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:
- Metabolic Maintenance Sodium Ascorbate –This is the Vitamin C option that I have observed works the best for most of the people I work with.Now, when you see the ingredients, you’ll see ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate. And you’ll be thinking, “Hey, I thought you just said that I should avoid those.” And I did! But here’s what’s unique about this product.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 it is generally considered safe even for people 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 they are making sure it is pharmaceutical grade purity.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 Metabolic Maintenance 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.
- Camu Capsules – Madre Nature is organic.
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:
- Oxalates and the Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance Connection
- Oxalates Part II: Addressing when you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and Histamine Intolerance
How can you find out if you have oxalate issues?
Here is a list of clues that may indicate you could have an oxalate problem:
- Fibromyalgia pains
- Interstitial cystitis
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Kidney stones
- 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.
You can actually order it yourself here:
Or if you live in Canada, use this link:
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:
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:
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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
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