Histamine: The Toxic Factor in Colds and Allergy
The following is a transcription of the April 1958 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- Lead Poisoning, Histamine, and Lead in Medicine
- Tip of the Month (Gut Healing and Beef Pituitary)
- Practical Nutrition Improves Dental Health, by N.R. Chapin, DDS
Histamine—The Toxic Factor in Colds and Allergy
(Supplementing the September 1957 issue on “The Common Cold.”)
Histamine is a tissue poison released by various agents (allergens, antigens). It causes the symptoms of colds (if systemic) or, if locally released, reactions of such varied effect as ivy poisoning, hives, shingles, itching, wheals, and blisters.
Histamine is so easily released that it is considered not to be in combination in any firm state in the cell but is in a relatively free state in the mitochondrial structures of the cell1 (pp. 30, 120, 147).
In the circulating blood, the platelets are the carriers of histamine1 (p. 83).
Human blood in pregnancy has a “tremendous increase in histaminase…may be a measure to protect the mother as well as the fetus…against a possible histamine intoxication…One day after expulsion of the placenta, there is no trace of histaminase the serum”1 (p. 351).
It is of great interest to note that natural estrogens activate histaminase, while synthetic estrogens inhibit the enzyme. This reversal of normal activity is a common finding with synthetic vitamins and hormones too as well as with some amino acids—similar to how synthetic sugars, such as glucose, inhibit calcium assimilation, whereas natural sugars, such as lactose, stimulate calcium assimilation1 (p. 274).
Histamine can be absorbed from the bowel, where it may be formed by bacteria1 (p. 287). Thus histamine is one of the poisons of autointoxication. Antibiotics reduce urinary excretion of histamine by inhibiting bacterial production of the poison. (Just another reminder that we need to watch the bowel as a cause of disease. Refer to Applied Trophology, June 1957, regarding the ballooned colon that is concomitant with arthritis.)
That histamine can be produced in the intestinal tract as a bowel poison was reported by Robertson in 1924 by the action of colon bacillus on glucose.2 The benefits of a change in the intestinal flora are obvious where such a condition may exist. The use of glucose in the diet is obviously unsound, as Dr. H.W. Wiley feared in 1908. As head of the Food and Drug Administration, he tried to stop its use as a synthetic, counterfeit food component when it was first proposed as a commercial sugar substitute. Dr. Wiley said in his book History of a Crime Against the Food Law (p. 304):
“The most objectionable effort of the Bureau of Standards was in trying, by the great weight of its authority as the original discoverers, to force this product upon the American people under the guise of real sugar.”
Dr. Wiley was particularly fearful that the synthetic glucose would cause diabetes. About forty years later, Drs. Lukens & Dohan at the University of Pennsylvania proved that it was the only sugar that would cause diabetes in test animals. Investigations in Germany have shown that glucose injections cause cancer in test animals at the site of injection.3
Dr. Daniel T. Quigley, the noted cancer specialist, reported to the Academy of Applied Nutrition at their meeting in Los Angeles some years ago that he had found it impossible to successfully treat any cancer patient until he had eliminated all glucose (dextrose) from the diet. His lecture “Cancer and Food” was never published by the Academy for some reason.
This fits the finding of Dr. Warburg that oxygen depletion in the tissues precedes cancer. The injection of glucose may create a local shortage of oxygen via competition with the cells, it being a fuel ready to burn in the biological milieu into which it is injected. A number of investigators have found small doses of insulin to be useful in combating cancer.4,5
So glucose (dextrose) is a good thing to avoid for various reasons in addition to its predisposition to the formation of intestinal histamine. For this purpose keep in mind Zymex and Acidophilus Yeast (Lactic Acid Yeast)—they correct the alkaline bowel that encourages toxic bacteria. These are two yeast-type organisms that produce lactic acid from carbohydrates, whereas bread and brewer’s yeast produce alcohol and CO2. They are preferable to lactobacillus acidophilus because they do not require milk sugar to form the lactic acid and they do not form CO2.
