Marvelous Mangoes

mangoesMangoes: “The King of Fruits”

Mangoes (Mangifera indica) are an amazing fruit. They are delicious and full of nutrients and fiber, colorful, and versatile. Frozen or fresh, mangoes can be eaten in sweet or savory dishes. Best of all, they are on the list of suitable foods for people who suffer from histamine intolerance. Here are some more facts about mangoes you might not be aware of:

There are more than 400 varieties of mangoes. Each has its own characteristics – differing in flavor, texture, sweetness, size, color etc.

One of the most popular varieties is “Kensington pride”, otherwise known as KP, Bowen or Bowen special. Some rate this as the most delicious mango in the world. Other popular varieties include Calypso, Haven, Palmer, Keitt and Kesar.

New research suggests that eating mangoes may help protect against cancer and obesity related diseases. According to some studies, compounds in mangoes can:

  • reduce the ill-effects of eating junk food
  • destroy fat cells
  • boost the metabolism of fats
  • slow down the growth-rate of cancer tumors in mice.
  • help regulate bowel movements
  • lower cholesterol
  • clear the skin
  • improve eye health
  • improve digestion

Mango is native to India and Southeast Asia. Watch fruit hunters Richard Campbell and Noris Ledesma of the Rare Fruit Council search for the rare white mango on the island of Borneo.

 

 

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Hemp seed

hemp seedHemp seed: a nutritious, high protein food

Hemp seed has been given the green light for inclusion in a low histamine diet by the Swiss Interest Group Histamine Intolerance (SIGHI).

According to the official SIGHI list of “Histamine Potential of Foods and Additives”, hemp seed is “Compatible [with a low histamine diet]. No symptoms [have been observed] after consumption of an[sic] usual quantity.”

The book “Is Food Making You Sick?” lists hemp seed as being fine for histamine intolerance sufferers to eat when they wish to lower their histamine levels.

However, as with all foods, there may be some people who have an adverse reaction to hemp seed. This is uncommon, but if you believe you’ve reacted badly to any food, it’s wise to avoid it altogether for a week or more, then gradually re-introduce small quantities into your diet to see whether you can tolerate it. Every body is different!

In some cases it might not be the food itself that’s causing problems, but the way it has been processed. Choose to eat whole foods, which are either unprocessed or lightly processed, with as few additives as possible.

Hemp seeds are highly nutritious. They are rich in healthful fats, protein and  minerals. They also taste delicious, with a pleasant, nutty flavor.

Nutritional Benefits of Hemp Seed

These seeds are a source of the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid (omega-6),  alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3) and gamma-linolenic acid, all of which benefit human health.

They are also a good source of high quality protein. In fact, they are considered to contain “complete protein”, which means that they provide all the essential amino acids needed as the body’s building blocks.

Hemp seeds also contain vitamin E and they are rich in minerals such as  sodium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron and zinc.

Whole hemp seeds are rich in both soluble (20%) and insoluble (80%) fiber. This does not hold true, however, for “de-hulled” or “shelled” hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts), from which the fiber-rich outer casing has been removed.

Edible hemp seeds belong to the cannabis (marijuana) plant family. Marijuana and THC are far from being benign substances; habitual use of this drug can lead to permanent brain damage and psychosis. Hemp, on the other hand, is a useful plant. The seeds contain only trace amounts of THC, the compound that causes the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

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The Strictly Low Histamine Diet: a tool, not a lifestyle

A tool, not a lifestyle

Strictly low histamine - a powerful toolIs the Strictly Low Histamine Diet ‘too limited’?
In answer to this question – no. The diet contains all the macronutrients and micronutrients needed for good health.
But of course the diet is limited to some extent! It is limited to foods that have been scientifically proven to be low in histamine, or histamine-triggering substances, or DAO-blocking biochemicals.

We didn’t invent the list, simply pulling it out of thin air – it is Mother Nature who has devised this list, not human beings. Furthermore, it is clearly stated in the book – the Strictly Low Histamine Diet is not meant to be followed in the long-term. It was never intended to be a life-long diet. It should be used as a tool to help lower your histamine to safe levels, after which other foods can be gradually reintroduced.

On the other hand, we occasionally receive messages from readers who say they think there are too many foods included on the Strictly Low Histamine Diet. They are worried about eating sugar, or carbs in general, or other foodstuffs and food groups that are permitted on the low histamine diet.

Everyone who seeks better health through diet must be applauded. Remember, however – James Gibb did not invent the list of low histamine foods; he merely catalogued it. Sugar does not trigger a histamine response, not does it contain high levels of histamine or DAO-blockers. Whether or not it is desirable to eat sugar at all is another question entirely. The purpose of “Is Food Making You Sick? The Strictly Low Histamine Diet” is to focus on histamine.

Low-histamine ingredients such as sugar, maple syrup and pasteurized honey, are unlikely to trigger your symptoms, but if you prefer to avoid sugar while on the Strictly Low Histamine Diet, do so by all means; it’s your choice.

Just remember that the Strictly Low Histamine Diet is not intended to be followed unremittingly for the rest of your life. It is a powerful and helpful tool, to be used when needed.

Wishing you good health!

 

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Are oats gluten-free or not?

Are oats gluten-free or not?

rolled oatsGluten and Oats

An interesting article concerning the confusion and conflicting information surrounding oats and gluten can be found online at Kialla Pure Foods. The article is relevant to people who, for whatever reason, want to follow a gluten-free diet.  We have copied part of it here, but the rest can be read on the Kialla website.

Is there such a thing as gluten-free oats?

All grains contain proteins, and the proteins in wheat, barley and rye are generally called glutens. While you won’t hear the name mentioned as often as ‘gluten’, if at all, the specific proteins in oats are called avenins.

If you google ‘do oats contain gluten?’ and find yourself on The University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, you’ll learn that avenins are not glutens. Many blogs will quote this or a related source.

However, this is not actually the correct picture. The Coeliac Australia website goes into a little more detail in regards to some technical terminology and testing processes. And this reveals a different picture of oats.

As they explain it, the term ‘gluten’ is generally used to describe a prolamin protein fraction that is associated with coeliac disease. This prolamin protein occurs in wheat, barley, rye and oats.

However in each of the grains the protein goes by different names: gliadin in wheat, hordein in in barley, secalin in rye, and avenin in oats. So, in fact, all oats naturally contain the prolamin protein, generally known as gluten, albeit in a slightly different form.

Why then can reputable sites make a clear statement that oats ‘don’t contain gluten’?

It seems it comes down to a technicality, both in terminology and in testing. When detecting the presence of gluten in food, laboratories use a particular testing process. Interestingly, the test is not actually able to measure avenin glutens because they have a slightly different amino acid combination.

Consequently, the response to this testing anomaly is different in the USA and in Australia. The FSANZ (Food Standards Australia and New Zealand) have set a standard that makes it impossible to claim that Australian grown or processed oats are gluten-free. Technically they are absolutely correct.

However, standards in the USA are more flexible. It is clearly acceptable to claim that oats are gluten free, since a reputable institution like the University of Chicago can state emphatically that oats ‘don’t contain gluten, but rather proteins called avenins that are non-toxic and tolerated by most celiacs.’

And it is this last point that enables the US (and European) standards where farmers and millers can claim their oats are gluten-free.

Even if you have coeliac disease you may still be able to enjoy a bowl of porridge.  Studies over the past 15 years show that oats are generally safe for those who have coeliac disease.

But even here it seems to be a case of different interpretations.

It’s either ‘a large body of scientific evidence’, according to the Uni of Chicago’s Celiac Center, or ‘limited clinical studies’ according to Coeliac Australia. And these studies’ claims of reaction rates to the avenin gluten protein apparently vary from ‘less than 1%’ (Uni of Chicago) to 20% (Coeliac Australia). Perhaps depending on which study you read!

