Calcium D-Glucarate, Your Microbiome, and You: A Closer Look at Hormone Regulation

Calcium D-Glucarate, Your Microbiome, and You: A Closer Look at Hormone Regulation

Calcium D-glucarate is a popular supplement with some buzz these days, used for cancer prevention, liver detoxification, and hormone regulation, but few know why exactly it’s recommended. This article will discuss why it’s used and discuss whether it’s a band-aid or a root cause approach to chronic disease.

First, let’s take a closer look at the compound itself.

Calcium D-glucarate is a calcium salt of D-glucaric acid, a non-toxic compound found in many fruits and vegetables, especially grapefruits, apples, oranges and even cruciferous vegetables, such as broccolini and Collard greens, but in trace amounts. (1)

Calcium D-Glurate and Liver Detoxification

The liver works 24/7 to help carry waste products out of your body.  

The liver has three phases of detoxification, and the middle or second phase, or Phase II, uses a process called glucuronidation, which involves processing end-metabolite hormones such as estrogen so that as end-metabolites they can safely move out of the body. (2, 3)

All steroid hormones, for example, are detoxified in the liver via glucuronidation.

Oral supplementation of Calcium D-glucarate has been shown to inhibit beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme produced by colonic microbiota heavily involved in liver detoxification. (4) This inhibitory enzyme can be produced in excessive amounts when our microbiome is compromised by a pathogenic bacterial foothold.

Beta-Glucuronidase Run Amuck

When our gut microbiota are thrown off, a state otherwise called dysbiosis, a host of byproducts are generated which can lead to dysbiosis-associated changes. (5) Some common agents which can wreak havoc on our microbiome include antibiotics, such as clindamycin, and NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen. (6, 7) And one of these dysbiosis-associated changes include the overproduction of the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. (8)

But the danger here is that if there is excessive beta-glucuronidase in the body due to pathogenic bacteria having taken ahold in the gut, then these end-metabolites of estrogen can be cleaved at the junction of (soon-to-be-excreted) toxin and glucuronic acid, and the toxin can then stay in the body and lead to the formation of carcinogens in the bowel, increasing the risk of cancer.

This whole process can lead to the promotion of enterohepatic recirculation wherein a toxic soup of toxins, hormones and even drugs circulates freely throughout the body. (9

A deeper discussion of enterohepatic recirculation can be saved for a future article, but it has been shown to lead, for example, to higher estrogen levels, which in turn increases the risk for breast cancer. 

In other words, elevated beta-glucuronidase activity is associated with hormone-dependent cancers. 

Calcium D-Glucarate to the Rescue


Supposedly, enter the supplement, calcium D-glucarate, to the rescue. Studies indicate that calcium D-Glucarate will actually prevent the excess beta-glucuronidase from cleaving the end-products of estrogen, allowing them to remain glucuronidated and to be excreted properly. 

Beta-glucuronidase actively conjugates estrogens into their active forms, a process which is impaired by dysbiosis and results in less circulating estrogen, which may contribute to conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, 

cardiovascular disease, and cancer. (10)

Calcium D-glucarate is thought to confer protective properties against breast cancer via estrogen clearance. 

In mice models, D-glucarates themselves appear to suppress cell proliferation and inflammation, and can also induce cell apoptosis, that is, they can potentially support proper cell death so as to keep malignancy in check. (11)

Other compounds thought to inhibit breast cancer include diindolylmethane (DIM) and isothiocyanates (sulphoraphane) found in cruciferous vegetables. (12) Hence, make sure to eat adequate amounts of these sulfur-rich foods.

In other words, it is thought that oral supplementation of calcium D-glucarate is a way of favoring the body’s natural defense mechanism by upregulating the clearance of carcinogens.

Is Excessive Beta-Glucuronidase A Calcium D-Glucarate Deficiency? 

Is the above a leading question? Somewhat. Is it a rhetorical question: Well, kind of. But the short answer is no. 

And taking calcium D-glucarate, though it may be highly indicated, especially as part of a naturopathic or functional treatment plan, is more a band-aid treatment than a root cause approach. 

