Inflammation, histamine implicated in Alzheimer’s

Male hands holding image of human brain

Citations for every blog talking point are always at the bottom of the post.

As I reported in last week’s blog post Luteolin for mast cells, histamine and brain fog?, “ seems research is also pointing to neuro-inflammation as the driving force of Alzheimer’s.” And indeed this week it certainly is. While it’s still a theory, a team at the University of Adelaide believe researchers have been barking up the wrong tree in pinning Alzheimer’s solely on a build up of amyloid plaques, and that they should focus on understanding how an immune system gone wild can attack the brain, causing localised brain inflammation.

Strangely, though I have experienced first hand the truly life changing effects of intense brain fog and near complete memory loss at times in my life, today was the first time I have ever looked at the link between histamine and Alzheimer’s specifically. I was shocked to see how much there is out there, and how much of it yielded conflicting results. It seems that when it comes to histamine, we still don’t yet know for sure whether histamine exerts a protective effect on the brain, or is implicated in the brain inflammation linked to Alzheimer’s.

On the subject of mast cells though we have an interesting study published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, in which researchers administered Mastinib, a mast cell stabiliser originally used to treat animal mast cell tumours, in a human trial. The goal of stabilising mast cell cells is to prevent them from leaking histamine and other inflammatory cells. In this case, specifically the brain. They concluded that as an add on to standard Alzheimer’s therapy, the mast cell stabiliser slowed cognitive decline.

Dr. Theoharides at Tufts has scads of research on the mast cell – neuroinflammation link. Visit his website for a fascinating read. 

So far I’ve learned that preventing brain fog and memory loss comes down to to a few things:

  1. Keeping a food diary to figure out which foods may bring on cognitive impairment. In my case this was mainly sugar and high sugar high histamine foods (like my beloved pineapple). Try not to completely eliminate the healthy culprit foods. I keep mine (pineapple included) on a very long rotation. In particular you may want to pay attention to food additives or colouring.
  2. Eating a diet rich in anthocyanins (the stuff found in blueberries and black rice).
  3. Eating a diet rich in foods with mast cell stabilising properties (those high in quercetin, luteolin and rutin). My cookbooks are entirely made up of these foods, specifically Man Food, the Anti-Cookbooks and the Anti-Detox ebook.
  4. Foods might not be enough in some cases – so I started taking a supplement created by NIH funded mast cell researcher Dr. Theoharides (Tufts).
  5. Checking SOD genes to establish whether supplementation is required.
  6. Regularly checking serum vitamin B12 and ferritin status (a lack of which may contribute to confusion, memory problems and general mental impairment).
  7. Consulting your doctor if over 65 and taking anti-cholinergic medication like some antihistamines and benzodiazepines (which may cause cognitive impairment in some). Read more here. 
  8. Making sure not to ingest too much sugar generally and making sure I have enough protein in the diet.
  9. Taking steps to reduce stress which has been shown to affect memory.
  10. Meditation, stress relief and visualisation have always been able to bring me back to reality during a very bad bout of brain fog and confusion.

I’ll be covering everything I’ve learned in the last five years regarding using the brain to heal the body in an upcoming online workshop on June 11th. Included in the two hour event, participants will be led in three meditation, visualisation and other techniques, live, by me. Check it out here. There will be a recording of the workshop available to you after the event just in case you miss it.

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



“The Enemy within: Innate Surveillance-Mediated Cell Death, the Common Mechanism of Neurodegenerative Disease” by Robert I. Richards, Sarah A. Robertson, Louise V. O’Keefe, Dani Fornarino, Andrew Scott, Michael Lardelli and Bernhard T. Baune in Frontiers in Neuroscience. Published online May 10 2016 doi:10.3389/fnins.2016.00193

Piette, François, Joël Belmin, Hélène Vincent, Nicolas Schmidt, Sylvie Pariel, Marc Verny, Caroline Marquis, Jean Mely, Laurence Hugonot-Diener, Jean-Pierre Kinet, Patrice Dubreuil, Alain Moussy, and Olivier Hermine. “Masitinib as an Adjunct Therapy for Mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s Disease: A Randomised, Placebo-controlled Phase 2 Trial.” Alzheimers Res Ther Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy 3.2 (2011): 16. Web.