While the Uni of Chicago site is happy to declare oats can be freely consumed by coeliacs, it adds the caveat that the oats need to be guaranteed uncontaminated by wheat, rye or barley. Either when growing in the field or when processed at the mill. This means that oats that are grown alongside crops with the other gluten proteins cannot claim to be gluten-free.

I suspect that such a proviso is simply covering for the potential of gluten-containing oats to impact coeliacs, while still allowing gluten-free claims. It is noteworthy that there is no need for any grains which really are gluten free (chickpeas, mung beans etc) and which may be grown around wheat, barley etc, to meet any anti-contamination requirements either in Australia or globally.

One thing that emerges very clearly: standards set by food authorities, tests conducted by labs, and scientific studies are not as cut and dried as we are often led to believe. You can see there are obviously as many shades of grey as food experts are able to introduce.

A variance between 1% and 20% is enormous, and generally would be considered inconclusive if found within a single study. Even in multiple studies it would confuse the averaging of the stats. Short of going into all the literature on gluten in oats studies for myself, I just have to accept that there’s a wide range of results.

Also, as we see with the term ‘gluten’, terminology can be tweaked and simplified to suit information and marketing imperatives.

The important question is: what constitutes a gluten-free product?

Recent regulations set by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the US, decided that to make a claim of gluten-free in the US, a product must test at less than 20 ppm (parts per million). The FDA site says that ‘this is the lowest level that can be consistently detected in foods using valid scientific analytical tools’.

The science begs to differ in Australia where the FSANZ gluten-free test can currently measure levels as low as 3ppm (parts per million).

So, strictly speaking, any ‘gluten-free’ product manufactured in Australia must comply with this 3ppm standard. Gluten-free means exactly that: ‘non-detectable’.
But imported products are able to contain up to 20ppm while still making the claim of ‘gluten-free’.

However, no need to panic. It seems that FSANZ is just playing it really safe.

It is interesting to note that Coeliac Australia supports the US FDA standards. They consider products that show tested gluten levels of less than 20ppm, to be suitable for those with coeliac disease. This is also the international Codex standard for gluten-free products.

Copyright: Kialla Pure Foods.

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Vegetable Noodles

Vegetable Noodles

zucchini spiralizerWhy Vegetable Noodles?

Vegetable noodles (or lasagna) are a delicious replacement for noodles (or lasagna) made with grains. The noodles can be bought ready-made as shirataki noodles, or found ready-made by nature, inside spaghetti squashes.

You can also make them using a spiralizer, which is often called a Spiral Vegetable Slicer. If you do not have one of these machines, you can use a Julienne peeler or a standard vegetable peeler. Veggie noodles are actually fun to make! You can see them being made on this Youtube video and also on this one (we have no affiliation with any of the brands or blogs mentioned).

You’ll end up with nutritious ‘ribbons’ of vegetables (vegetti), which you simply steam to cook, pile on a plate and smother with a scrumptious low-histamine sauce. Sauce recipes can be found in the book “Is Food Making You Sick?

For vegetable lasagna, substitute thin layers of parsnip or zucchini for sheets of grain lasagna.

The Strictly Low Histamine Diet allows most grains, notably excluding wheat. Wheat germ is high in histamine. (Wheat bran, however, is permissible.) Vegetable pasta can, however, make an interesting alternative.

Low histamine vegetables suited to spiralizing include:

  • Kholrabi (koloodles)
  • Zucchini (zoodles)
  • Carrot (coodles)
  • Parsnip (poodles)
  • Sweet Potato (swoodles)
  • Turnip (toodles)
  • Broccoli Stem (boodles – peel stem first)
  • Asparagus (aspoodles)

Note: kelp noodles, radish noodles or pumpkin noodles should not be included in a low histamine diet.

