Chris Kresser on Probiotics for Histamine Intolerance and Mast Cell Activation Disorder

June 5, 2014  |  Blog, Histamine Intolerance

I have had the opportunity to personally speak to Chris Kresser about his treatment protocol for histamine intolerance, once personally, and another in a forum in New Jersey.

For those who do not know Chris, he is an integrative medicine practitioner in San Francisco, who has a thriving practice (of around 1500 patients, a wait list of 2 years, and with his books closed to new patients) that includes many patients with histamine intolerance.

Based on his clinical experience, Chris said, that the more he works with histamine intolerance, the more convinced he is that the root cause is the gut. He suspects that histamine intolerance is due to changes in the gut micro-biome with the micro-biome turning the genetically vulnerable gene “on”.

Histamine intolerance, he believes, is due to disequilibrium between histamine producing, and histamine degrading strains of bacteria in the gut. He treats this with histamine degrading probiotics including bifidobacterium infantis.

Histamine intolerance is on a spectrum with mast cell activation disorder Chris said. Where a client falls on that spectrum is determined by the extent to which the immune system is “hyper-stimulated”.

Chris treats a “hyper-stimulated” immune system with histamine neutral, immune system modulating, “bacillus” probiotics such as Megaspore Biotics (which is US practitioner only), Peak Biotics (which is the consumer based version only available in the US), or Prescript-Assist (which is available in Australia).

Indeed, the research on the bacillus strains in MegaSpore Biotics (and peak Biotics) suggest that there is a solid track record of research showing that the bacillus strains do indeed help modulate the immune system. Chris said that his histamine intolerance clients tolerate them well.

He is also a proponent of fecal transplants as a quick fix which are available from the Centre for Digestive Diseases in Sydney, Australia.

Any treatment protocol is highly individualistic based on the individual composition of the gut and dependent on comprehensive testing. Chris uses a range of tests dependent upon the client’s presentation but as a minimum the Doctor’s Data 3 day comprehensive stool test.

It is important that you consult a functional doctor or integrative practitioner prior to commencing a probiotic regime and also that you implement any new probiotics in significantly lower dosages than the recommended dosage and go slow. Any fillers in the probiotics should also be minimised.

Probiotics are only one part of reducing inflammation and rebalancing gut flora through diet. I hope to share more on this shortly including Chris’ protocol for avoiding leaky gut when taking medication.

On a personal note, I do tolerate bifidobacterium infantis, and I have been looking for an inflammation lowering probiotic for some time.

I have attempted to order the Peak Biotics product but they will not take an overseas credit card and ship to a US address, nor will they ship internationally, nor do they have any other online or retail outlets making it impossible for me to order. On the basis of their customer service alone I am unable to recommend them.

If you have tried either bifidobacterium infantis or the baccillus probiotics please do leave a comment and share your experiences so that others may benefit.

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  • Tanya Bee

    Hi there Alison,

    Thank you for your wealth of information! I share your frustration about not being able to access megaspore or peak biotics as I’m not in the US. Do you (or any readers) know if a similar probiotic available in Canada with the bifidobacterium infantis or the baccillus? i already take prescript assist.

    thank you

    • Hi Tanya, in the end they shipped the product (via a US postal box service) but there customer service remained disappointing to the end. I also do not see much research. I tolerated the probiotic. The Bifido Infantis used in all studies is the Align GI one. It has good effect although it is not “clean” as it has additives including a preservative. It is available via online retailers in the USA. I tolerated it well and had good results. My probiotic guide highlights other ones which I have found to be clean and I use and get good results from. Hope that helps.

      • Tanya Bee

        Thank you! I would like to buy your probiotic guide. In it do you suggest specific probiotic brands, or is it more raw information about strains that we can use to find suitable probiotics? I’m wondering if you suggest specific brands if they’ll be ones I can access in Canada or not.

        • It is specific strains research for specific purposes with all the links to research. I purposefully have not given brands because of the geographic diversity of my clients. Just remember to check all the ingredients in the probiotic and make sure it is the same strain and you should be good!

      • Margaret Stevenson

        Hi Alison. Have you had any experience with Bio-Kult probiotic which contains bifidobacterium Infantis approved for GAPS and recommended by Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride

        • Yes but I dont use them for histamine intolerance.

          • Margaret Stevenson

            Would Alflorex Precision Biotic 30 Capsules from be suitable for histamine intolerance. It contains the B. infantais 35624. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge, it is invaluable and I love your books.