Histamine antagonists physiologically present in food or as hormones:
- Vitamin T, the vitamin of sesame seed that promotes the formation of blood platelets and relieves thrombocytopenic purpura. This vitamin has been considerably studied in Germany but is little known here. First found in termites (hence vitamin “T”), it is present in mealworms, without which monkeys contract the equivalent of human thrombocytopenic purpura and soon die in captivity on human foodstuffs. Vitamin T appears to be a potent antidote for both histamine and strychnine.6
- Niacinamide completely inhibits histamine shock in test animals.7
- Ascorbic Acid activates histaminase, promoting elimination of histamine.8
- Vitamin P blocks the conversion of histidine to histamine and has prevented anaphylactic reactions in animal tests.9
Under the hormone antihistamines, yakriton, the liver factor, seems preeminent. (Trade name Anti-Pyrexin [Antronex], Standard Process Laboratories.) It was first discovered in Japan in 1926.10
Yakriton prevents shock symptoms from developing in test animals from otherwise lethal doses of methyl alcohol, chloroform, ammonium chloride, thyroxin, etc. Yakriton was found to be capable of saving rabbits from fatal doses of cobra venom. (Snake venom and bee and wasp venom owe their effects in great part to histamine content).11 Yakriton was found useful in controlling epileptic seizures.12
Apparently, Anti-Pyrexin should be tried in all allergic states where the irritating factor cannot be found or where an attack is to be treated. It is not a cure-all, but the frequent good results are very gratifying. Some asthmatics are tremendously improved.
Sometimes a patient notes an aggravation of the reactions known to be due to a deficiency of the vitamin G complex (e.g., recurrence of angina-like or neuritic pains), so it is well to either watch for such reactions or supply vitamin G complex with it. Vitamin G complex is also useful to control some types of hypertension; the hypotensive patient may find he cannot tolerate much of it without an untoward drop in blood pressure. In this respect it is like the drug antihistamines.
- Histamine, Little Brown & Co., 1956.
- Robertson, T.B. Principles of Biochemistry. Lea & Febiger, 1924.
- Euler and Skarzynski. Biochemie der Tumeren. Ferd, EnkeVerlag, Stuttgart, 1942.
- Stern and Wilhelm. The Biochemistry of Malignant Tumors, p. 592. Reference Press, 1943.
- Beale Jr., S.M. “Newer Clinical Uses of Insulin.” Laryngoscope, 44:966–975, 1934.
- “The Effect of Vitamin T on Bronchial Constriction in Guinea Pigs Caused by Histamine.” Zeitchrift fur Vitamin Hormone und Fermentforschung, 2(5-6):403–407, 1948–49.
- Abs. & Reviews, p. 649, abs. 3243, January 1948.
- Sevin and Lavollay. Rend., 218:764, 1944.
- Science, 112:16, 1950 (as de-catechin, an aglycone flavonoid).
- Sato et al., Tohoku Jol. Exp. Med., 8:232, 1926.
- Excerpta Medica, Vol. 3, Part l, 501, 101st Report on Yakriton, 1950.
- Tohoku Jol. Exp. Med., 37:576, 1940.
- Coca, A.F. “Overweight and Underweight as Manifestations of Idioblaptic Allergy.” Am. Academy of Nutrition, Vol. 7, p. 303, 1954.
Lead Poisoning, Histamine, and Lead in Medicine
Lead subacetate (5 percent solution) is the most efficient reagent to remove histamine from tissue.1
Ringer says this solution is effective in controlling pyrosis (heartburn, or gastric hyperacidity and histamine excess) and also tells us:
“A very small quantity of lead in water is adequate in time to produce all or some of the symptoms of lead poisoning; even one-fortieth to one-fiftieth of a grain per gallon may suffice (about one-fifth part per million). Individual differences exist in respect of susceptibility to lead, some persons becoming sooner affected by it than others….In contrast to this, we find that acetate of lead, in five-grain doses, may be given for weeks or even months without inducing lead poisoning….cosmetics and hair dyes containing lead may cause chronic poisoning….M. Paul, who has investigated the influence of lead poisoning on the fetus, says that women working in lead factories frequently abort, and the father may cause abortion [if he’s a lead worker] even if the mother is not a lead worker. Of 123 pregnancies, seventy-three children were born dead…of the fifty born alive…only fourteen reached the age of ten”2
Lead subacetate solution is an old and respected remedy for skin irritations. Now that we know why (by its action of extracting tissue histamine), we can see how to find still better remedies—such as the natural liver antihistamine known as yakriton in the literature and as Anti-Pyrexin, the Standard Process product.
The effect of lead poisoning on the hereditary apparatus is clear when we realize that lead robs phospholipids of its phosphorus, destroying its biological integrity. The insulating layers in both nerve tissue and in the chromosome genes are also composed of these phospholipids. Lead destroys the blueprints that are essential to the growth and development of the fetus, infant, and child. This is how the father alone can wreck the future of the offspring. We see by the above study that lead poisoning follows the victim through all these periods of life, with a toll of almost 90 percent. (Refer back to Applied Trophology, November 1957, for more on lead poisoning and its similarity to aluminum poisoning.)
- Histamine, p. 170. Little, Brown & Co., 1956.
- Handbook of Therapeutics, pp. 246–248. Ringer. Wm. Wood & Co., New York, 1897.
