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