          • In theory yes HOWEVER I cannot see the whole ingredients listing and also it depends on your symptoms (per book) and bifidus status on a gut test. Please consider a gut test as I am managing to reverse most histamine intolerance (as opposed to MACD) through manipulation of the gut biome.

          • Margaret Stevenson

            The active ingredients in Alflorex are Maize Starch, Pregelatinized Maize Starch, Hypromellose, Bifidobacterium infantis 35624, Magnesium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide. I had a DD CSA in 2014 and it was NG for both Bifidobacterium spp and Lactobacillus spp. A prior Healthscope test in 2012 revealed 0 for Bifidobacterium. I have been taking high bifido probiotics for years with seemingly very little to no results.

          • Got it! Right you just need a “starter” culture. Apart from the (un) necessary fillers then yes this is an excellent choice to build Bifido bacteria.

          • Margaret Stevenson

            Thanks Alison, you’re a gem 🙂

          • my pleasure thanks for the details of the Bif Infantis brand.

          • Margaret Stevenson

            That’s my pleasure Alison. Glad I stumbled across it.

  • Jeannine Way

    Is there any way you could mention brand names on your guide. I would love to see that one there as well! I love all your info Vicky! Thanks for sharing with the community!

    • Thanks for your feedback. I will see what I can do. Enjoy!

      • Jeannine Way

        Thanks I have tried to google strains and brands with not much help. Please let me know when you do this! 🙂

        • The key strains are all in mainstream products. I am not sure where you are or which strain you are looking for but if you are in the USA the main ones are available in pharmacy.

  • Kristina Terry

    I have started with L Rhamnosus which is a mast cell blocker with great results!

    • Thank you for letting me know! That is what I took too! So glad it worked for you. Have you seen my probiotic book?

  • Tanya

    Just wondering if you tried th megaspore biotic? I have histamine issues and was looking at ordering it – I also have major gut dysbiois and have heard some promising things with this probiotic. My bad bacteria is klebsiella which is a histamine producing bacteria – I have spent over a year off and on kill sups and now I am rebuilding but – I still have histamine issues which makes me wonder if I still have the bag gut bacteria – but maybe it’s just I need more beneficial bacteria to get rid of this histamine issues.

    I never had histamine issues it only started this past year – hoping this new probiotic can help. Thoughts ?

    • Hi Tanya – yes I do use Megaspore Biotic but this is best used in my opinion for leaky gut. I have asked the owners for research on its histamine status and they have been unable to provide it. Klebsiella is a bad bacteria that needs to be treated. You need to make sure you have got rid of it and that you do not have SIBO. It would also be worthwhile getting an OATS test.

      • Tanya

        Thank you Alison for your prompt reply. I have done many tests but not an OAT test – I did do a urine amino acid test which is something similar but not as much detail. I have done many kill sups rotations to get rid of klebsiella – it isn’t easy, it is a hard gut pathogen to get rid of. But I have done a lot of research and i know that continued kill sups isn’t good either and at some point building the microbiome will push out any bad pathnogenic bacteria but it takes time.
        Have you ever treated anyone successfully with kleb? I know John heron has a few kindle books out and is coming out with a third one soon – also Norm from the fast tract diet – both feel that crowding out the bad bacteria with good bacteria is ideally the way To go.
        Sigh ……I was hoping the megaspore would also help me – having this histamine issue is so frustrating – along with the gentle belly bloat I have.

  • Kerry Fyans

    Hi, can you recommend a really good probiotic for someone with histamine, salicylate and oxalate intolerances? I have suspected MCAD but am waiting on having the tests so am trying to manage it all as best as I can myself for now. I am in the UK FYI so would need to a be a widely available brand.

    • Hi Kerry here is a link to my probiotic guide which should provide some options for you.

      • Kerry Fyans

        Hi Alison, thank you so much for the quick reply. The link you have sent does not work though. I get a 404 error page.

        • Hi Kerry if you click the icon of the book on the right hand column of this page it will take you to the book.

          • Kerry Fyans

            Ah, yes, got it. Thanks, I’ll download now. Just one last question, I was just about to order Swanson Probiotics Lactobacillus Rhamnosus with FOS lactobacillus. The ingredients are rhamnosus 5 billion viable organisms, NutraFlora® scFOS® (short-chain fructooligosaccharides) (providing 95% total fructooligosaccharides) 100mg, and then Microcrystalline cellulose (plant fiber), hypromellose (vegetable capsule), rice concentrate, rice extract. Do you think that would be OK for me. Apologies for all the questions, I am trying to figure this out myself and sadly failing miserably.

