Friday, February 4, 2011

Magnesium helps lower histamine levels


Magnesium is a trace mineral that reduces histamine release and inflammation of the airways and lungs by stabilizing mast cells and T-lymphocytes. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs

Magnesium is a trace mineral that is required for not just building strong bones but for the proper functioning of our entire bodies.

Today's refined food simply doesn't contain enough magnesium and foods that do contain it lose it through the cooking process. Even if you are purposefully eating raw foods daily that are rich in magnesium, consuming coffee, alcohol, soda or soft drinks and salt will result in a loss of this mineral. Foods that contain magnesium are cereals, nuts, green vegetables, and dairy products. However, according to an article in The Lancet by Britton et al. Magnesium deficiency is surprisingly common.
Maintaining proper levels of magnesium in the body helps by relaxing airway smooth muscle and dilating bronchioles in the lungs. It also reduces histamine release and inflammation of the airways and lungs by stabilizing mast cells and T- lymphocytes. Studies like the one in The Lancet showed that increasing magnesium intake helped to reduce and even prevent allergy and asthma symptoms

Allergies and Chemical Sensitivities 
In the book Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, the authors note that food allergies are usually associated with low hydrochloric acid levels and poor digestion.   The authors' rationale for this is that low stomach acid leaves food undigested and fermenting in the intestinal tract. Undigested and fermented food causes the body to raise histamine levels, which produce allergic reactions.  This is why people take antihistamines for allergies, to lower histamine levels.  Interestingly, Mg is needed to reduce histamine levels. 
Low stomach acid levels reduce levels of beneficial intestinal bacteria which is needed for absorption of magnesium.  When lab rats are deprived of magnesium, a wide variety of studies have noted that they develop  allergy like symptoms.  Their ears turn red and  they develop skin problems.  Rats with magnesium deficiencies have increases in histamine levels.  They also have raised levels of white blood cell  counts.   Mg deficiency has been implicated in allergies and allergic skin reaction in many studies on humans, too.  Variations of allergies, skin allergies, and raised white blood cells have all been noted as features of many chronic disorders. 

What is the health risk of too much magnesium?

Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk, however pharmacologic doses of magnesium in supplements can promote adverse effects such as diarrhea and abdominal cramping

Sources:  Office of dietary supplements.  National Institutes of Health   Connective Tissue Disorder Site

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