fungus spores, animal dander or industrial pollutants. These allergens can float, unseen, through the air indoors or outdoors.  When you breathe air that contains these particles, your nose, eyes, throat and sinuses can become swollen, irritated and inflamed. Hay fever symptoms can include sneezing, a runny, itchy nose, and watery, itchy eyes.

Allergens such as those mentioned above don’t affect most people. They can breathe pollen, mites, mold spores etc. without experiencing any reaction. People with histamine intolerance (HIT) however, do react. And the reaction can make life a misery for them. Their immune systems kick into overdrive and release a surge of biochemicals, including histamine.  One aspect of histamine’s job is to produce inflammation and swelling. Many people resort to swallowing antihistamine pills or using antihistamine nasal sprays to subdue their symptoms. These can be helpful in the short term but over the long term they can have a rebound effect. Besides, who wants to be dependent on pills and drugs? It’s far better for your health to address histamine intolerance through diet

Hay fever can be sorted into two groups:

  • Seasonal Hay fever. This is triggered by seasonally-occurring factors outside the home, such as plant pollen and fungal/mold spores. Such allergens are most likely to be wafting about in the air during spring, summer and the first weeks of fall.
  • Perennial Hay fever. This can occur all year round because it’s triggered by allergens that hang about all year long, especially inside your home. They can include dust mites, mold and pet dander.

How to reduce potential allergens.

  • Seasonal Hay fever. When you’re at home, keep your doors and windows closed to prevent allergens from blowing in. Remain indoors during times when the pollen count is high. In some countries, local governments post pollen forecasts on the internet. Install filtered air-conditioning in your home and car. Avoid using fans or vents that suck air into your home from outdoors.
  • Perennial Hay fever. To reduce dust mites, air your bedding and vacuum your carpets.  You might consider replacing carpets with polished floorboards and mats that are easily cleaned. To reduce mold, check your bathroom and kitchen, and anywhere else moisture could encourage mold’s growth. Use specialized mold cleaners.  To reduce the effects of pet dander, brush your pets outdoors while wearing a face mask, and bathe them weekly. Make sure your air-con system has good quality filters installed.

The Strictly Low Histamine Diet.

Most importantly, reduce your body’s histamine “bucket level” by following a strictly low histamine diet. It’s not a lifelong diet, and it can be followed until your histamine levels are low enough to make your symptoms disappear without drugs.

 

 

 

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Beetroot

Beetroot for flavor, nutrition, color.

Edible beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris Conditiva Group). This vegetable is one of several of the cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and their edible leaves (called beet greens).[Wikipedia, “Beetroot”] Beetroot is listed as safe for people who suffer from Histamine Intolerance.
Beetroot’s color can range from white, through red-and-white striped, to golden-yellow or red. The most common color available in stores is a dark, almost purplish red.
In North America, beetroot is also called:

  • beet
  • table beet
  • garden beet
  • red beet
  • golden beet

Nutritional Information

Raw beetroot is 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and less than 1% fat. In a 100-gram amount (3.5 ounces) providing 43 calories, raw beetroot is a rich source of folate (one of the B-Group vitamins) and a moderate source of manganese. Beetroots are helpful for weight loss because they provide fiber and water to fill you up, but few calories.
Some people can’t stand the flavor of beets, but others love their sweet earthiness. If you’d like to eat beets but you’re put off by the taste, grate them raw and mix them with other ingredients  in smoothies, cookie dough, burgers, hummus, salads or red velvet cake. The other ingredients can soften or disguise the flavor.
Beet greens are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, so don’t throw them away – use them as you would use spinach or silverbeet (Swiss chard).

Food Coloring Uses

Betanin, obtained from beetroot’s vibrantly-colored roots, is used industrially as red food colorant. It improves the color and flavor of tomato paste, sauces, desserts, jams and jellies, ice cream, candy, and breakfast cereals, among other applications. [Wikipedia, “Beetroot”] Some of the names of beetroot hybrids pay homage to their gorgeous red coloring – such as “Bull’s Blood” and “Ruby Queen”. Famously, red velvet cake is made with beetroot. During the middle of the 19th century, wine was often colored with beetroot juice. In the 21st century it can be used as a coloring for pasta.

Medicinal Uses

Traditionally, Beta vulgaris has also been used as a medicinal plant. “De honesta voluptate et valetudine” (On honest indulgence and good health) was the first cookbook ever printed. It first appeared between 1470 and 1475.  The author recommended taking beetroot with garlic to nullify the effects of “garlic-breath”. For many centuries, from the Middle Ages onwards, beetroot was used as a treatment for a range of diseases, especially illnesses of the digestion and the blood.

Beetroot and Apple Juice

Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a refreshing drink: Put beetroot, apple, carrot, celery and a tiny knob of ginger through a juicer and drink it chilled.

 

 

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Oat Milk

Avoiding Dairy Milk

Many people avoid dairy products. They might do so for health reasons, for ethical reasons, or because it’s unavailable.
The ethical argument is strong. Calves born on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they are one day old and fed milk replacements so that the mothers’ milk can be sold for use by humans. The mothers can be heard calling for their babies for up to several weeks. On average an equal number of male and female calves are born to dairy cows. Male calves are usually killed when they are about five days old. Cows stop producing milk unless they give birth every year.

If you wish to avoid dairy products but enjoy milk’s creaminess and versatility, you can drink nutritious alternatives such as rice milk or oat milk. These milks are suitable for people with Histamine Intolerance. They can even be made inexpensively in your own home. Here, for example, is a recipe for “quick oat milk”. It’s lactose-free, and celiac-friendly.

Quick Oat Milk Recipe

This quick and easy recipe yields a milk that is rather thinner than ‘Slow Oat Milk’. It can be thickened by either the addition of a little finely ground oat bran, or by cooking the rolled oats before you make the milk.

Note: you will also need a blender and a fine sieve or cheese cloth.

Put the oats in a large bowl and add enough water to just cover them. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Drain the oats and pour into blender. Add 3 cups of water and sweetener or additional flavorings if desired. If you wish, you may add more or less water, depending on the consistency you prefer.
Blend until the oats have completely disintegrated into a creamy liquid.
Strain the milk through a fine sieve or cheese cloth (this is optional). Homemade oat milk keeps for a few days under refrigeration, but while standing it may separate, so make sure you shake or stir it before using.

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