  • Laticia Freedman

    Megasporebiotic is available in australia

    • yes is if you are a practitioner as it is a practitioner only brand. I have an account with them now. When I wrote this post 2.5 years ago it was not available.

      • Laticia Freedman

        Hey Alison, thanks so much. Do order from a rep or direct with the company? Am curious, it doesn’t seem to be very well known

        • They are practitioner only supplements (so you cannot order direct from the company). This product is extremely well know within the functional medicine community.

          • Laticia Freedman

            Yes I know, I work for Physicians Exclusive under Microbiome Labs. I am the Account Manager and Digestive Health Educator for Megaspore Biotic in the US and Australia.

          • Well hello nice to meet you – would love to hook up with you – I am a registered practitioner – and have some email contact with your founder. Look me up on the database and contact me.

          • Laticia Freedman

            Hi there, yes Tom or Kiran. I have contacted the office for your contact information. You can contact me

    • Faye Triantis

      Laticia how can I purchase Megaspore in Australia? Xxx

      • Faye I stock it but I am out (and waiting a delivery). If you sign up for my mail list then I will be sending out an email shortly. I believe I am one of the few people that stocks it in Australia.

        • Faye Triantis

          Thanks Alison. I understand that the supply is low at the moment. Would I order from your website if I can’t find it in Melbourne? I have signed up for your emails.

      • Laticia Freedman

        Hi Faye, yes Alison is your point of contact and will take great care of you.

        • Faye Triantis

          Does anyone in Melbourne sell it? I have been buying it from USA.

  • Faye Triantis

    How do I purchase Megaspore in Australia? Xxx

  • Jason T

    Hi Alison,i am very interested in purchasing megaspore probiotic as i suffer from CFS/leaky gut/TH2 dominance. I noticed in the comments below that you are out of stock. Could you give me an update if you have any in stock now? And how i can go about purchasing some? Cheers.

    • Hi Jason
      I am out of stock but with have purchased stock which is on its way. It is about 3 weeks away.

      I sold out within about 12 hours the last shipment. I am one of the few people in Australia who stock it. You can purchase from here;
      If you wish to secure some.

      I normally stock it all the time but due to new research coming out there has been a huge demand.

  • Evy Keysers

    Hi Alison I have low bifidus numbers and high bacteroides numbers in my colon. I regularly have histamine problems and immunity issues because of Lyme, blastocystis and the bacteroides load. I do not have any mold of fungi so that’s a good thing. I had paratyphoid as a child, bowel troubles after an India trip in 2001 and it all worsened after I got Lyme 3 years ago. I used many probiotics S.boulardii, L.rhamnosus GG are the strains that helped me most until now. My question: do you have good experiences with Gutt pro infant?

    • I cannot provide you personal advice as you are not my client. I use probiotics in a therapeutic way that is to resolve an underlying problem. If your questions is Gut Pro right for you then it is unlikely to resolve blasto which as I understand it is your primary issue. Whilst I understand Gut Pro is well tolerated I have asked them for the strains used in their probiotic and the research around their product and they have been unable or unwilling to provide it. I therefore cannot recommend it.

  • Evy Keysers

    recently my symptoms got worse after I took GX assist of doterra for my colon It felt like an antibiotic, I used bifidus s Boulardii and L rhamnosus GG but it was not enough. That’s why I look for a hypo sensitive probiotic.

  • The problem with summarising a 2.5-year-old blog post is that the information is inaccurate and out of date. Specifically:
    – there are formal studies on Megasporebiotic itself showing its efficacy
    – there is research on the individual ingredients showing they are safe.
    – HU36 is not a marine-based strain it is used in aquaculture and is essentially used in many products we already eat.
    – there is now extensive clinical experience of using the product including with Dr. Kilinghardt (with whom I have trained) who uses it as part of his core protocol and ART tests its suitability.
    – You may want to listen to this;

  • DJ

    I’ve been rotating Presript Assist for some time with positive results, however I just bought a new bottle and had a bad reaction. Appartently they have changed 50% of the bacterial ingredients and it is now histamine producing. There is only a tiny line on the bottle saying ‘A new blend’. I think this is very irresponible.

    • I would go back to them and report your findings. It drives me crazy when companies change ingredients.