Persistent Sore Throat Triggered ByToothpaste’s Histamine Ingredients

toothpaste squeezed onto a blue wooden background Did you know that most toothpastes contain histamine triggering ingredients? If you’re suffering from a persistently sore throat, migraine or throat swelling (unrelated to anaphylaxis), it might be time to examine the known histamine and mast cell triggers in commercially available toothpastes, and which alternatives exist.  I was stumped. Every evening, at about the same time, my throat would begin swelling shut, a migraine would develop and I’d start itching all over. At first I believed I had bed bugs, and so went bananas changing the sheets every night, sleeping on different mattresses, and yet my man didn’t feel a thing. Ending up in the ER a number of times, mostly after my favourite dessert (a pineapple smoothie with soy milk), I finally realised that toothpaste is what these events had in common. To understand why adding pineapple and soy to the toothpaste reaction led to the ER, read my post on the inflammation bucket.  A hazy memory of my having to return many make up and beauty products a decade earlier while living in San Francisco (and eating oysters and crab every few days), rose to the surface and so I switched to a more natural toothpaste. Voila! Mystery solved. No more sore throat, and the rest of it. I’ve shared the nugget with hundreds of people and had just as many improvements. My excellent diet has played a bigger role overall in fighting histamine reactions and inflammation.

You’ll find recipes full of foods with antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties my books Anti-Recipes and The Anti-Cookbook



A look at most commercial toothpastes reveals an assortment of dyes, preservatives and emulsifiers. They’re pretty much all histamine and mast cell triggers. A mast cell is a white blood cell that contains histamine. This member of the immune system is called into action when we’re injured or faced with a virus/infection. Mast cells release histamine and other inflammatory agents into the blood stream as needed. Stress, allergens, chemicals, and high histamine foods can trigger them into dumping histamine and other inflammation when not needed. 


  • Titanium dioxide
  • Tartrazine (yellow dye)
  • Sunset yellow (yellow dye)
  • Coccine (red dye)
  • Amaranth (also called a “natural” dye)
  • Erythrosine
  • Indigo carmine (FD&C Blue No. 2),
  • Ponceau,
  • Brilliant Blue (FD&C Blue No. 1)
  • Methyl blue,
  • Quinolone yellow
  • FD&C Red
  • Sodium laureth sulfate (used in one study to trigger mast cells so they could measure the effectiveness of quercetin)


I have yet to find a great US toothpaste – I’m still bringing my Green People mint toothpaste over from England. You’re basically looking for something that excludes the aforementioned ingredients, but watch out for carrageenan containing natural alternatives. Read about how carrageenan causes leaky gut here. And how it triggers histamine here. ——- REFERENCES ——– “How Histamine Causes Leaky Gut | Healing Histamine.” Healing Histamine | Histamine Intolerance Diet Foods Recipes, 4 Mar. 2017, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017. Drugs, Committee on. “”Inactive” Ingredients in Pharmaceutical Products: Update (Subject Review).” Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 Feb. 1997, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.
Ahn, Mi-Hyun, et al. “Titanium dioxide particle – induced goblet cell hyperplasia : association with mast cells and IL-13.” Respiratory Research, BioMed Central, 13 Apr. 2005, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.
 Weng, Zuyi, et al. “Quercetin Is More Effective than Cromolyn in Blocking Human Mast Cell Cytokine Release and Inhibits Contact Dermatitis and Photosensitivity in Humans.” PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2012, Accessed 27 Aug. 2017.
Share this on: