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Low Histamine Sources of Vitamin C to Know About if You Have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance

Years ago, I was trying to figure out my own Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance issues. And I would get so frustrated reading about supplements.

Vitamin C was one of the ones that had me pulling my hair out. I remember literally throwing a bottle of Vitamin C across the room because I was so frustrated from reacting to Vitamin C.

It seemed that the supplements that were the “best” and “right” for everyone else were making me really sick.

I knew Vitamin C was important for lowering histamine. But it took me forever to piece together which ones were better for my mast cell and histamine issues.

I don’t want mast cell and histamine issues to be as confusing or frustrating for you as they were for me.

That’s why I want to share the top information on Vitamin C for those of us with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance.

Let’s start with what’s important about Vitamin C…

How Vitamin C Can Be Helpful for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

Vitamin C can be helpful if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance. Why? Because Vitamin C naturally lowers histamine.

Vitamin C does this by helping the body produce more of the histamine-degrading enzyme, diamine oxidase (DAO).

Not only that, but it’s an antioxidant vitamin that can support the reduction of histamine-induced inflammation in the body.

If your body becomes deficient in Vitamin C, it can lead to higher histamine levels. That’s why it’s important to make sure your Vitamin C levels are optimized if you are dealing with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.

Don’t run out and just grab any Vitamin C, though! Especially if you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance.

The tricky part about Vitamin C and lowering histamine is that a lot of Vitamin C sources are high in histamine.

We’ll discuss those next.

High Histamine/High Oxalate Sources of Vitamin C to Avoid for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

So, now you know that Vitamin C is important for lowering histamine. But do you know where your Vitamin C comes from?

It’s a very important question for those of us with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance. Because many sources of Vitamin C can actually raise your histamine levels.

If you are dealing with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, you want to avoid those forms of Vitamin C!

These are some of the most common high histamine sources of Vitamin C to avoid:

  • Ascorbic Acid in most forms – Why?

Because Ascorbic Acid generally comes from corn.

Corn is a problem for a few reasons.
It’s an allergen.
It’s likely GMO.
It tends to be moldy.

Add on to the fact that almost all Ascorbic Acid is actually from FERMENTED corn. Fermented ingredients, as we know, raise histamine.

Here’s another one to watch out for…

  • Ascorbyl Palmitate – Why?

Ascorbyl Palmitate is also from fermentation. There used to be a non-fermented tapioca-based Ascorbyl Palmitate. But it was discontinued a few years ago.

Since then, I’ve seen a lot of people with mast cell and histamine issues struggle with this form of Vitamin C. And I haven’t found one since that was low histamine. Bummer!

  • Vitamin C with Citrus Bioflavonoids – Why?

Because citrus is a histamine-liberator. This means that the citrus bioflavonoids can raise your histamine levels.

So, while those citrus bioflavonoids may be good for some people, they can be bad news if you’re histamine sensitive!

  • Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – Why?

Amla is a berry that is high in Vitamin C. But it is also very high in oxalates. These little crystals found in some foods can cause major mast cell issues.

Now, not everyone is sensitive to oxalates.

But if you have any problems with joint pain, fibromyalgia-like muscle pain, urinary burning, or osteopenia, then you may want to learn more about oxalates.

And you might want to consider staying away from Amla. We’ll talk more about oxalates and Vitamin C in a bit.

What are low histamine sources of Vitamin C? Keep reading! Let’s look at those next.

Low Histamine Sources of Vitamin C for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

Here are my top 2 low histamine
sources of Vitamin C:

  • Magnesium Ascorbate

    This is the Vitamin C option that I am now recommending. 

    When I reached out to the The Allergy Research Group, they assured me that this product does not have any fermentation in the manufacturing process. That’s something I look for since most products made with fermentation are higher histamine.

    They also said, “The ascorbic acid used to make our Magnesium Ascorbate product is… likely sourced from corn.” However, they also said that there is no corn DNA in the final product.

