Supplements for allergy relief and prevention
Millions of people
worldwide suffer from allergies, causing discomfort in daily lives and sometimes even posing serious consequences. While allergy symptoms usually consist of a runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes swelling more severe allergies can cause serious problems. Those who suffer from allergy symptoms could relieve symptoms by using certain nutrients and vitamins that act as natural antihistamines.
It is important that, while supplements can provide symptom relief and be used similarly to herbal medicines against allergy symptoms, a healthcare professional should always be contacted before starting any new supplement regime.
Why Supplements are Helpful for Allergies
Supplements and natural plant extracts can act as antihistamines. Antihistamines are a protein that blocks histamine activity. It is histamine that triggers various allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, and a scratchy throat.
While over-the-counter antihistamines are available, they have side effects such as nausea and drowsiness. Natural alternative medicine, thus, is desirable in comparison.
Certain supplements and vitamins can help with seasonal allergies, food allergies, and pet allergies, due to their anti-inflammatory or immune system-boosting properties. Other supplements reduce the release of histamines.
Best Supplements for Allergies
The following are the best natural antihistamines to be used as an alternative medicine.
Vitamin C is most commonly used for boosting the immune system – something that is also helpful when trying to treat allergy symptoms. It also acts as a powerful natural antihistamine.
Studies have found that oxidative stress plays a vital role in allergic diseases such as seasonal rhinitis. As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it therefore acts as a useful treatment against allergies.
Interestingly, it has also been observed that a deficiency in vitamin C can lead to allergy-related diseases. Certain foods such as bell peppers, citrus fruits, and broccoli are high in vitamin C. Supplementations of Vitamin C are also easily, available.
Bromelain is an enzyme that is most known for being in pineapples. It has been used as a natural remedy for inflammation for some time, particularly being favoured for sinus issues after surgery or injury.
A controlled clinical trial
found that bromelain reduced allergic sensitization and allergic airway disease in mice, due to its anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties. However, those who may be allergic to pineapple or anything similar should avoid taking bromelain supplements.
The supplementation of bromelain can cause side effects such as an upset stomach, increased heart rate, and a change in the menstrual cycle. A doctor should always be consulted if there are any concerns.
Quercetin is found in multiple foods and plants such as onions and kale. It is an antioxidant that could help to relieve symptoms and allergic reactions. Quercetin is believed to have anti-allergic and antihistamine properties.
Quercetin helps to stabilise mast cells and reduce the release of histamine. It is this that helps to lower airway inflammation and reduce the respiratory effects of allergies.
There is still much research to be completed into quercetin and its ability to relieve allergic rhinitis. It is safe to take for most people, and supplements are recommended over foods that contain it due to the food containing low levels of the flavonoid.
Probiotics are commonly used for maintaining a healthy gut, but they also have immune system-boosting properties and could also help the body fight off allergies.
Some studies state that a balanced gut microbiome could help to reduce how severe the allergy symptoms are. Ultimately, promoting a healthy gut can help the body to manage allergens much more efficiently.
Probiotics can be taken as a supplement. Foods that contain probiotics
include yoghurt, tempeh, and fermented milk.
Butterbur has been used as a natural antihistamine for allergy symptoms for centuries, making it incredibly popular in traditional and herbal medicine. It contains petasin, which has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. Some studies suggest that it does have antihistamine effects, but it is unsure whether this is a placebo effect.
Butterbur contains compounds called alkaloids which can be incredibly harmful, too. Some supplements do not contain these substances which are highly recommended. Consulting a healthcare provider before taking supplements is recommended.
It’s also worth noting that those who have allergic reactions or sensitivities to ragweed, marigolds, and daisies could also be allergic to butterbur.
Stinging nettle is another herb that has been used for centuries to treat allergies. It contains useful bioactive compounds that can reduce allergy symptoms by blocking histamines.
Stinging nettles are commonly enjoyed as a tea, and have been so in North America, Europe, and Africa for thousands of years, making them convenient for allergy relief.
