April Showers not only bring May Flowers, they bring insufferable allergy symptoms for many of us!
The number of those suffering, and the duration of the season, seem to grow every year. Most people flock to their internist to get relief in the form of OTC antihistamines like Zyrtec and Claritin and steroidal nasal sprays like Flonase. While these medications do help tamp down symptoms, I've always been worried about the long-term effects of these medications and now there's some scary evidence that downing antihistamines for long periods of time can lead to Alzheimers!
While pharmaceutical meds have a place in certain life threatening situations, as a Chiropractor and Functional Nutritionist, I look first to the safest, most effective evidence-based natural strategies to combat symptoms. There are two great products out there that I highly recommend: Natural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular and OPC-3 by nutraMetrix. Both contain herbs and vitamins that target histamine and support the immune system in slightly different ways. Keep reading to see how.
(We have two supplement stores online that you can order these products from: The Doctors Supplement store, carries the Natural D-Hist. The registration code for ordering is CO520. The OPC-3 is available at nutraMetrix. You'll need your ID and Password from the nutraMetrix card you received as a new patient. If you need that information again, please email me here).
Natural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular
This product contains quercetin, stinging nettles leaf extract, bromelian, N-Acetyl Cysteine
(NAC), and vitamin C and basically "eats" histamine and comes in both an adult and children's formula. I've broken out each ingredient explaining why it's such a great product.
Quercetin has strong antioxidant activity and has been shown to support immune health by mediating the release of inflammatory compounds including leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Quercetin is known for its ability to stabilize mast cells, diminishing the release of histamine (the compound known to cause hypersensitivity reactions during seasonal changes).
Stinging Nettles Leaf Extract
Stinging nettles leaf is a plant that has been shown to balance immune response, specifically in the airways and nasal passages. Studies have shown that the extract of stinging nettles leaf balances a variety of inflammatory activities that affect respiratory health.
Bromelain is a plant enzyme naturally found on the stem and fruit of the pineapple plant. Bromelain is a proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzyme that aids in in the breakdown of large protein complexes, including antigenic compounds (like toxins or bacteria), and has been shown to enhance the absorption of quercetin. Bromelain has also been shown to reduce circulating allergenic protein complexes associated with hyper-immune sensitivity and seasonal discomfort.
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an amino acid precursor to one of the most important antioxidants in the body, glutathione. Both glutathione and NAC help reduce the viscosity of the mucus allowing for clearing of the airways and improved respiratory health.
Vitamin C cannot be synthesized by humans and is therefore an essential nutrient that must be consumed daily in the diet. Among its numerous health-promoting properties, vitamin C is an essential vitamin that supports the immune system and is also a potent antioxidant. When the body is under a significant amount of stress, vitamin C is excreted rapidly and needs to be replaced. Vitamin C has many immune boosting properties, but is distinctively beneficial for individuals with seasonal discomfort because of its ability to deactivate histamine.
Isotonix OPC-3 by nutraMetrix
OPC-3, as it's name suggests, contains Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs). OPCs are bioflavonoids (complex organic plant compounds) found in fruits, vegetables and certain tree barks that provide exceptional nutritional benefits to the human body. Studies have shown OPCs to be up to 20 times more powerful than vitamin C and 50 times more powerful than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals!
It's the ingredient list that makes this specific formula so unique. A combination of bilberry, grape seed, red wine and pine bark extracts (Pycnogenol®), and citrus extract
bioflavonoids, have all been found to be powerful antioxidants.
OPC-3, as a superior antioxidant, can provide you with long-term health benefits in many categories including ridding you of your debilitating allergies.
So next time your allergies are causing you major misery, instead of reaching in the medicine cabinet for quick fixes that only mask symptoms and can be harmful to your brain health, reach for the D-Hist or OPC-3 (or both!) and head out to enjoy the wonders and joys of those May flowers symptom free!
Be Well, Dr. Ostroff
Florham Park Office
248 Columbia Turnpike
Florham Park, NJ 07932
4 Aster Terrace
Mendham, NJ 07945