In other words, the right question to be asking is, “What exactly is mediating or causing the excessive beta-glucuronidase producing dysbiosis?

In other words, the root cause isn’t even the dysbiosis. The dysbiosis is a symptom of an imbalance that likely has a multifactorial etiology that requires the assistance of a naturopathic physician or other integrative medicine practitioner.

Basically, it can be said that the imbalance is occurring in the gut and that by correcting whatever is causing the dysbiosis, that will lead to an improvement in symptomatology and potentially a resolution.

Hence, taking calcium D-glucarate is a potential first step, that should be part of a root cause oriented approach, to mitigate the effects of high estrogen but it is only a band-aid.

However, it’s best to start with restoring your gut microbiome by way of eliminating the instigators and mediators of dysbiosis, such as multiple rounds of antibiotics or a daily non-steroidal anti-inflammmatory (NSAID) such as ibuprofen, regularly eating your food intolerances, eating a Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), being in constant fight-or-flight, or any other number potential culprits known to compromise gut function.

In other words, because the microbiome is one of the main regulators of estrogen circulation, by taking care of our microbiome, our hormones are more likely to remain in balance.

However, remember to consult your naturopathic doctor, or your integrative medicine practitioner, before considering introducing calcium D-glucarate into your supplement regimen.


  1. Hanausek M, Walaszek Z, Slaga TJ. Detoxifying cancer causing agents to prevent cancer. Integr Cancer Ther. 2003 Jun;2(2):139-44. doi: 10.1177/1534735403002002005. PMID: 15035900.
  2. Dwivedi C, Heck WJ, Downie AA, Larroya S, Webb TE. Effect of calcium glucarate on beta-glucuronidase activity and glucarate content of certain vegetables and fruits. Biochem Med Metab Biol. 1990 Apr;43(2):83-92. doi: 10.1016/0885-4505(90)90012-p. PMID: 2346674.
  3. Calcium-D-glucarate. Altern Med Rev. 2002 Aug;7(4):336-9. PMID: 12197785.
  4. Gillis CC, Hughes ER, Spiga L, Winter MG, Zhu W, Furtado de Carvalho T, Chanin RB, Behrendt CL, Hooper LV, Santos RL, Winter SE. Dysbiosis-Associated Change in Host Metabolism Generates Lactate to Support Salmonella Growth. Cell Host Microbe. 2018 Jan 10;23(1):54-64.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2017.11.006. Epub 2017 Dec 21. Erratum in: Cell Host Microbe. 2018 Apr 11;23 (4):570. PMID: 29276172; PMCID: PMC5764812.
  5. Langdon A, Crook N, Dantas G. The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation. Genome Med. 2016 Apr 13;8(1):39. doi: 10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z. PMID: 27074706; PMCID: PMC4831151.
  6. Rogers MAM, Aronoff DM. The influence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs on the gut microbiome. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016 Feb;22(2):178.e1-178.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.cmi.2015.10.003. Epub 2015 Oct 16. PMID: 26482265; PMCID: PMC4754147.
  7. Baker JM, Al-Nakkash L, Herbst-Kralovetz MM. Estrogen-gut microbiome axis: Physiological and clinical implications. Maturitas. 2017 Sep;103:45-53. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.06.025. Epub 2017 Jun 23. PMID: 28778332.
  8. Court MH. Interindividual variability in hepatic drug glucuronidation: studies into the role of age, sex, enzyme inducers, and genetic polymorphism using the human liver bank as a model system. Drug Metab Rev. 2010 Feb;42(1):209-24. doi: 10.3109/03602530903209288. PMID: 19821798; PMCID: PMC6174030.
  9. Roberts MS, Magnusson BM, Burczynski FJ, Weiss M. Enterohepatic circulation: physiological, pharmacokinetic and clinical implications. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2002;41(10):751-90. doi: 10.2165/00003088-200241100-00005. PMID: 12162761.
  10. Zółtaszek R, Hanausek M, Kiliańska ZM, Walaszek Z. Biologiczna rola kwasu D-glukarowego i jego pochodnych; potencjalne zastosowanie w medycynie [The biological role of D-glucaric acid and its derivatives: potential use in medicine]. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2008 Sep 5;62:451-62. Polish. PMID: 18772850.
  11. Zoltaszek R, Kowalczyk P, Kowalczyk MC, et al. Dietary D-glucarate effects on the biomarkers of inflammation during early post-initiation stages of benzo[a]pyrene-induced lung tumorigenesis in A/J mice. Oncol Lett. 2011;2(1):145-154. doi:10.3892/ol.2010.221
  12. Thomson CA, Ho E, Strom MB. Chemopreventive properties of 3,3′-diindolylmethane in breast cancer: evidence from experimental and human studies. Nutr Rev. 2016;74(7):432-443. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuw010
What Exactly Does Food Intolerance Mean?

