Allergy symptoms result when an allergen stimulates two special kinds of cells: mast cells and basophils. When enough allergen comes into contact with these cells, a burst of histamine and other inflammatory mediators are released into the bloodstream. It is these inflammatory mediators that trigger the misery of the allergy sufferer.
Quercetin is a powerful inhibitor of allergen-stimulated histamine release from basophils and mast cells and in unique in that it is effective at this inhibition during both the first and second stage of basophil histamine release. Quercetin is associated with an instantaneous onset of action and results in cessation of further histamine release, thus allowing for its use in both prevention and treatment of allergic symptoms. Quercetin is found in red and yellow onions, apples, berries, black tea, broccoli, Italian squash, and some nuts and seeds and is considered the “superstar” of all the flavonoids.
Bromelain is a group of proteolytic enzymes derived from pineapple stems which stimulates the production and release of anti-inflammatory PGs while simultaneously reducing the production and release of pro-inflammatory PGs. Quercetin also suppresses the formation and release of inflammatory PGs making use of quercetin and bromelain quite synergistic, and even more so since bromelain enhances the absorption of quercetin in the gut.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and inhibits the degradation of quercetin. Vitamin C and quercetin mutually support each other chemically in that they both lead to recycling of each other. Magnesium ascorbate may be the best form for an anti-allergy purpose since the magnesium serves to activate bromelain as well as acting as a natural calcium blocker, which is associated with the prevention of trigger the allergic histamine release.
Additional benefits of quercetin include anti-cancer activity. Quercetin and bromelain have also shown positive effects in reducing heart disease (bromelain inhibits platelet aggregation and is a strong fibrinolytic agent). Caution should be exercised by anyone allergic to bee stings, olive tree pollen, or pineapple regarding use of bromelain, as should anyone with a history of palpitations.
Call PATH Medical at 888-231-PATH for more information.
*South J. Quercetin, Bromelain and C: Allergy-Fighters and More! Vitamin Research News. May 2004.
Eric R. Braverman, M.D.
Dr. Braverman is a Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brandeis University and NYU Medical School, did brain research at Harvard Medical School, and trained at an affiliate of Yale Medical School. He is acknowledged worldwide as an expert in brain-based diagnosis and treatment, and he lectures to and trains doctors in anti-aging medicine.