    But how can something made from corn not have corn residue?

    Things can be processed to the point that there are no residues. For example, when vodka is distilled from wheat, the distillation process removes all wheat particles to the point that it is gluten free. It is generally considered safe even for people with celiac. 
     
    This is why I feel comfortable with it.

This is the option I recommend in my practice to many with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance who are dealing with salicylate intolerance. Many of my clients have done well with it (except those who aren’t tolerating any supplements.)

You can get 15% off any of your FullScript orders, anytime, when you create an account with the link above.

Some people prefer a foods-based Vitamin C, though.

  • Camu Camu (also low oxalate) – Camu Camu is a berry from a tree in South America. And the great news is that it’s both low histamine and low oxalate. It’s also an excellent source of Vitamin C!

Are you ok with salicylates, another plant ingredient?

If so, then Camu Camu may be a good choice for you if you have mast cell and histamine issues.

If you are salicylate intolerant, you’ll want to consider a different option, like the Magnesium Ascorbate above.

But if you are ok with salicylates, here are some Camu Camu options:

  • Camu Camu Powder – Navitas is the most reliable brand in terms of testing for purity.

Now, for some people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance, oxalates can also be an issue.

I’ll go over what you should know about oxalates in your Vitamin C sources next.

What to Know About Oxalates and Vitamin C for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

Some people with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome or Histamine Intolerance are also very sensitive to oxalates. I especially see this issue in those with mold toxicity.

If you have oxalate issues, it’s also very important for you to know whether a given source of Vitamin C is high in oxalates.

After all, we know that oxalates can raise histamine levels in the body.

What are oxalates?

Oxalates are microscopic crystals that can cause or aggravate inflammation in the body. They occur naturally in some plants. Your body can make them, too. And, if mold has colonized in your body, that mold also makes oxalates.

I’ve written a few comprehensive articles about oxalates already. You can check them out here:

How can you find out if you have oxalate issues?

Oxalates have been associated with:

  • Fibromyalgia pains
  • Vulvodynia
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Kidney stones
  • Cataracts
  • PCOS (potentially)
  • Thyroid issues
  • Ear crystals/vertigo

It’s also possible to have oxalates built up in your body before symptoms have started.

The best test to find out if you have oxalate issues is the Great Plains Organic Acid Test. It looks at 3 types of oxalate markers. Plus, it also has gut markers for fungal and bacterial overgrowth, detoxification markers, nutrient markers, and more.

Oxalates sharp

You can actually order it yourself here:

>>> Great Plains Organic Acid Test with Oxalate Markers

Or if you live in Canada, use this link:

>>>CANADA Great Plains Organic Acid Test

So, what are some of the high oxalate sources of Vitamin C?

Unfortunately, many of the whole food sources of Vitamin C fall into the moderate to high oxalate category:

  • Amla – Otherwise known as Indian gooseberry, this Ayurvedic food is a powerful antihistamine. Unfortunately, it’s very high in oxalates. I’ve found it bothers most people I work with.
  • Acerola Cherry – This is a Vitamin C rich superfood. Unfortunately, it is likely high in oxalates. It also reacts with latex and has led to anaphylactic reactions for those with latex allergies.
  • Kakadu Plum – This plum is native to Australia. It’s also known as Gubinge. Vitamin C levels per gram are 900 times that of blueberries! Unfortunately, it’s likely high in oxalates. And that high Vitamin C can convert to oxalates.
  • Rosehips – Rosehips are the fruit of the rosebush. They are high in Vitamin C, but like many other wild plants are higher in oxalates. The tea may be OK for some people, though.

What you should also know is that taking large doses of Vitamin C can cause the body to make oxalates. But again, this isn’t a problem for everyone.

If you have significant oxalate issues, it may be important to keep your Vitamin C intake to 250mg/day. Unless of course your medical practitioner gives you different advice based on your circumstances.