There are several reasons why you might prefer to eat pasta that’s grain-free.

  • People who follow the “Paleo” diet choose to avoid all grains, especially wheat.
  • People who are sensitive to gluten must avoid grains that contain gluten, if they are to remain healthy.
  • Eating non-grain pasta means consuming fewer calories – if you are trying to lose weight, this could help.
  • Vegetable noodles are delicious and nutritious.

It’s strange but true – veggies taste better when they’re in a different shape! So give spiralizing a try, and you could find you’re enjoying vegetables a whole lot more.

 

 

 

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Should Histamine Intolerance sufferers go gluten free?

Don’t panic about gluten!

Some people believe that if you suffer from histamine intolerance you should go gluten free.

These days, there is a fashion for avoiding gluten-containing foods because ‘gluten free’ is perceived as ‘healthier’. Gluten-containing foods include wheat, barley, rye, triticale, kamut and spelt.

Gluten is a natural plant protein that helps bread rise and gives bread, cakes, pastry, pasta, noodles, and similar foods their elasticity and texture.

The truth is, gluten is only a problem for people who are non-celiac gluten sensitive (NCGS), or who have celiac disease – that is, approximately 1% of the population. (Note: NCGS is a condition that is distinct from celiac disease.)

Foods that happen to contain gluten may also be a problem for people who are sensitive to those particular foods. For example, you may not be celiac or NCGS, but you might have been diagnosed as being sensitive to wheat, for reasons other than its gluten content. People with histamine intolerance should avoid wheat germ, in any case.

If you have celiac disease or NCGS then it is vital to avoid gluten because it can cause intestinal permeability, which is also known as ‘leaky gut’. This can in turn lead to DAO insufficiency and thus to histamine intolerance. Gluten intolerance is also linked with autoimmune  diseases.

However if you are, like the vast majority of the population, perfectly capable of digesting gluten without any problems, gluten-containing foods are actually good for you. They are highly nutritious – packed with vitamins, minerals and beneficial fiber.

“Studies show that whole grain foods, as part of a healthy diet, may help lower risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. A 2005 report from the American Dietetic Association warned that gluten free products tend to be low in a wide range of important nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber. There’s also little point in eliminating just some gluten. For people who are sensitive, even trace amounts can cause damage to the small intestines. So an almost gluten-free diet isn’t going to help if you have a problem.” [Source: WebMD]

In a normal, healthy person gluten will not cause a leaky gut. And the odds are, you are one of the 99% who can digest gluten.

If you think you really might be celiac or have NCGS, ask your doctor for a test. The Celiac Disease Foundation states that there are several blood tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies. “If test results suggest celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.”

Even if your celiac test comes up negative, you could try avoiding all gluten for at least 30 days to see if that makes your health improve. If you do feel better, this might indicate that you have NCGS.

If you really are gluten intolerant you’d have to cut out all gluten, down to the tiniest particle. An ‘almost-gluten-free’ diet will not help at all.

Simply avoiding gluten because you think it’s ‘bad’ for you means cutting a lot of nutritious foods from your diet. You can, of course, do so if you wish, but-

  • it’s more than likely there will be no benefit in it
  • you’d have to cut out a wide range of foods, because if you check the ingredients on labels, there are traces of gluten in most pre-prepared foods
  • commercially available gluten free foods often contain higher amounts of saturated fats, refined sugars and other undesirable ingredients
  • prepared gluten free foods are usually more expensive

The book “Is Food Making You Sick?” contains a large number of gluten free, low histamine recipes. Is Food Making You Sick?

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Eggs and Pumpkin

Are eggs and pumpkin permitted on a low histamine diet?