What Exactly Does Food Intolerance Mean?

Food intolerance is different than food allergy. Food intolerance is a non-specific, non-immune mediated reaction to specific foods.

According to one’s individual biochemistry and digestion, the digestive tract’s intestinal lining doesn’t recognize certain foods as nutritive, but rather as toxic or indigestible, responding with symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and many others. This also may be due to an enzyme deficiency.

Food intolerance is easily confused by the lay public with food allergies, which are immunologic in nature.

Food allergy can be potentially life threatening, inducing such reactions as anaphylactic shock, whereas food intolerances usually produce more chronic, in the background, low lying states

of inflammation. Food intolerance has to do with the body’s ability to sufficiently metabolize, digest, and absorb the nutrients from certain foods.

Though food intolerance is not immune mediated, the resulting inflammation is an immune response, characterized clinically by redness (rubor), heat (calor), swelling (tumor), and pain (dolor).

According to naturopathic doctors, inflammation is actually a compensatory, protective response on the part of the organism to reestablish normal balance in structure and function, to ward off “the bad guys,” or to resolve the underlying mechanisms or causes of the disease/state/condition.

The inflammatory response, in other words, is part of the body’s attempt to heal itself, and so should not be suppressed but rather worked with and supported. Unless, of course, a much more serious condition is at hand, such as the anaphylactic shock or severe IgE- mediated food allergy.

The dietary food intolerance evaluation is not a food allergy test or a lab, which classically measure IgG and IgE antibody titers that serve as biomarkers of the level of one’s individual response to certain foods as antigenic compounds.

In fact, this food intolerance assessment is a naturopathic, diagnostic tool, or rather, a functional evaluation that is evaluating the body’s ability to break down and absorb certain foods.

The foods listed above, in your results report, will likely irritate your intestinal lining and lead to symptoms of inflammation downstream, due to higher levels of toxicity in the blood (“toxemia”). These symptoms will be unique to each individual.

The only way to truly know how the foods listed below affect your digestive system is to remove them from your diet for a time. Knowledge empowers, and health is a journey, not a destination.

This information empowers you with more knowledge about what makes your body move in the direction of health and what makes it go against the trajectory- it’s up to you to determine what you want to do with it.


Two Reasons Dairy Could Be Driving Your Inflammation

Two Reasons Dairy Could Be Driving Your Inflammation

Dairy sensitivity is a commonly reported and documented ailment and complaint with symptoms including bloating and diarrhea, gas, indigestion, cramps, nasal congestion and heartburn, and just feeling off. (1)

Globally, dairy intolerance is the most common food intolerance in the world, said to be mainly due to lactose, the sugar found in milk, and shown to affect as much as 68% of the global population. (2) Dairy allergy, on the other hand, which has nothing to do with lactose, is especially common in children and infants, being an IgE-mediated, that is an allergenic and immunogenic reaction to cow’s milk. (3

Though it is widely acknowledged and accepted that dairy can cause a host of health complaints, it is not commonly known why this might be. Of course, it depends, to some degree, on the health and epigenetics of the individual and the environment to which their bodies and genes are exposed, but this article will discuss two biochemical reasons that dairy may be driving your inflammation. 

