The CBH Super Multi and Other News…

The good news is due to an increase in popularity, we can’t keep the CBH Super Multi or Creatine on the shelves! Don’t worry though, we anticipate they’ll be back in stock in the next couple of weeks! The CBH Super Multi will also include an additional amount of co-enzyme q-10!

Even better news is that there are some incredible changes ahead for CREUS. We’ll soon be launching our new logo and branding of all our products. A few of our products will have new names too. For example the CBH Super Multi will be called the “Daily Multi Nutrient” to better reflect all the amazing ingredients it contains. And our Raspberry Ketones will be called “Raspberry Ketone Boost” to better explain its purpose.

Thank you for your support and for having patience with us as we grow. We are so grateful to all of our readers and customers. CREUS exists solely for your benefit! Our genuine desire is that you will have abundant life and optimum health!

Grace and Peace!

Jared White
Founder
CREUS

Originally posted 2013-11-07 16:03:12.

Fight Depression with Folic Acid

Sunflowers

What do sunflower seeds, okra and lentils have in common? They’re all good for you, and, in this writer’s opinion, downright delicious! But more specifically, these nutritious foods share a vitamin that offers some amazing benefits, including the reduction of depression. Due to its ability to help prevent birth defects, this power-packed nutrient, called folic acid, is often associated with prenatal health. However, folic acid (AKA folate) is often overlooked and undervalued, not only for pregnant women, but for the average person’s heart health, for reduced cancer risk, and for maintaining good mental health. In fact, folic acid intake has been directly linked to the most commonly diagnosed mental condition in America: depression. Depression, a condition that affects more than 9 million Americans each year, causes prolonged feelings of dejection and despondency, can be debilitating, and, in rare cases, result in suicide.

Treating Depression: Depression can be treated with prescription drugs, but these drugs are not always successful in treating the illness and can cause unpleasant and occasionally harmful side effects. As many as 50% of those who suffer from depression do not seek help, not wishing to suffer the stigma often associated with the condition. Fortunately, studies suggest that many mild cases of depression can be naturally alleviated with folic acid rather than with medication.

Fighting Depression with Folic Acid: Research has linked feelings of depression to serotonin, a neurotransmitter, or type of chemical, that occurs naturally in your brain. This chemical helps control specific functions of your brain, such as sleep, memory and mood. Low levels of serotonin can lead to feelings of severe sadness, and, in some cases, clinical depression. Drugs commonly used to fight depression, such as Prozac, contain SSRIs (selective serotonin uptake inhibitors), artificially raise serotonin levels to alleviate feelings of sadness. Studies have shown that people diagnosed with depression often suffer from low levels of folate, which is needed for the production of serotonin. In other words, folic acid can help naturally increase your serotonin levels to alleviate symptoms of depression.

Recommended Dosage of Folic Acid: Certain foods, such as those mentioned above, are rich in folic acid. Orange juice, beets, broccoli, mustard greens and avocados are just a few other food choices that provide .055 mg (milligrams) or more of this nutrient. If choosing to take folic acid supplements, be sure to consume only the recommended adult dose of 1 mg to reap the full benefits of this nutrient, while avoiding any negative side effects that can arise from an excessive buildup of certain vitamins in your body (toxicity).

Consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts on a daily basis doesn’t just keep your body healthy, it helps maintain good mental health as well. If you suffer from depression and want to avoid clinical drugs to treat the problem, consider folic acid in foods or supplements to help you naturally fight this condition and resume a healthy, happy lifestyle.

 References:

Originally posted 2013-11-07 16:01:51.

Natural Supplements as an Alternative Treatment for ADHD

Boy Doing HomeworkIt’s a disorder that’s probably more common than you realize. It affects children and adults alike, and it has no certain cause and no known cure. ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a condition that causes hyperactivity, inattention and impulsive behavior, affects up to 9% of American children and can drastically impact a child’s ability to learn, along with his quality of life, well into adulthood. Treatment for ADHD often involves medication in the form of a stimulant, or a type of chemical agent that artificially boosts physiological activity to enhance the ADHD sufferer’s focus and help him control impulsive and/or hyperactive behavior. However, like most medications, stimulants come with a myriad of possible side effects, such as: suppressed appetite, headaches, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances and, in some cases, suppressed growth in children, nervous “tics” or other movements, and heightened anxiety or apathy. 