Eggs – yes (cooked)

Yes, eggs are fine as long as they are cooked.  People with HIT can safely eat egg yolks, and egg white is a histamine liberator only when in its raw state. Histamine intolerance expert Dr Janice Joneja writes: “Eggs in themselves don’t contain histamine, but egg whites are known to be a histamine-releaser.” These facts are supported on the Histamine Intolerance UK website and the Mast Cell Blog. However, if you prefer to go ultra-low-histamine, eliminate egg whites from your diet entirely – even cooked egg whites.

It is important not to confuse food allergies with histamine intolerance. Again, like gluten sensitivity, egg allergies are a different and separate issue. Eggs are a valuable source of nutrients, and just because raw egg whites contain histamine liberators, that is no reason to avoid cooked eggs.

 

Pumpkin – no

Pumpkin’s close relative is winter squash, so the two can be considered jointly. The book ‘Is Food Making You Sick? The Strictly Low Histamine Diet” recommends avoiding pumpkin.

Pumpkin is listed by the Food Intolerance Network as being safe for people with histamine intolerance. They write as follows:
“Foods that have lower histamine levels: Fresh vegetables: lettuce, cabbage, beetroot, pumpkin, onion, radishes, lamb’s lettuce, paprika, carrot, broccoli, potato, cucumber, leek, zucchini (courgettes), sweet corn, asparagus, garlic. Please be aware that, because of any other food intolerances or cross-allergies that may also be present, the low-histamine level of a particular foodstuff alone says nothing definite about whether or not the patient can tolerate it.”

Dr Judy Tsafrir writes, “I believe that many reactions are very individualized. In many cases it is worth eliminating a food that you have reason to view as problematic, and then retrying it and monitoring your symptoms. I did not think that zucchini or yellow squash were problematic for most people. It seems from my research on line that pumpkin is controversial as to whether or not it needs to be avoided on a low histamine diet.”

And Allergy UK states: “Certain foods (even food that is low in histamine) can stimulate the release of histamine from mast cells in your body (a type of immune cell). These foods include: pumpkin.”

In conclusion, we would suggest that if you are battling serious histamine intolerance you should avoid pumpkin.

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Quercetin

Quercetin for Histamine Intolerance


Quercetin, a type of plant-based chemical or phytochemical known as a flavonoid, is highly beneficial for histamine intolerance sufferers. Quercetin reduces the release of histamine, the substance that triggers allergies. Histamine is produced by mast cells.

In allergic rhinitis, mast cells in the nasal area increase in number and are thought to play an important role in the nasal symptoms that occur during seasonal allergies. In one study, researchers triggered histamine release in nasal scrapings from seasonal allergy patients exposed to mite antigen. When the nasal scrapings were exposed to quercetin, histamine release was inhibited 46 percent to 96 percent.[6] In another study of rat mast cells exposed to an allergen, quercetin inhibited histamine release by 95 percent and 97 percent. [7]

Other Health Benefits

Quercetin has been linked to a number of other health benefits. Scientific research proves that not only does it possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties [1], it also exerts a cognitive enhancing effect on the brains of Parkinson’s Disease patients [2] and protects against cadmium-induced oxidative toxicity and therefore may ameliorate autism symptoms [3].

‘Particularly notable was a study conducted by researchers at the Institute of Food Research and published in the journal Atheroscleroisis in 2008, which addresses concerns that, while quercetin has been shown to be highly effective in laboratory experiments on cell lines, the antioxidant quickly breaks down in the stomach and intestines when ingested as part of the diet. Quercetin skeptics had suggested that, because of this quick breakdown, quercetin naturally consumed in foods such as apples would have little or no health benefit.

‘The 2008 study showed, however, that both quercetin and the metabolites produced when it breaks down in the digestive system act as anti-inflammatories on the cells of human blood vessels. This suggests that dietary quercetin would indeed have the heart and blood pressure-promoting health benefits that had been observed in laboratory studies.