Tip of the Month (Gut Healing and Beef Pituitary)
Some doctors report excellent results in using Cytotrophic Extract of Beef Pituitary [Pituitrophin PMG]—in addition to any other indicated supplement—in the treatment of mucous and ulcerative colitis, as well as other stomach and intestinal lesions, to promote faster healing.
Practical Nutrition Improves Dental Health
By N.R. Chapin, DDS
An explanation of the cause of dental disease and what can be done to develop healthy tissues.
Now that national recognition has placed us with physicians as guardians of the public health, it is time for us to consider seriously more of the responsibilities of this trust. There has to be a reason why so many restorations are needed, so much calculus forms, so many teeth are lost prematurely, so many edentulous ridges are tender and continually receding. We must do more than repair these damages mechanically. If we are to live up to the title “guardians of the public health,” we must educate patients so they may guard against these troubles.
There is only one basic idea: Sound, robust health, dental or otherwise, results from complete nutrition. The framework of a building put up with too few nails is a weak structure. Concrete mixed with too little cement in proportion to the other ingredients cannot be expected to have acceptable strength. Teeth, gingivae, ridges, or any human tissue that has to be produced from a diet lacking in some essential ingredients is not strong, disease resistant, and enduring.
The conflicting tips and suggestions about nutrition that the public receives from all sides these days are extremely confusing. We should help our patients to understand why complete nutrition is the basis of all good health. Point out that dental health can be a guide to their general well-being. The results of nutritional deficiencies that cause dental disease are seen easily in the mouth. This is a direct clue to what may be happening to other vital organs, glands, or tissues that cannot be seen. It offers a dramatic and forceful illustration of interest to any intelligent person.
Parents should know the significance of the constituents of foods: That some of these contents, as well as vitamins and minerals, are perishable ingredients, but that they play a most important part in the complicated process of digestion and assimilation; that without them many of these necessary actions cannot occur properly.
Foods must furnish all the needed building materials that a growing child must have. When good materials are not furnished or substitutions of poor quality are made, the results are obvious. These facts will illustrate the importance of natural, fresh, raw foods. It is the refining, processing, preserving, treating, and too often improper preparation and cooking methods at home that can destroy these important and perishable elements.
Patients should know the facts about refined, white sugar. Not one person in one hundred knows that the normal process of digestion converts at least 60 percent of all food eaten into body-energizing sugar. Refined sugar may therefore all be in actual excess of need except in rare cases. Neither do they know that a normal glandular process secretes insulin to insure a proper blood sugar balance and that this function can be overtaxed seriously. The direct damage sugar does in the mouth is only part of the picture.
Grains are an important source of much of the world’s food supply. Modern refining processes remove a long list of the most valuable ingredients of good whole grain wheat. Enriching bleached white flour replaces only a fraction of what was removed. Polished white rice is similarly depleted.
It is well known that our United States diet contains an excess of fats. Even many of our valuable vegetable oils have been hydrogenated. Pastries containing fats, white flour, and sugar have little to recommend them as health builders.
Mashed potatoes, one of our most popular and standard foods, is a good illustration of our thoughtless destruction of good food elements in our own kitchens. Peeling removes the mineral-laden skin, to be discarded. Boiling dissolves out the water-soluble vitamins and minerals, which are poured down the drain. The discarded items can be of as much or more value than remains to be eaten. This can also be true of any food that is boiled when the dissolved nutrients are drained off.
We can point out that broiling is far superior to frying when cooking meats, our best source of protein. This is also true of sea foods, which in addition are a reliable source of minerals, since the sea is a great storehouse of all minerals.
It should be remembered that drinking quantities of milk does not necessarily guarantee good dental health (the fact that pregnancy is the only way to activate the mammary glands indicates that nature intends milk as an infant food) and that while food supplements are helpful, the mere taking of a few drugstore vitamins does not correct for a constantly improper choice of foods and destructive cooking methods.
Although our treatment, selection, and cooking methods can destroy many of the perishable important food elements, the calories still remain. Hunger, nature’s call for nutrition, can cause habitual overeating when much of the food eaten contains only a fraction of the nutrition needed.
We should realize and consider the fact that all living creatures except human beings eat raw, natural foods. This simple statement of fact contains our best guide to good nutritional practices. Use more fresh, raw, natural foods in preference to processed and preserved ones. Substitute nuts and fresh fruits for pastries. Eat raw salads. Discover that many vegetables are excellent raw. These raw foods satisfy the appetite more quickly, so there is less tendency to overeat. Those persons unable to manage the roughage of raw vegetables in their diet can still avail themselves of most of their benefits by drinking the extracted juices.
While helping to eliminate dental disease, complete nutrition can also provide the benefits of a long life of good general health.
—Reprinted from Oral Hygiene, March 1958.