Fortunately, a number of safe and natural supplements have also been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms. Before turning to a prescription stimulant or other form of medication for help, consider these natural supplements as a safe, alternative treatment for ADHD:

Zinc: Zinc is a mineral in your body that plays a vital role in your immune system function. Some studies have found that children suffering from ADHD have low levels of zinc, and that zinc supplements can help reduce the symptoms and improve the behavior of patients with the disorder.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids: Some studies suggest that omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, or unsaturated fats, can improve the overall mental function of children suffering from ADHD, as well as help enhance their attentiveness and ability to focus.

Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral and electrolyte that influences your muscle control, heart health, protein production, mood and more. Studies indicate that many children diagnosed with ADHD also have a magnesium deficiency, and that many symptoms of ADHD, such as confusion, irritability and inattentiveness, can be alleviated with magnesium supplements.

Vitamin B6: Studies suggest that abnormal levels of certain brain chemicals, such as norepinephrine and dopamine (both of which play a role in your ability to focus), may be linked to ADHD. Vitamin B6 helps produce and maintain proper levels of these chemicals, and may reduce ADHD symptoms.

 L-carnitine: Daily intake of L-carnitine, a type of compound used in energy production in cells, has been linked to a decrease in ADHD symptoms. One study showed a 54 percent improvement in a group of boys with ADHD who were given L-carnitine supplements.

Certain supplements can be harmful in high doses, so take care to limit your supplement intake to the recommended daily amount. Maintaining proper levels of these vitamins and minerals will not only help keep your mind and body healthy, it may also help you safely and naturally ease ADHD symptoms in yourself or a loved one.

References:

Originally posted 2013-11-06 09:59:22.

Melatonin – The Jet Lag Fighter!

melatonin jet lagMany of us look forward to the fall version of daylight savings time, when we get to crank back our clocks and watches and savor an extra 60-minute block of sleep. But you may be surprised to learn that your body has a time-monitoring mechanism of its own, and that lost hour of daylight in the evening can throw off your body’s biological rhythms, which can have some pretty widespread effects on your health. The same thing occurs after you fly across three or more time zones: you lose or gain hours of daylight, causing possible fatigue, sluggishness, dizziness, irritability and mood swings upon reaching your destination. This phenomenon is commonly known as jet lag. Let’s explore what happens to your body when you lose or gain an hour or more of daylight, and how a hormone you naturally produce can fight this disorder.

What causes jet lag? Your body possesses a kind of “master clock,” centered in a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. This biological clock controls your circadian rhythms, or daily activity cycles that are based on 24-hour rhythms within your body. When light hits certain receptors located in your retina (a part of your eye), those receptors send a signal to the master clock in your brain. Changes in your environment, such as light and darkness, affect your master clock and disrupt your circadian rhythms. Even an extra hour or more (or less) of daylight can interrupt your normal circadian rhythms, which in turn can affect your sleep patterns and mood. Flying through time zones extends or shortens the amount of daylight you experience within a 24 hour period, which causes interruptions in your circadian rhythms, resulting in the condition known as jet lag.

How melatonin fights jet lag: After your retina perceives daylight, your master clock triggers a gland in your brain called the pineal gland to stop production of the hormone: melatonin. Melatonin levels increase when your retina photoreceptors experience darkness (at nightfall), which promotes a feeling of drowsiness and helps you sleep.  Therefore, an extra two or three hours of daylight, as can be experienced on a long-distance flight, can result in less melatonin production and thus lead to restlessness, insomnia and mood swings. Fortunately, taking a melatonin supplement can help you readjust your circadian rhythms and resume your normal sleeping cycle. 

Suggested dosage of melatonin to fight jet lag: Studies indicate that taking .5 to 5 mg (milligrams) of melatonin after reaching your final destination, and one hour before bedtime, may effectively treat the symptoms of jet lag. You may be sensitive to melatonin supplements, so consider taking the lowest dose (.5 mg) the first time you try this supplement to ensure you will not suffer any ill effects.