Reason #1: The Structure of Dairy Carbohydrates

One reason that dairy may be challenging to our health is based on the biochemistry of dairy carbohydrates. If you took biochemistry in school, you may recall that the structure of lactose bonds are composed of one molecule of D-galactose and one molecule of D-glucose linked by a beta-1,4-glycosidic bond (to form a single molecule), a bond which can only be broken with the enzyme lactase. (4)

Lactose is a disaccharide, meaning it’s composed of two sugars, and when the enzyme lactase cleaves the bond catalytically by acid hydrolysis, then you have two monosaccharides (a fancy word for a single molecule of sugar): galactose and glucose.

In other words, lactase converts a double molecule of sugar, lactose, to two single molecules, galactose and glucose. And without lactase, we cannot break down the lactose in dairy products. (5)

Grass-Fed Cows and Cellulose

We know that grass is what cows mainly eat, and grass is made up of a carbohydrate called cellulose. Fascinatingly, cellulose contains these same beta-1,4-glycosidic bonds but cellulose is indigestible to humans because of these bonds. (6)

Cellulose is composed of glucose monomers linked in unbranched chains joined by these bonds in a linear, fibrous structure. Unfortunately, humans don’t have any cellulase, which is made by bacteria in cows’ guts, to break down cellulose. 

Humans also don’t have four stomachs, like these ruminants, either: a rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. (7) Looking closely, the lactase-specific bond of lactose is similar in structure to the bonds in cellulose.

Reason #2: The Structure of Dairy Proteins

Out of the 12 most common genetic variants of cow, A1 and A2 are by far the most common. But they are both different in the single nucleotide polymorphisms in their dairy proteins (SNPs). There is something called the A1/A2 milk hypothesis. (8)

A little known fact is that A1 cows in the United States contain a histidine residue in the beta casein protein in their amino acid structure. Histidine is a precursor building block to histamine, which makes the symptoms of allergy much more likely. In other words, if your body has a bunch of histidine onboard, it might just go to town making histamine molecules. However, there is evidence that this isn’t the main reason that A1 cow milk consumption is associated with more problems. (9, 10)

Have you ever traveled over to Europe and eaten a ton of dairy, and noticed that you reacted much less severely to those foods? Or maybe you heard this story from a friend or family member, and found it to be curious? Well, here’s a possible reason why: 

The cows in Europe are mostly A2 cows, which produce dairy compounds that contain a proline residue, instead of histidine. In other words, from a biochemical perspective, the dairy of A2 cows in Europe are significantly more potentially hypoallergenic than the dairy of A1 cows in the US.

It has also been found that under normal digestive circumstances, an opiate-like protein called BCM-7 is released from A1 milk, however, not from A2 milk. This opiate-like protein appears to play a role in slowing gastric emptying and transit times, a well known side effect of opiate substances. It is not yet known to what degree this produces direct or indirect inflammatory responses. (11)


In summary, the problems that ensue for many when consuming dairy may be in part due to the biochemical conformation of carbohydrates and proteins and what our body is able to do or not do with them or in response to them. 

In other words, because the linkages in dairy carbohydrates are the same shape as the indigestible linkages in cellulose, dairy may to some degree be perceived by our bodies as grass-like in nature. 

Secondly, the histidine amino acid residues particularly prevalent in A1 cows which make up the majority of dairy products in the United States may lead to more histamine, and also to have opiate-like effects on the gastrointestinal tract which indirectly lead to inflammation.

If this is something you’re experiencing, or other food intolerances, remember to consult your naturopathic doctor, or your integrative medicine practitioner, regarding the role they may be playing in your life.