This is different for everyone, though. I’ve had oxalate problems that caused excruciating joint pain. But I can do 250mg twice a day.

This is why you want to be sure to work with your healthcare provider on your unique health and what supplements are best for you.

To summarize, if you find your Vitamin C supplements are giving you issues, there are a few things to consider:

#1 Is the Vitamin C from a high histamine source (Ascorbic Acid)?

#2 Is the Vitamin C from a high oxalate source?

#3 Is your body converting Vitamin C to oxalates? This isn’t a problem for everyone. You can find out through testing your oxalates after you’ve been following a low oxalate diet (including supplements) for a while.

Here is my top Vitamin C option that often works well…

And, don’t forget, you can get 15% off any of your FullScript orders, anytime, when you create an account with the link above.

Confused about where to start with supplements?

If you’d like to learn more about supplements and which ones may or may not be working for you, sign up for my Top 8 Mast Cell Supporting Supplements Master Class:

click here to register for top 8 mast cell supporting Supplements Master Class

What if you’re reacting to everything you try?

If you can’t take any supplements or react to most of them, then this is your next step instead:

click here to register for Mast Cell Nervous System Reboot button

More Low Histamine Supplements

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References for Vitamin C for Mast Cell Activation Syndrome | Histamine Intolerance

Anogeianaki, A., Castellani, M. L., Tripodi, D., Toniato, E., De Lutiis, M. A., Conti, F., Felaco, P., Fulcheri, M., Theoharides, T. C., Galzio, R., Caraffa, A., Antinolfi, P., Cuccurullo, C., Ciampoli, C., Felaco, M., Cerulli, G., Pandolfi, F., Sabatino, G., Neri, G., & Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb, Y. B. (2010). Vitamins and mast cells. International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology, 23(4), 991–996. https://doi.org/10.1177/039463201002300403

Jarisch, R., Weyer, D., Ehlert, E., Koch, C. H., Pinkowski, E., Jung, P., . . . Koch, A. (n.d.). Impact of oral vitamin C on histamine levels and seasickness. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25095772

Kaygusuz, I., Karatas, O. F., Kafali, H., Cimentepe, E., & Unal, D. (2013). Is polycystic ovarian syndrome a risk factor for urolithiasis?. Urolithiasis41(4), 361–362. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00240-013-0564-9

Langley, P. C., Pergolizzi, J. V., Jr, Taylor, R., Jr, & Ridgway, C. (2015). Antioxidant and associated capacities of Camu camu (Myrciaria dubia): a systematic review. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 21(1), 8–14. https://doi.org/10.1089/acm.2014.0130

Mohanty, S., & Cock, I. E. (2012). The chemotherapeutic potential of Terminalia ferdinandiana: Phytochemistry and bioactivity. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 6(11), 29–36. http://doi.org/10.4103/0973-7847.95855

Comments

  1. Marcia

    I am sensitive to many supplements, corn & am dealing with lyme, babiesia, MCAS,MCS, oxylates, salicylates, phytates probs. For many years, I have used Perque Vitamin C powder (from Dr. Russell Jaffe). It has been great & never had any probs with it. Just sharing what has worked for me.

    1. Diane

      Can you tell me exactly which one you bought and how much you use of the vit c powder. Is it the Guard?

  2. Katrina Bubolz

    Is it okay to get an IV of vitamin c, does this affect histamine?

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Katrina,
      This is a decision that needs to be made individually. We aren’t familiar with your case, so we can’t be sure one way or another if this would be right for you.

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Bill,
      Thanks for reaching out. Things can be processed to the point that there are no residues. For example, when vodka is distilled from wheat, the distillation process removes all wheat particles to the point that it is gluten free and safe for people even with celiac. Beth wishes me to convey that she has a severe corn allergy myself and has had no issues with the Metabolic Maintenance Vitamin C.

