Phytotherapy Research Published online ahead of print.
Seven weeks of supplementation with the branded pine bark extract Pycnogenol® reduced the level of non-prescription antihistamine medication use to only 12.5%. Fifty percent of participants in the placebo group required the antihistamines.
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen or fungal spores, most commonly grass pollen. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, about 60 million people in the U.S. are affected by allergic rhinitis.
The immune system mistakes the spores for harmful invaders and white blood cells—T-helper type 2 (Th2) lymphocytes—produce protein-like cytokines, such as interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5 and IL-6, which in turn promote the synthesis of immune system immunoglobulins (Ig), which bind the pollen and fight it off.
Participants took 100 mg per day of the pine bark extract supplement throughout the allergy season.
Results showed that IgE levels increased by 32% in the placebo group, compared with only 19% in the pine bark extract group.
Pycnogenol decreases nasal and ocular symptoms in allergic rhinitis patients.
It takes about five weeks for Pycnogenol to impact hay fever symptoms. Relief from allergies was better the longer the subjects were on Pycnogenol prior to the allergen exposure. The best results were found with subjects who took Pycnogenol seven to eight weeks ahead of the allergy season.
I have seen good results for my patients using Pycnogenol, Phyto Complete (Metagenics) and Perimine (Metagenics) for allergy symptoms.
By Dr. Jeffrey Tucker
Everyone is talking about the detrimental effects of low-grade systemic inflammation. Inflammation is involved in a variety of conditions from neurological to degenerative conditions, and is considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Low-grade systemic inflammation can be measured easily with the inflammatory biomarker called ‘highly sensitive C-reactive protein’ (hs-CRP). This is the same marker used as a cardiovascular risk factor, and is an inexpensive blood test that you can ask your Doctor for.
Inflammation is important and appropriate to produce an effective immune response when needed to eliminate pathogens and illness. But chronic low grade systemic inflammation is tissue-destructive, and cardiovascular tissue, joint tissue and muscle tissue is no exception.
Men with the highest level of C-reactive protein (CRP) showed in a study to have three times the incidence of myocardial infarction and two times the incidence of ischemic stroke when compared with men having the lowest level.
Low grade inflammation causing joint aches & pains, as well as difficulty losing weight may be due to the fact that you are eating foods that you’re allergic to! Food allergies that you are unaware of can also be responsible for a number of health issues including gas, bloat, fatigue, rashes, irritable bowel type symptoms and migraine headaches. When chronic pain patients come see me, I am very interested to hear about there responses to certain foods.
Patients who struggle with trying to lose extra weight may have food allergies as well.
One of the most allergic foods and therefore a high inflammation producer is dairy. Many patients are sensitive to dairy and don’t know it. Even those on a low carb diet, which I strongly advocate, may have switched to eating more dairy. You may need to perform a trial of cutting out cow’s milk, cheeses, and dairy products altogether to see how you feel.
There are seven foods responsible for almost all food allergies — wheat, peanuts, other tree nuts like walnuts, fish/shellfish, soybeans, eggs, and cow’s milk. For most of my clients, I usually start with limiting eating wheat and cow’s milk dairy. Why? Through years of clinical practice, I have found that wheat and dairy are usually the most problematic. Avoid breads, crackers, cereals, and chips that contain wheat. You can try goat and sheep’s milk dairy products. I find that food allergies and the excess inflammation in patients body contributes to weight gain, joint aches & chronic pains.
I don’t want you to feel hungry but I want you to have a food plan to promote your optimal health. I recommend medical foods called the UltraInflamX shake to help reduce inflammation in the body. www.Meta-ehealth.com/site/office/index.jsp to order.
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