  1. Mishkin S. Dairy sensitivity, lactose malabsorption, and elimination diets in inflammatory bowel disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Feb;65(2):564-7. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/65.2.564. PMID: 9022546.
  2. Definition & facts for lactose intolerance. (2018, February 01). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from
  3. Flom JD, Sicherer SH. Epidemiology of Cow’s Milk AllergyNutrients. 2019;11(5):1051. Published 2019 May 10. doi:10.3390/nu11051051
  4. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from
  5. Forsgård RA. Lactose digestion in humans: intestinal lactase appears to be constitutive whereas the colonic microbiome is adaptableAm J Clin Nutr. 2019;110(2):273-279. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqz104
  6. Turning waste into food: Cellulose digestion. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from
  7. Digestive physiology of the cow. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from,omasum%3B%20and
  8. Sodhi M, Mukesh M, Kataria RS, Mishra BP, Joshii BK. Milk proteins and human health: A1/A2 milk hypothesisIndian J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;16(5):856. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.100685
  9. Truswell, A. S. (2005). The a2 milk case: A critical review. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 59(5), 623-631. doi:10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602104
  10. Brooke-Taylor S, Dwyer K, Woodford K, Kost N. Systematic Review of the Gastrointestinal Effects of A1 Compared with A2 β-CaseinAdv Nutr. 2017;8(5):739-748. Published 2017 Sep 15. doi:10.3945/an.116.013953
  11. Kamiński S, Cieslińska A, Kostyra E. Polymorphism of bovine beta-casein and its potential effect on human health. J Appl Genet. 2007;48(3):189-98. doi: 10.1007/BF03195213. PMID: 17666771.

Dr. Ben’s Guacamole Recipe

Dr. Ben’s Guacamole Recipe

This is a simple guacamole recipe that I’ve developed over the years, heavy on shallot and lime. Feel free to customize it to your own liking.


3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled

1 lime, juiced

½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt

½ teaspoon of freshly cracked pepper

1 medium shallot, diced

1 teaspoon of favorite locally made hot sauce


In a large bowl add the scooped avocado pulp, lime juice and hot sauce, then toss to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and shallot, then mash with a potato masher, causing the juices from the shallot to infuse throughout the guacamole. Serve chilled.



Let Your Body Do the Work: Three Ways to Enhance Healing

Let Your Body Do the Work: Three Ways to Enhance Healing

Could it be that our birthright is health, not disease? According to the first law of healing, the Law of Vitality, we have the inherent and innate ability to heal ourselves. Our health is governed by the vital force (or vis), which is always working to restore normal structure and function to our body. The vital force, naturally enfolded within our nature, has been known by several names through time: the visarcheus, élan vital, chi or qi, and so on (FMNI). Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, is credited with calling this force the vis medicatrix naturae (Latin translation from Greek), meaning “the healing power of nature.”

Considering that our vital force has the ability to restore health, it is inherent that our biological status quo is balanced, homeostatic health and wellness with a spectrum of potential. Take, for example, an adult stem cell or mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) (Biosci Rep). It’s multipotent, meaning that it has the potential to become various kinds of tissue — such as skin, gut, bone, or blood — depending on the environment it differentiates in. When stem cells are traveling in the blood, they home in on areas of inflammation or tissue damage, fostering a regenerative healing response by releasing a cascade of medicinal signals, such as anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial compounds (Cell Stem CellJ. Orthop, Trans.).

The vital force is much like an MSC in the body. It moves to where it’s needed: marshaling resources, engendering homeostasis, and healing by way of expressing itself in the language of symptoms. While the vital force is always working to heal you, it’s possible to work against it too. If you work against the forces in your body, you could prolong or worsen the imbalance you are experiencing. For example, internal and external forces present in our environment since birth (i.e., environmental toxicity, poor diet and lifestyle, stress, age, etc.) can set us up for worsening health. Adding insult to injury, by exposing ourselves to greater amounts of these forces, we can work against our own vitality.

The Law of Vitality shows us that there is another paradigm: a paradigm of health, not disease. This new paradigm is wellness-oriented and constitutes “the evolution of medicine,” as integrative medicine advocate James Maskell calls it. Our signs and symptoms are a language that communicates our body’s attempts to restore normalcy. Only by supporting and enhancing the efficacy of the vital force can we truly realign with the laws of nature and prevent (as well as reverse) chronic disease. Only by addressing the root causes of disease, rather than palliating our symptoms with polypharmacy, do we begin to move in the direction of health.