      We also spoke with the manufacturer who issued this statement:
      The ascorbate portion of the Buffered Vitamin C (as Potassium Magnesium Ascorbate) is made from corn sorbitol through a chemical process not a fermentation process, therefore there are no fungal residues. The ascorbic acid is highly purified into a single compound which meets USP specifications. There is no corn residue in the ascorbic acid.
      We do not use solvents here.

      I hope this helps to clarify.

      Suz, MC360

    2. Sarah

      For the section on oxalates, there is no link or product listed after it says, “Here is my top Vitamin C option that often works well…” What is the vitamin C recommendation for those with oxalate issues?

      1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

        Hi Sarah,
        Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are working on getting this corrected and should have it up for you very soon!

        Thank you,
        Suz

  3. Annette Kastner

    How about Quali-C, or magnesium ascorbate?

    Thanks

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Cindy,
      We’ve just added some information to the blog to help address this question for you and others. This is why this product is different:
      (updated copy from the blog)
      Metabolic Maintenance has strongly assured me this ascorbic acid is not from fermentation. And they’ve told me it doesn’t have any corn residues. But how can something made from corn not have corn residue?

      Things can be processed to the point that there are no residues. For example, when vodka is distilled from wheat, the distillation process removes all wheat particles to the point that it is gluten free and is even generally considered safe for people even with celiac. I have a significant corn sensitivity myself and have had no issues with the Metabolic Maintenance Vitamin C.

      I wanted to make absolutely sure. So I’ve reached out to them 3 separate times about this. They also told me that the ascorbate portion of the Buffered Vitamin C (as Potassium Magnesium Ascorbate) is made from a chemical process not a fermentation process.

      This means it’s not high histamine like when made with fermentation. It also means there are no fungal residues, either like in fermentation. It is derived from corn sorbitol.

      But then it is highly purified to meet USP specifications. This is the highest level of quality standards for purity in prescription medications. So this means that are making sure it is pharmaceutical grade purity.

      Thank you!
      Suz, MC360

  4. Liz Ahmann

    Is citric acid in a multivitamin a concern for someone with histamine issues?

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Liz,
      Citric acid is from mold fermentation and many in our audience have trouble with it both due to mold and histamine.

      1. Steve

        I contacted Pure Encapsulations and asked them about their Magnesium Citrate. They said the Citrate portion is derived from corn, not mold. Not sure if it’s fermented.
        I believe the Citric Acid in food products are more likely to be derived from mold, perhaps supplements usually use corn

        1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

          Hi Steve,
          Thanks for letting us know what they shared with you about magnesium citrate. Typically, magnesium citrate isn’t one we suggest. The form of Vitamin C mentioned in the blog post here is magnesium ascorbate. We’ve been told that this is not derived from fermentation. It does start with corn, but is processed to a point where no corn DNA is in the final product. I hope this helps clarify.
          Suz

  5. Susan Yeates

    I contacted metabolic maintenance regarding their sodium ascorbate and they said it had lemon juice in it. That is histamine and salicylate.

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for reaching out and letting us know your experience. Lemon tested very low salicylate and in small quantities is low histamine, but we’re concerned about the informational discrepancies and are investigating this product further. Thank you.

      Suz, MC360

      1. Kate

        Hello,

        Have you verified whether or not there is lemon juice in this product? I like others cannot tolerate citrus due to histamine liberator effect. But I’m struggling to find a safe source of Vitamin C.
        I asked the same question here a few days ago. I kept checking back for a reply, and saw today my comment was removed. Not sure what that is about?

        1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

          Hi Kate,
          I’m so sorry, but I was checking on your original message and I seem to have lost it in the shuffle. We have to approve everything before it goes up but it definitely was not deleted. I was probably just waiting til I heard something, but then I lost track.
          I’ve got some questions in to my teammates and will post here very soon with what information we have. You can also reach out to the company directly to see what info they can share with you. I’ll be back in touch here just as soon as I hear something. Again, my apologies!
          Suz

          1. Kate

            Suz,

            I heard back from Metabolic Maintenance today. No citrus in that product, but it IS made from fermentation apparently the same as any ascorbic acid. So it’s not any more MCAS friendly than any other ascorbic acid sourced vitamin C. This is specifically what they said:

            “This is what our R&D team had to say regarding your inquiry: We have Citrus bioflavonoids in the Buffered Vitamin C but not in the Reduced Acidity Powder. Ascorbic acid is made via a multi-step process some of which involve fermentation. Our product is not different in this regard.”

