Best Probiotics for Histamine Intolerance
Probiotics can be a touchy subject when it comes to histamine intolerance and mast cell disorders. After all, bacteria are the problem, right? Well, it depends what type we’re talking about. Certain strains of probiotics can actually be really helpful in healing histamine intolerance, but you have to know your source, your substrate, and your actual strain, not just species. Read on to learn what to look for.
STRAIN SPECIFICITY (DO YOU KNOW YOUR BUG?)First of all, it’s important to know the difference between strain and species when it comes to probiotics. A lot of people use the word “strain” when they actually mean “species” and this is causing a lot of confusion. As an example, Lactobacillus rhamnosus. “Lactobacillus” is the genus. “Rhamnosus” is the species. The strain is unknown (not listed). You can find Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (or L. rhamnosus) LRB, L. rhamnosus GG, and more. It’s these letters and numbers that come after that species that designate the strain. And they don’t all have the same effects. In fact, different strains of the same species of bacteria can have opposite effects. You never know when one strain could promote histamine while the other lowers it. So, it’s important to know your strain. This concept is known as “strain specificity” and you can read more about how strains are named in this post. I absolutely do not recommend adding in a probiotic during the elimination diet phase, nor when things are generally unstable. It can be like pouring gasoline on a fire. Everything will be amazing for the first few days/week, and then it’ll hit.
SUBSTRATEIt’s also important to know what the probiotic was grown on, for example, dairy. If dairy is an issue for you, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve got a dairy-free probiotic.
SOURCE/BRANDThe brand of probiotic can make a huge difference for those of us who tend to have overactive immune systems. If you find a probiotic that is made up of just one strain, L. rhamnosus GG, but this particular brand likes to add fillers and colors, you might be in big trouble — even if you do tolerate the strain. You could be dealing with dairy- or corn-based fillers, titanium dioxide, and a whole lot more. Always check the label for other ingredients, just to be on the safe side.
BIFIDOBACTERIUM LONGUM BB536 + BIFIDOBACTERIUM INFANTIS 35624Bifidobacterium longum BB536 was studied alongside Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 to investigate its ability to block histamine. This probiotic mixture, called Lac-B, was found to significantly suppress allergic type symptoms and decrease histamine levels. It also suppressed the expression of the genes for histamine 1 receptors and histidine decarboxylase, which would otherwise form histamine from the amino acid, histidine. In another study, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 also had a strong anti-inflammatory effect throughout the body.
LACTOBACILLUS REUTERI MM53Reuteri MM53 (otherwise known as DSM 17938, ATCC 55730, and SD 2112) is an H2 histamine blocker and helps with symptoms of GERD/acid reflux. Lactobacillus reuteri causes histidine to convert to histamine, but this particular histamine raises cAMP (a good thing), and kills inflammation This study finally backs up the assertion that not all histamine is bad and as such should not be entirely eliminated from the diet.
This all goes hand in hand with what I’ve been saying for years: the focus should be on health as a whole, rather than lowering or avoiding histamine. We need to support the immune system, lower inflammation, and heal the gut.Sakei Probio 65 is the probiotic found in the Korean fermented cabbage condiment/side dish, kimchi. L. Sakei Probio 65 can inhibit IgE (the stuff involved in allergies) and interleukins (involved in mast cell disorders and inflammation generally), and it shows promise in treating atopic dermatitis caused by IgE mediated histamine release. You can get this in a bulk powder online.