Jet lag can be an unpleasant side effect of a long flight. Fortunately, you can fight this condition naturally with melatonin, and help get your master clock, sleep cycle and circadian rhythms all back on track and running like clockwork again.

References: 

Originally posted 2013-11-06 09:50:54.

Homemade Electrolyte and Sports Drink: Piña Colada!

Science Behind the CREUS Piña Colada Electrolyte and Sports Drink Recipe

When engaged in endurance activities of 90 minutes or longer (whether cycling or running), it’s important to replenish the body with the right ratio of carbohydrates and electrolytes for optimum performance. The muscles need two primary things: fuel and electrical impulse. Carbohydrates are the best fuel during endurance activities, but they must be the right kind and in the right amount. As far as electrolytes go, sodium is the most important to replenish, but other electrolytes like potassium and magnesium are important too.  The CREUS Piña Colada Electrolyte and Sports Drink Recipe provides the following advantages:

Optimum ratio of glucose to fructose for absorption: Using a one to one ratio of fructose (pineapple juice) to glucose (tapioca starch) allows the body to effectively absorb and utilize all of the carbohydrates for energy.

Best ratio of carbohydrates to water for sports drink : The research indicates that the optimal amount of carbohydrates for endurance athletes during an event is about one gram per minute.  Also, the optimal amount of water is about 1 liter per hour. We’ve formulated the CREUS (CBH) Electrolyte and Sports Drink with a ratio of 60 carbohydrates to 1 liter of water.

The pineapple enzyme bromelain: By using pineapple juice in our homemade electrolyte and sports drink, you get a healthy dose of the enzyme bromelain. Bromelain is an effective anti-inflammatory that can help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. 

Ideal ratio of electrolytes for electrolyte drink: On a daily basis the body needs more potassium than sodium, but during an intense bout of endurance exercise the body loses a disproportionate amount of sodium through sweat. A trained athlete may loose more the 2 grams of sodium per hour. In addition to losing sodium and potassium, the body also loses other electrolytes, like magnesium and calcium. While it is impossible to replace all the electrolytes or fuel (carbohydrates) the body uses during endurance exercise while exercising, they can be replenished for increased performance. The CBH Piña Colada Electrolyte and Energy Drink Recipe uses all natural ingredients to supply approximately:

  • 600 mg of sodium
  • 350 mg of potassium
  • 30 mg of calcium
  • 24 mg of phosphorous 
  • 18 mg of magnesium
  • 60 grams of carbohydrates | 1:1 ratio of glucose to fructose

 

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Originally posted 2013-10-10 13:21:33.

Why Older People Need More Vitamin B12

Vitamin b12 for elderly senior older peopleThe last time you drank a glass of milk, you probably weren’t thinking about its vitamin B12 content or the health of your red blood cells and nerves. The good news is that milk doesn’t just go great with cookies — it contains a number of healthy vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, that are especially important for people 50 or older. Vitamins, as you’ve likely heard many times, are vital for the maintenance of the body. Vitamin B12, part of the B-group of vitamins, helps the body utilize fuel and is required for the synthesization of amino acids. Both of these functions are crucial for staying healthy as a senior.

When you eat certain foods, like dairy, fish, eggs and meat, you also ingest vitamin B12, which is bound to the food’s protein. Your stomach releases HCL (hydrochloric acid) to break down the food. The acid helps to release vitamin B12 from the protein in these food particles. After vitamin B12 is released, it combines with IF (intrinsic factor), a protein which originates from your stomach cells. Intrinsic factor allows the vitamin B12 to be absorbed by your small intestine and ultimately find its way into your bloodstream.

For young and old alike, vitamin B12 helps the body make nerves and red blood cells, and it is also integral for the production of DNA, which is the genetic information carried in our cells. The daily recommended amount (for adults) of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg (micrograms). Unfortunately, certain conditions can limit the absorption of this important vitamin. Crohn’s disease and celiac are two examples, since these conditions can disrupt food absorption in your digestive tract. Another very common condition that interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12 is age.