Globally, hundreds of millions — over 157 million, estimated by 2020, in the United States alone — are struggling with a chronic disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease (Lancet). Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, more than 50 percent take more than two, and one in five are on five or more prescription medications (Mayo Clinic Proc).

It is important to note that applying the Law of Vitality has just as much to do with not doing certain things. On a basic level, this means not doing the things that make us feel bad, such as spending time with people who put us down or eating foods that make us feel like crap. This also means not regularly going for the quick fix (such as the pink boxes of Prilosec at Costco for heartburn).

When we suppress the symptoms which irritate or pain us, such as acid reflux or a tension headache, by literally turning them off with drugs, we engage in the practice of regularly untuning ourselves from and becoming numb to the signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms are the language our bodies are using to communicate with us. Because the body is extremely intelligent, there is a reason behind the often painful and unsettling goings-on. If we interfere too often with natural processes, we risk disturbing a fragile ecosystem whose innate programming is to restore normal structure and function.

This is the problem with the suppressive approach upon which most conventional medicine is established. It is founded upon the notion that we can suppress a symptom, such as a headache, with medication, thereby turning off our experience of the pain — much like snipping the dashboard engine warning light wire in our car rather than hiring a mechanic to look under the hood. Naturopathic doctors or integrative medicine practitioners will look under the hood for you; they won’t just snip the wire.

Three Ways to Apply the Law of Vitality in your own life:

1. Engage in some form of hydrotherapy, which enhances the vital force by benefitting different systems, such as the digestive, circulatory, immune, and nervous systems (N Am J Med Sci). This can include steam rooms and saunas, hot springs, sensory deprivation float tanks rich in magnesium salts, showers and baths, saline pools, and foot soaks. Generally, it’s best to always end with some form of cold, even if it’s 30–60 seconds in a cold shower.

2. Spend time in nature regularly. Take walks in the park or go camping when possible. Spend time in the sun. Walk barefoot in the grass. Breathe fresh forest air, or try the Japanese art of “Forest Bathing,” which consists of simply spending time in the forest in order to rejuvenate and promote health (Time).

3. Seek out a naturopathic doctor or integrative medicine practitioner who can help guide you along your healing or health and wellness journey. Seek out therapies that enhance or stimulate the vital force such as acupuncture, reiki, homeopathy, craniosacral therapy, or other alternative vitality-enhancing modalities.

The Law of Vitality is the first step in a healing journey. When we realize that health is our birthright, we begin to shift to a paradigm of health, rather than disease.

A Natural Evidence-Based Approach to Allergies While Seeking the Root Cause

A Natural Evidence-Based Approach to Allergies While Seeking the Root Cause

Allergies arise when our immune system overreacts to what it perceives to be foreign intruders (allergens). The symptoms of allergies can range from mild to severe, and triggers include pollen, dust mites, pet and farm animal dander, insect bites and stings, mold, and even potentially medications.

Sometimes referred to as hypersensitivities, allergic reactions usually involve the skin, airways, and mucous membranes. This article will discuss some natural, evidence-based approaches to the treatment of allergies while working with a naturopathic doctor or other integrative medicine practitioner, such as a functional medicine doctor, in order to identify their underlying root causes.

The Role of Mast Cells in Allergy and Inflammation

Mast cells are a type of white blood cell rich in histamine granules famous for playing a significant role in causing the symptoms of allergy. (1) Mast cells live near blood vessels, releasing potent mediators of allergy and inflammation when activated.

When these cells degranulate, they can cause an allergic, inflammatory reaction characterized by redness, swelling, heat, and pain in the area of infection or trauma. (2)

Mast Cell Dysfunction and Histamine Intolerance

Mast cell dysfunction, and a related disorder, histamine intolerance, are implicated in many allergic and inflammatory conditions. But a discussion of these conditions in detail is best saved for another time.