            You may want to update your article to reflect that. I don’t know why they were so assuring to you before that it was made differently, when it’s really not. That’s pretty lousy of them!

          2. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

            Hi Kate,
            Thanks for letting us know what they said. We do try to be as thorough as possible and make updates when we know something has changed. As I was checking with the team, it does look like we are in the process of making some updates. This is one Vitamin C that we are suggesting as an alternative. Beth said last she checked, it was not made from citrus or fermentation process. https://us.fullscript.com/product_cards/57633/redirect?store_slug=mastcell360

            Best wishes, Suz

  6. Assem

    Hello. Are there any new options for vitamin C? Metabolic M. did not suit me, and I don’t try camu camu because of salicylates. is there any good news? I really need it, thanks

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Assem,
      We are looking into a different formula and hope to have some more information and updates very soon!

  7. sara

    How does PCOS indicate an oxalate issue? I’m trying to find research/literature on this…

    Thanks!

  8. Heather

    I would like to register for your classes, but the links are not working. Are the classes available?

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Beth hasn’t found a low histamine option, but if someone isn’t histamine sensitive, quicksilver liposomal C is a great formula. https://us.fullscript.com/product_cards/84345/redirect?store_slug=mastcell360 If you would like to try it, you can use this link to register an account and save 15% off all Fullscript orders. But be sure to talk with your provider with any questions or concerns since we don’t know if this will be right for you specifically.

  9. Cindy

    Hi,

    I contacted Allergy Research Group myself about 2 of their products recently.
    They confirmed the following –
    1. AllergyResearch Magnesium Ascorbate has no fermentation in the production process as already mentioned in Beth’s blog above.
    Ingredients – Vitamin C (as Magnesium Ascorbate), Magnesium (as Magnesium Ascorbate)

    2. AllergyResearch Buffered Vitamin C with Calcium and Magnesium has fermentation of tapioca and cassava in the production process
    Ingredients – Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid), Calcium (as Calcium Carbonate), Magnesium (as Magnesium Carbonate).

    My son has an allergy to aspergillus mold. This was detected by Dunwoody Labs (Dietary Antigen Testing). Ascorbic Acid is usually derived from corn dextrose fermentation using aspergillus and my son always reacts to it. He also reacts to plant-based digestive enzymes as they also use aspergillus in the production process. Luckily, he is able to tolerate animal-based pancreatic digestive enzymes in brands Nutricology, Allergy Research and Ancestral supplements. There are many other fermented supplements out there that also use aspergillus so we are very vigilant.
    I am wondering if any of your clients had reactions to supplements that use cassava/tapioca in the fermentation process? We have not yet tried the 2nd product above.

    Kind regards Cindy.

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Cindy,
      Beth said that this really is case specific. Some people are ok with the cassava/tapioca fermentation and others aren’t – it really depends on the level of Histamine Intolerance you have. If you aren’t sure, talk with your provider and if you decide together to give it a try, we usually recommend starting low and slow. In the practice, we say start with “drops or sprinkles.” You can build up as tolerated over time.

      Best wishes- Suz

  10. Jake

    Hi. Just how high does camu camu score on the salicylate spectrum? I just had some in water and tinnitus is through the rough. Is there any data showing how much sals is in Camu Camu? Thank you

    1. Suz, Mast Cell 360 Team

      Hi Jake,
      I don’t have specifics on this for you, but we don’t typically recommend camu camu for those with salicylate intolerance.

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