As we age, the volume of hydrochloric acid produced by our stomach starts to decrease, making it harder for our body to properly absorb the daily amount of vitamin B12 our body needs. Atrophic gastritis, or a type of chronic inflammation that causes the stomach lining to thin, strikes as many as 30% of people who are age 50 or over. This condition can also lead to lack of proper absorption of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can attribute to serious health problems, including:

  • Pernicious anemia, or a decreased count of red blood cells in your body
  • Cognitive problems, such as difficulties with reasoning and thinking
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Paranoia
  • Joint pain
  • Low blood pressure
  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin caused by high bile pigments in your blood
  • Incontinence
  • Tingling or numbness of the legs and/or extremities (hands and feet)

People over the age of 50 should supplement their diet with 25-100 mcg of vitamin B12 daily, or consume foods fortified with vitamin B12, to ensure they meet their daily needs. Getting the proper amount of vitamin B12 is crucial for your mental and physical health. If you’re an older person, particularly 50 or above, be sure to take the extra steps needed to get your vitamin B12, and keep your mind and body healthy and happy.

References: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/29/health/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-cause-symptoms-that-mimic-aging.html?_r=0http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/vitamin_b12_deficiency

 

Originally posted 2013-10-08 11:22:26.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Vitamins are essential nutrients (i.e. nutrients that we need for basic function, but cannot produce on our own). There are two classifications of vitamins: Water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A (retinol), vitamin D, vitamin E (tocopherol), and vitamin K.

Solubility refers to one substance’s (the solute) ability to dissolve into another (the solvent). Thus, a water-soluble vitamin dissolves in water. Because of this, they are not stored in the body like fat-soluble vitamins. They must be replenished every day.

The B vitamins and vitamin C are found in many different kinds of food, both plant and animal products. Unfortunately, modern-day grain processing has made many of our grains deficient in most of the vital B-complexes. Food companies have been fortifying grains for this reason. Fortification is the processes of placing synthetic vitamins back into the food that has lost nutrients due to processing. Just another good reason to eat whole foods!

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Functions: Used in energy and alcohol metabolism; promotes a healthy appetite
Dietary Sources: Nutritional yeast, pork, organ meat, whole-grain, sesame seeds, wheat germ, bran, dried herbs and spices, pine nuts, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, blackstrap molasses
Notes: This was the first B vitamin for scientists to discover.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism
Dietary Sources: Milk, yogurt, cheese, liver, almonds, dried herbs, spices, peppers, edamame, bran, sun-dried tomatoes, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast
Notes: B2 is destroyed by ultraviolet light, which is why a lot of milk is bottled in opaque jugs instead of clear jugs.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism; digestion aid; lowers triglycerides
Dietary Sources: Peanuts, liver, veal, paprika, avocado, bacon, bran, fish, some mushrooms, poultry, milk, eggs, legumes, nutritional yeast, nuts
Notes: High doses of the synthetic form of this vitamin can be dangerous.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism; production of hormones
Dietary Sources: Wheat bran, avocados, caviar, cheese, whey, tomatoes, mushrooms, oats, chicken, beef, nutritional yeast, potatoes, liver, egg yolk, broccoli
Notes: Many skin and hair products contain pantothenic acid.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Functions: Amino acid metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, helps make red blood cells
Dietary Sources: Fish, dried herbs and spices, garlic, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, molasses, hazelnuts, pistachios, bran, meat, starchy vegetables, noncitrus fruits, liver, soy, legumes
Notes: Vitamin B6 may help to ward of colorectal cancer.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
Functions: Used in energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen synthesis
Dietary Sources: Egg yolks, liver, fish, oats, soybeans, wheat germ, lentils, split peas, bran, avocados, strawberries, raspberries, almonds, pecan, peanuts, walnuts
Notes: Adequate vitamin B7 helps a person have beautiful hair and nails.

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Functions: Used in DNA synthesis and new cell growth
Dietary Sources: Leafy green vegetables, nutritional yeast, dried herbs, edamame, liver, bean sprouts, pinto beans, lentils, asparagus, sunflower seeds
Notes: Folic acid is extremely important to a growing fetus. If pregnant, be sure to eat food rich in this B vitamin.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Functions: Needed for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; blood formation; fatty acid synthesis; DNA synthesis
Dietary Sources: Clams, oysters, mussels, liver, fish eggs, fish, crab, lobster, beef, lamb, eggs, cheese
Notes: Consuming excess vitamin B12 will not give you energy.