Traditional medicine, while it may be popular, might not have the same effect on everybody. Treating allergies is complex and allergy medication isn’t a one-shop fix for all. Stinging nettle might not help to reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis and might even trigger other allergies.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in flaxseed oil or fish oil supplements are commonly used in natural medicine for their anti-inflammatory properties. Research has suggested that it can also be used as a natural allergy medication.
It is omega-3’s inflammatory properties that may help to reduce allergy symptoms as well as improve overall health. However, a healthy balance of omega-3 fatty acids must be achieved as an excess can have the opposite effect and contribute to inflammation.
Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids include salmon and tuna. Supplementation is recommended for those on a vegetarian diet.
Certain regulatory immune system cells can prevent the release of chemicals which worsen or cause allergic diseases. Research has found that vitamin D can activate those immune system cells.
Furthermore, a deficiency in vitamin D can inhibit this regulatory mechanism which can trigger the allergic disease or worsen an existing allergy disease.
Vitamin D is important for overall health and studies do show that vitamin D can protect against food allergies. However, it is estimated that about one billion people
worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency, hence why supplementation is vital.
Green Tea Extract
Green tea contains polyphenols, most important regarding allergy relief is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Dust, pollen, and animal dander can be fought against using green tea extract.
Green tea extract supplements reduce inflammation and therefore can help to alleviate allergy symptoms. Green tea consumed as a beverage also is high in antioxidants which can help with the overall immune system and the body’s ability to fight off allergic diseases.
Importantly, green tea allergy, whilst rare, is possible. Tannin and caffeine
can trigger allergic reactions.
Can the Same Supplements Used for Bronchitis Also Help with Allergies?
Yes, the best bronchitis supplements can also help with allergies. Some supplements like vitamin C, zinc, and quercetin have natural anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that can provide relief for both bronchitis and allergies. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements regimen.
Turmeric contains a powerful compound called curcumin which is able to alleviate symptoms of allergies such as itchy eyes and a runny nose.
Curcumin contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which has made it a strong contender in the list of natural antihistamines. It might help to mitigate various allergic reactions by modulating the immune system’s response and reducing inflammation in the body.
Curcumin can inhibit histamine release and rapidly reduce symptoms. More research should be conducted into the effectiveness of turmeric on allergies, but it seems to offer a promising holistic solution to managing allergies.
Supplements have proven to be beneficial in managing allergies, but like with every new medication, it is important to consult a healthcare professional first. Supplements should also complement a healthy lifestyle that includes adequate
sleep, a balanced diet, and regular exercise.
With allergies such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, it is important to address root triggers and causes. Supplements work best when they are combined with allergen avoidance and a clean environment.
Many foods and vitamins can provide relief to allergic rhinitis symptoms with good evidence to suggest that they act as a mast cell stabilizer making them useful during allergy season or as a natural alternative to allergy medications.
What are allergies, and how do they affect the body?
Allergies are the immune system’s overreaction to harmless substances, resulting in symptoms like sneezing, itching, runny nose, or skin rashes. When allergens trigger the immune system, it releases histamines, causing these reactions.
Can supplements prevent allergies from developing in the first place?
Supplements alone are unlikely to prevent allergies from developing, but a balanced diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants may support a healthy immune system, reducing the risk of developing allergies. Genetics and environmental factors also play a significant role in allergy development.
Can children and pregnant women use these supplements for allergies?
Children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult with a healthcare provider before using any supplements. Dosages and safety considerations can differ for these specific populations.
Can I replace allergy medication with supplements?
Supplements can be a valuable addition to your allergy management, but they are not a substitute for prescribed allergy medications, especially for severe allergies. Always follow your healthcare provider’s advice regarding medication use.
How long does it take for supplements to work in alleviating allergy symptoms?
The time it takes for supplements to provide relief can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience improvement within a few days, while others may take several weeks. Consistency in taking the supplements is essential.