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MCAS - A Mast Cell Activation Protocol!


Mast Cell Activation Syndrome can be challenging to manage, especially during a flair up. A targeted supplement and dietary protocol can provide fairy quick support. Here, we explore supplements and their potential benefits for those struggling with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).


Firstly, you'll notice a lot of the following supplements help to break down histamine. It can be confusing differentiating between MCAS and histamine intolerance, especially considering they are so loosely related. I am about to quickly explain the difference. If you are already all over it, feel free to skip to the supplements section :)


 


Histamine Intolerance VS MCAS



Histamine Intolerance: Histamine intolerance is a condition characterised by an inability to properly metabolise histamine. Histamine is a natural compound found in the body and is also present in certain foods. When histamine levels exceed the body's ability to break it down, it can lead to symptoms like hives, itching, digestive issues, headaches, and more.

In histamine intolerance, the main issue lies in the body's capacity to process, break-down or detoxify histamine effectively. The symptoms are primarily a result of an excess of histamine circulating in the system. The source of this histamine is typically dietary, as some foods are naturally high in histamine or can trigger its release in the body. It is important to note that the root issue is not the foods, however, and rather the 'thing' causing the bodies inability to handle histamine correctly. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): MCAS, on the other hand, involves a heightened and dysregulated response of mast cells. Mast cells are a type of white blood cell in the immune system. They are equipped with granules containing various bioactive substances, including histamine. In MCAS, these mast cells become overly sensitive and reactive. One crucial distinction with MCAS is that, in addition to histamine, mast cells secrete an array of other mediators. These mediators include substances like leukotrienes, prostaglandins, cytokines, and various enzymes. Each of these compounds has specific effects on the body and can contribute to a wide range of symptoms and reactions. These additional mediators can result in a broader and often more complex set of symptoms compared to histamine intolerance alone. MCAS can lead to symptoms affecting multiple systems in the body, including the skin, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and more. This complexity can make diagnosis and management of MCAS particularly challenging. Significance of the Distinction: Understanding this distinction is vital for accurate diagnosis and treatment. While both conditions involve histamine, MCAS encompasses a broader spectrum of mast cell mediators, leading to a wider array of symptoms and potential complications. This complexity often requires a more comprehensive and tailored approach to management.


 

Supplements For MCAS Protocol


DAO™: DAO is an enzyme crucial for breaking down histamine in the digestive tract. When left un-metabolised, histamine buildup can lead to uncomfortable symptoms. Certain foods and drinks, like fermented items, can exacerbate this issue. Reduced DAO levels can stem from various factors, including certain medications and genetic polymorphisms.

Quercetin: A potent flavonoid antioxidant found in plants like onions and tea, quercetin stabilises mast cells, diminishing histamine release. It also supports immune health by moderating the release of inflammatory compounds.

Stinging Nettles Leaf: This plant helps balance immune response, particularly in airways and nasal passages. It controls various inflammatory activities, contributing to a balanced inflammatory response.

Bromelain: Derived from pineapple, bromelain aids in breaking down large protein complexes and enhances quercetin absorption. It has shown promise in reducing allergenic protein complexes associated with hyper-immune sensitivity.

N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC): An amino acid precursor to the vital antioxidant glutathione, NAC helps reduce mucus viscosity, allowing for improved respiratory health.

Vitamin C: Essential for the production of DAO and mast cell modulation, Vitamin C is also critical for a healthy immune system. It deactivates histamine, making it particularly beneficial for those with seasonal discomfort.

Probiotics: Aid in maintaining healthy gut flora, which plays a crucial role in histamine metabolism and a successful MCAS protocol. Strains like B. Longum and L. Plantarum can be especially beneficial.


 

Foods High in Recommended Vitamins and Minerals:


  • Iron: Red meat, poultry, beans (soaked or slow cooked only for digestibility), and pumpkin seeds.

  • B6: Chickpeas, salmon, tuna, potatoes, bananas, and spinach.

  • B12: Animal products, like lean meats, fish, and dairy, as well as nutritional yeast (not fortified).

  • Copper: Nuts & seeds (activated/soaked for digestibility), organ meats, shellfish, dark leafy greens and bee pollen.

  • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers and kiwi fruit.


Balancing histamine levels requires a multi-faceted approach. While supplements play a vital role, a diverse diet rich in essential nutrients is equally crucial. Consulting with a Functional Medicine Practitioner such as How it Heals can help identify specific deficiencies and create a targeted plan for optimal immune response and histamine management.

Note: Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.


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