Vitamin C
Functions: Antioxidant; collagen synthesis; immune support; helps in iron absorption
Dietary Sources: Citrus fruits, bell peppers, red and green chili pepper, dark leafy greens, kiwis, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, fresh herbs, papayas, strawberries, cantaloupes, mangoes, potatoes
Notes: If you have a cold, don’t take a lot of synthetic vitamin C. Vitamin C doesn’t cure the cold, it’s preventative! Through a whole foods diet, you should get plenty of vitamin C and, in turn, have a stellar immune system.

References:
Understanding Nutrition, 12th Edition (Whitney & Rolfes 2010); USDA

Originally posted 2013-09-16 14:21:49.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Sesame SeedsVitamins are essential nutrients (i.e. nutrients that we need for basic function but cannot produce on our own). There are two classifications of vitamins: Water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), vitamin B12 (cobalamin), and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A (retinol), vitamin D, vitamin E (tocopherol), and vitamin K.

When something is fat-soluble, it simply means it dissolves in fat. The best way to get these vitamins is consuming them with a little bit of fat, such as butter or olive oil. Not surprisingly, many fat-soluble vitamins are found in foods that are fatty (our Creator is so smart). Most vegetables, however, don’t contain fat, so when people try to be “extra healthy” by not using any oil or fat with their vegetables, they’re actually missing out on the fat-soluble vitamins those vegetables contain.

The interesting thing about fat soluble vitamins is they are not in extremely high demand in terms of quantity. They are actually stored in our tissues, so they do not need to be consumed in massive quantities. For this reason, fat-soluble vitamins (especially vitamin A) can cause toxicity if one is not careful. Toxicity is usually due to a person taking vast amounts of synthetic fat-soluble vitamins. One rarely becomes toxic from vitamins consumed from food sources. So, like in most everything nutrition related, it is best for the body when one consumes, whole, nutrient-dense foods.

Vitamin A (Retinol)
Functions: Absolutely essential for eye health (wards off night blindness and other eye ailments); maintains mucus membranes, skin, and epithelial cells; anti-inflammatory effects; bone and tooth growth; reproduction; immunity.

Dietary Sources: Cod liver oils, sweet potatoes, chicken livers, beef livers, calf livers, lamb livers, eggs, spinach, parsley, paprika, red pepper, cayenne, chili powder , cantaloupe, carrots, lettuce, dried herbs, butternut squash, watercress, mango, tomatoes, butter, beef

Notes: When consuming animal products containing vitamin A, you are actually getting retinol. This is the actual vitamin. Consuming plant-products gives you the precursor (also called the pro-vitamin) beta-carotene. The body turns this into vitamin A.

Vitamin D
Functions: Regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus

Dietary Sources: Cod liver oil, herring, pink salmon, kippers, mackerel, sardines, tuna, butter, caviar, salami, ham, sausages, eggs, mushrooms

Notes: The main source of this vitamin comes from the sun. It is synthesized in our skin and can be stored for periods of time (like through the winter). Lighter-skinned people synthesized it very effectively, whereas darker-skinned peoples are not able to synthesize it very well. It is interesting to point out that traditionally, darker-skinned people groups are usually found where sunshine is plentiful, like Africa, South America, and so on. Lighter-skinned people groups herald from colder climates, such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, etc. They need all the vitamin D they can get, and they are more able to make it. Fascinating! Also, stay away from things fortified with vitamin D2. Your body utilizes vitamin D3, and vitamin D2 comes from some sketchy sources.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
Functions: A powerful antioxidant, it is actually part of the cell membrane and protects it. Some research suggests it can protect from certain types of cancers as well as heart disease, diabetes, viruses, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. A lot of research is still pending on this vitamin.

Dietary Sources: Sunflower seeds, paprika, red chili powder, almonds, egg yolks, pine nuts, fatty meats, wheat germ, liver, dried herbs, dried apricots, spinach, butter, avocado, almonds, raw peanuts (with skins), rye, asparagus, hazelnuts, blackberries

Notes: It really must be taken with food to even be absorbed.

