When we hear from mums, eczema and asthma are probably two of the most common conditions we encounter as practitioners. It is sometimes hard for us to explain how this could be linked to diet and digestion. They often share the same causes and Dr. Lynch has done a great talk on this which we’ve included, with a small summary.
Yes, I know you’ve probably heard this all before. The most common food culprits are:
- Aged cheeses
- Citrus fruits
- High Histamine foods
Asthma is more likely to be caused by food intolerances if there is eczema or a skin rash associated with it.
High histamine is linked to inflammation and allergic reactions. It can cause swelling of tissues such as the airways and skin, causing difficulty in breathing and welts on the skin.
Prostaglandin E2 reduces histamine production in the lungs by reducing expression of EP2 and EP3 receptors (PGE receptors). It relaxes the smooth muscles and opens up the airways. COX-2 stimulates the production of PGE2 and medication that interfere with COX-2, like aspirin and celebrex, may actually worsen asthma.
Prostaglandin D2 on the other hand causes the airways to constrict. COX-1 stimulates the production of PGD2 which is a driver of cytokine production and inflammation in the bronchial tissues. It is also associated with chronic cough.
Keynotes: Stimulate COX2 and PGE2, Inhibit COX-1 and PGD2
High levels of nitric oxide are found in the lungs of asthmatics as well. iNOS (from inflammation) seem to be the main contributor but nNOS is also thought to play a role. Most NO in the lungs are produced in the lower airways and not the sinuses as previously thought, and apart from inflammation can also be the product of airway acidity. Excess nitric oxide will inhibit Methionine Synthase and methylation which will further slow down the breakdown of excess histamine.
Histamine and Nitric Oxide can both be the result of dysbiotic gut organisms such as bacteria and yeasts which are more often than not the main contributors to inflammation in the body. Get your health practitioner to do a stool analysis through a FMA or CDSA, or book an appointment with one of our practitioners.
Methylation around histamine is tricky. On the one hand you need methyl-folate and methyl-B12 to make SAMe, to make HNMT which is one of the first enzymes to break down intracellular histamine. However, if you push SAMe production in someone who has CBS problems (common with gut dysbiosis and inflammation) you may actually be increasing histamine production which is not desirable. In this case it would certainly be advisable to start with Gut Health first (see above) if it correlates with the case history.
ATP is energy, and made by the mitochondria. When you run out of ATP (due to exercise or other reasons) we end up with a lot of adenosine and no ATP. Adenosine build-up can inhibit methylation which means less SAMe, less HNMT, less histamine breakdown. In this case you need to support the mitochondria with nutrients such as Co Q10, Acetyl-carnitine, electrolytes, magnesium, etc.
I’ll give this mineral special consideration just because it is so commonly deficient due to poor diet and poor soil conditions (esp. here in Australia), and it has such a big role in mitochondrial health and asthma. It is involved in SAMe production through the conversion of methionine into SAMe via the MAT enzyme, and remember that SAMe is needed to break histamine down.
However, ATP is also needed for this reaction to take place which brings us back to mitochondrial function where ATP is produced. Magnesium is responsible for converting adenosine into AMP via ADK enzyme (mostly found in the liver), and without magensium, adenosine will be allowed to build up, increase the production of SAH, inhibit SAMe, and inhibit the breakdown of histamine even further.
This doesn’t exclude magnesium’s role in muscle relaxation and opening of the air ways. Taurine is an amino acid that enhances the absorption of magnesium into the cells and has its own neuro-inhibitory action. I have seen the difference it makes when taurine is added after taking magnesium in isolation for a period of time, and now almost always recommend these two together.
If you need guidance in the treatment of this or any other condition, please make an appointment with one of our practitioners.
This article is for information purposes only. Please refer to our Medical Disclaimer policy for more information. The opinions expressed here represents the author’s and not necessarily those of Realize Health. In addition, thoughts and opinions change from time to time due to updates in research and as a necessary consequence of having an open mind. Views expressed in out-of-date posts may not be the same to those we hold today.