Recent studies have shown how mast cells are critical to both arms of our immune system, the innate as well as the adaptive. (3)

But a root-cause approach begs the question: What is causing my symptoms of allergy? 

There are many answers to this question, such as food intolerance, the epigenetics of histamine intolerance, and a dysregulated HPA axis, but while a root-cause approach is being taken, it may be necessary to help stabilize the degranulation of these mast cells and their release of histamine without having to resort to the chronic use of conventional antihistamines, such as Zyrtec.

One naturopathic way to stabilize mast cells is by combining bioflavonoids, vitamin C, and bromelain.

The Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergic Effects of Bioflavonoids

Inflammation plays a key role in allergy and asthma. Increasing scientific research points to the evidence of phenolic compounds, such as flavonoids, which exert an anti-inflammatory effect. (4)

Not only can flavonoids combat the mediators of allergy, but they also possess strong antioxidant properties. Numerous studies have shown that flavonoids can inhibit the onset as well as the development of chronic inflammatory disease. 

Flavonoids are rich in fruits, vegetables, and even legumes and cocoa.Bioflavonoids, on the other hand, are the most abundant type of polyphenol found in our diet. A famous polyphenol often found in natural antihistamine supplements is quercetin, a plant pigment found in red wine, berries, onions, apples, and even green tea. Also, because letting thy food be thy medicine is always a good thing, a person will benefit from incorporating diverse, polyphenol-rich foods into their diet whenever possible.

The Immune Enhances and Antioxidant Effects of Vitamin C

Our immune systems are highly complex and regulated by groups of immune cells, and as mentioned these cells can overreact when they perceive foreign substances, known as allergens.

Though its precise, multifactorial  mechanisms are still poorly understood, vitamin C has been shown to be an essential component in the management of allergic diseases. Chemical mediators in immediate hypersensitivity reactions are affected by the presence of ascorbic acid, as it has been shown to chelate with calcium and may control the release of mediators such as histamine. (5)

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and can act as a free radical scavenger. Antimicrobial and natural killer cell activities are enhanced by Vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency has been correlated with high levels of histamine in the blood, which is dangerous because high histamine, or histaminemia, has been shown to damage endothelial-dependent vasodilation. And because vasodilation lowers blood pressure and heart rate, this could easily lead to high blood pressure. (6, 7, 8)

The Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Allergic Effects of Bromelain

Bromelain is a natural enzyme extracted from pineapple core and juice shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy activities, and shown (in mouse studies) to reduce the progression of allergic airway disease. This suggests that allergic sensitivity can be reduced. (9, 10)

Bioflavonoids, Vitamin C, and Bromelain in The Treatment of Mast Cell Dysfunction

In summary, while teasing out the root cause of allergic sensitivity with a naturopathic doctor or another integrative medicine practitioner, research indicates that the combination of bioflavonoids, Vitamin C, and bromelain can help stabilize mast cell degranulation. 

Of course, you should always consult your doctor first.



  1. da Silva EZ, Jamur MC, Oliver C. Mast cell function: a new vision of an old cell. J Histochem Cytochem. 2014 Oct;62(10):698-738. doi: 10.1369/0022155414545334. Epub 2014 Jul 25. PMID: 25062998; PMCID: PMC4230976.
  2. Bais S, Kumari R, Prashar Y, Gill NS. Review of various molecular targets on mast cells and its relation to obesity: A future perspective. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2017 Dec;11 Suppl 2:S1001-S1007. doi: 10.1016/j.dsx.2017.07.029. Epub 2017 Jul 23. PMID: 28778429.
  3. Zhang T, Finn DF, Barlow JW, Walsh JJ. Mast cell stabilisers. Eur J Pharmacol. 2016 May 5;778:158-68. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.05.071. Epub 2015 Jun 27. PMID: 26130122.
  4. Maleki SJ, Crespo JF, Cabanillas B. Anti-inflammatory effects of flavonoids. Food Chem. 2019 Nov 30;299:125124. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2019.125124. Epub 2019 Jul 3. PMID: 31288163.
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