Vitamin K
Functions: Synthesis of blood-clotting proteins and bone proteins

Dietary Sources: Gouda cheese, cauliflower, kale, green tea, turnip greens, spinach, tomatoes, parsley, Swiss chard, runner beans, broccoli, scallions, chili powder, curry, paprika, and cayenne, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, pickles, prunes, cabbage

Notes: Vitamin K1 is found and plants and must be converted to vitamin K2. Animal sources are already vitamin K2. Vitamin K is not stored well in the body like other fat-soluble vitamins, but it does recycle itself.

References:
Understanding Nutrition, 12th Edition (Whitney & Rolfes 2010)
USDA

Originally posted 2013-09-03 09:51:37.

Natural Relief from Nasal Allergies – Researched and Rumored

natural remedies for allergiesAbout 20% of us suffer from hay fever or nasal allergies (rhinitis) this time of year.  Why is it that our bodies respond so vehemently to seemingly harmless pollen, dust, or mold particles?  Genetics, diet, and environment work together to cause our bodies to think that certain inhaled particles are intruders that should be eliminated.  When this happens, the mast cells (immune response cells) in the nasal passage release histamines.  Histamines are organic nitrogen molecules that act on nerve endings to initiate inflammatory responses like sneezing, itching, and mucous release. Herbs and nutrients used for natural allergy relief work by stopping one of these three mechanisms.  They either prevent the mast cells from responding to inhaled particles as dangerous intruders, block histamine from activating nerve endings, or lessen the body’s inflammatory response.

I, for one, have had fairly bad symptoms of hay fever every spring for most of my life, and I don’t wish it on anybody!  If you’ve had allergies so bad that you can barely function, you know what I’m talking about.  I’ve tried nearly every over-the-counter allergy medicine out there, but hardly any of them work for me (most of these are anti-histamines).  When I find one that does work, I usually have to take twice the recommended dose, and I don’t like doing that to my liver!  In my search for natural relief, I’ve discovered a few things that work for me, such as high doses of quercetin, but everyone is different.  Based on research and word of mouth, I’ve compiled a list of the most successful supplements for natural relief that are out there.  You might have to try a few different ones to discover what works best for you.

Stinging Nettle: The phytochemicals in stinging nettle act on the mast cells to prevent the release of histamine.  Stinging nettle also contains phytochemicals that block the histamine receptors on nerve endings.  One double blind, controlled studied found that 58% of people who took two 300 mg capsules of freeze dried stinging nettle during the day found it effective at relieving allergy symptoms, and 48% found it equal to or more effective than their previous allergy medicine.

Quercetin: This flavanol is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, such as apples, onions, and berries.  It’s usually attached to a sugar molecule (called a glycoside), which also gives it a higher rate of absorption. Quercetin works as both a mast cell inhibitor and an anti-inflammatory.  One study found that quercetin was more effective at inhibiting mast cells than chromolyn, a common asthma treatment.   Quercetin in supplemental form has a relatively low rate of absorption, so common doses range from 250-600 mg, three times daily.

Vitamin C: The role of vitamin C in providing allergy relief is often debated, but one Japanese study found that supplemental Vitamin C, compared with other anti-oxidants, was associated with fewer allergy symptoms. Another study found that a vitamin C solution sprayed into the nose three times daily greatly reduced nasal secretion.  Vitamin C probably provides relief by acting as an anti-inflammatory.

Bromelain: This powerful enzyme is found in pineapples and stimulates the production of plasmin.  Plasmin is an enzyme that helps provide allergy relief by opening up clogged nasal passages.

Local Honey: The research on the efficacy of local honey is limited, but it’s probably one of the more popular folk remedies out there.  It seems like nearly everyone I mention anything about allergies to suggests trying local honey.  I’ve tried eating local honey and it seems to work for me.  There’s also at least  one randomized, controlled study that indicates local honey may have scientific validity.  In Japan, researchers gave birch honey to patients suffering from birch pollen allergies, and the patients who ate the honey had significantly fewer allergy symptoms than those using traditional anti-histamines.  Hey, it’s honey we’re talking about here — it’s worth a try!

Do you know of any folk remedies or research on natural allergy relief that we missed?  What works best for you?  We’d love to read your comments below.

References: Birch Pollen Study, Quercetin Study, Vitamin C and Rhinitis Symptoms, Alternative Allergy Relief, Stinging Nettle Research

Originally posted 2013-04-30 22:03:31.