‘Another study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, found that a high dietary intake of flavanols decreases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 25 percent in non-smokers and by more than 50 percent in smokers. When the researchers examined dietary intake of quercetin in isolation, rather than intake of flavanols in general, they still found a reduction in the risk of pancreatic cancer.’ [3]

One clinical study of people with a strong inherited tendency to develop colorectal cancer found that the combination of quercetin and curcumin supplements decreased the number and size of precancerous rectal tumors. [4] No other clinical trials testing quercetin’s ability to prevent or treat cancer have been reported in the medical literature. Clinical trials are needed to further clarify quercetin’s possible benefits. In addition to cancer prevention and treatment, preliminary studies have also suggested potential value for quercetin in prostatitis (inflamed prostate) and heart disease. Further studies are needed before any recommendations can be made. [5]

Food Sources of Quercetin

Good sources for HIT sufferers include apples (particularly apple skin), onions, broccoli, green beans, leafy green vegetables such as lettuce; celery, chives, coriander and dill. One tree ripened apple, for example, contains 50 mg of quercetin. Quercetin is also available as a dietary supplement.

Quercetin is not destroyed by most cooking methods, including frying and baking. It is however lost by boiling food in water. ‘The boiling of onion leads to about 30% loss of quercetin glycosides, which transfers to the boiling water.’ [8]

Further reading

Wellness Resources

References

[1]‘Quercetin-induced cardioprotection against doxorubicin cytotoxicity.’
Jing-Yi Chen, Ren-Yu Hu and Hsiu-Chuan Chou
Department of Applied Science, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu, Taiwan
Journal of Biomedical Science 2013, 20:95 doi:10.1186/1423-0127-20-95

[2] Napatr Sriraksa, Jintanaporn Wattanathorn, Supaporn Muchimapura, Somsak Tiamkao, Kamoltip Brown, and Kowit Chaisiwamongkol, “Cognitive-Enhancing Effect of Quercetin in a Rat Model of Parkinson’s Disease Induced by 6-Hydroxydopamine,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2012, Article ID 823206, 9 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/823206

[3] Quercetin protects against cadmium-induced oxidative toxicity
Sunday, October 20, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer, Natural News
‘The common antioxidant quercetin may counter the toxic effects of cadmium on the body, according to a study conducted by researchers from Zhejiang University in China and published in the journal Anatomical Record in 2010. Cadmium is a highly dangerous and widespread heavy metal that has been linked to cancer, impaired brain function and development and damage to organs including the lungs, kidneys and bones. According to a groundbreaking study by Arizona State University researchers that was published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research earlier this year, high blood levels of cadmium are one of the single strongest factors linked to the severity of autism symptoms. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists cadmium as number seven among the 275 most hazardous substances.’

[4] Cruz-Correa M, Shoskes DA, Sanchez P, et al. Combination treatment with curcumin and quercetin of adenomas in familial adenomatous polyposis. Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology.2006;4:1035-1038.

[5] American Cancer Society ‘Quercetin’ Online article accessed 30/06/14

[6] Otsuka H, Inaba M, Fujikura T, Kunitomo M. Histochemical and functional characteristics of metachromatic cells in the nasal epithelium in allergic rhinitis: studies of nasal scrapings and their dispersed cells. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1995, Oct;96(4):528-36.

[7] Haggag EG, Abou-Moustafa MA, Boucher W, Theoharides TC. The effect of a herbal water-extract on histamine release from mast cells and on allergic asthma.J Herb Pharmacother 2003;3(4):41-54.

[8] J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2001 Feb;47(1):78-83.
Various cooking methods and the flavonoid content in onion.
Ioku K1, Aoyama Y, Tokuno A, Terao J, Nakatani N, Takei Y.

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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 Ranitidine.

Pantoprazole is another drug for heartburn patients that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. The problem is, long-term treatment with pantoprazole 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. Pantoprazole.
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.

For those who are interested in finding out more about how to obtain methylcobalamin, we’ve provided a link below (click on the picture).

The importance of Methylcobalamin

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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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