Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering…
What is L-Histidine?
L-histidine (or simply histidine) was, until recently, considered being a semi-essential amino acid. It is nonessential in adults, though essential in infants’ diet and those with uremia — kidney disorder. (x) These are amino acids that are slow to form in the body than nonessential amino acids, which your body makes readily. Your body doesn’t generate essential amino acids. Thus you need to add them to your body through diet or supplements. However, it’s highly recommended that before you take any new supplement, you talk with your physician first.
History of L-Histidine
In 1986, simultaneously but independently Sven Hedin and Albrecht Kossel discovered L-histidine. Each researcher used different methods of precipitation to isolate the amino acid. (x)
L-histidine has helped children for a long time as an essential component for the growth and repair of tissue. (x) However, recent studies confirm that histidine is also vital for adults. It is because it is essential for the production of histamine. (x)
How Does L-Histidine Work?
Histamine is a vital chemical in the body. Necessary for digestion, breathing, immunity, sexual function, and the nervous system’s key neurotransmitters. (x) The discovery that L-histidine is vital for histamine production has raised its profile and elevated it to an essential amino acid.
The body uses histamine to manufacture myelin sheaths — the protective layers surrounding the body’s nerves. (x) The importance of histidine’s role in protecting the body’s nerves means it provides some protection against the effects of degenerative neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. (x)
Histidine is also vital for making white blood cells. (x) Its role in blood cell production means that it is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also crucial for controlling the effects of inflammation in the body. It helps as a useful treatment of arthritis while lessening allergy symptoms. (x)
Why Take L-Histidine?
Histidine plays a lot of essential roles in the body. If you have a deficiency, it can cause wide-ranging problems. Symptoms include anemia, inflammation, poor hearing, reduced brain function, unhealthy skin and even anxiety. (x) (x) (x) (x)
Adding a histidine supplement to your diet can protect you from these issues. It can even offer protection for your heart and skin.
Histidine levels can be low because of a lack of variety in your diet. They can also be low levels if you don’t cook your food with care. Because histidine is water-soluble, any foods cooked in water can lose almost all of their natural histidine. So even if you eat a lot of vegetables, you might still be low in histidine.
You can also end up with low histidine levels if you have low levels of vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid). When you lack this vitamin, the body uses histidine instead. It can reduce its availability for other roles. (x)
Benefits of L-Histidine
Research into having L-histidine in your system is worth noticing and understanding as a natural remedy for many health concerns. They include:
- Arthritis Treatment
Studies of rheumatoid arthritis show a clear link between decreased histidine levels in the blood and the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. (x) It has led to research regarding the benefits of taking histidine for those suffering from pain caused by arthritis. (x) However, antioxidants are one attribute of L-histidine and scientifically proven. (x) Antioxidants help relieve the burden of rheumatoid arthritis by reversing oxidative stress on your body. (x) So far, there is logic regarding its effectiveness, and it is likely to be an area for future research in years to come.
Histidine has an exact role in mediating the effects of inflammation in the body. (x) It leads to another way in which it might have a beneficial impact on pain of arthritis. Having inadequate levels of histidine can cause increased inflammation. (x) (x) For those in the grips of arthritis, any further inflammation will cause a significant increase pain.
- Anemia Treatment
Anemia occurs when there are insufficient red blood cells in the body. This reduction in red blood cells means that there is not enough oxygen being transported to all the body organs, leading to fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. (x)
Reduced levels of red blood cells can have a variety of causes. (x) One reason for anemia is that the body may lack the essential nutrients required to make red blood cells. The most common deficiencies being folate and B12. If anemia stems from a folate deficiency, then taking a histidine supplement can ease anemia’s symptoms. (x)
Taking a histidine supplement may help with anemia caused by folate deficiency. (x) If you don’t eat a clean diet and you suffer from bouts of fatigue and dizziness, it might be worth considering a histidine supplement.
- Eases Allergic Reactions
Histidine is a vital component for maintaining the balance of histamine in the body. (x) Histamine is one of the main chemicals involved in allergic reactions. Low levels of histidine in the body can lead to more severe allergic reactions.
Often used as a treatment for people who suffer from extreme allergic reactions, histidine may help your allergies. (x) If you suffer from allergies, adding a histidine supplement to your diet may reduce its severity.
- Reduces High Blood Pressure
Histidine also reduces blood pressure in patients who suffer from or are at risk because of heart disease. (x) The size of the effect relates to the size of the dose. If you consider taking more than 1g of histidine per day, you should first consult with your doctor — always consult with your medical practitioner whenever you start a new supplement. (x)
And reducing blood pressure, histidine shows to be beneficial for heart function. Patients often take it before open heart surgery as it can reduce the need for other drugs and speeds the recovery of patients. (x)
- Skin Health and Protection
A scientific study in Scotland supports administering histidine for children with atopic dermatitis (AD) as a standard and chronic inflammatory skin condition, supposedly incurable. Based on the amino acid successfully treats eczematous skin, they gave L-histidine a try which proved favorable. (x)
Your body produces a few substances that can help protect us from the damaging effects of UV radiation — one chemical known as urocanic. (x) High levels of urocanic acid protect your DNA from UV radiation and prevent skin cancer development.
Urocanic acid generates from histidine. (x) While taking a histidine supplement is not a replacement for sunscreen, it can provide you with an extra protection level when enjoying the sunny weather.
- Sexual Pleasure
For some women who have difficulty achieving orgasm, the culprit could be histidine deficiency. Histamine is essential to achieve orgasm, so low levels can prevent it from happening at all. (x) So if this is an area of your life that could use some help, adding a histidine supplement could make a world of difference.
In men, excessive levels of histamine can cause premature ejaculation. (x) So you can always stick to the recommended dosage of histidine to avoid this.
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Where to Buy L-Histidine?
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Are you interested in trying L-histidine? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order.
The recommended daily dosage of histidine is 500 mg. Some strongly suggest not to take over 1,000 mg.
L-histidine comes as a fine powder, which can quickly dissolve into a drink. The powder has a slightly bitter taste, so you may wish to take it with a sweetened beverage. It also dissolves better in warm liquids. You could take it with a bit of sugar in your morning cup of coffee.
L-Histidine Side Effects and Warnings
L-histidine is water-soluble, so it excretes quickly through sweat and urine when you consume higher than normal levels of it. Because of this, there are no established maximum dosages for histidine. Taking up to five times the recommended dosage has no adverse effects. (x)
One small study has shown that a few patients who took 20-60 times the recommended dosage suffered from side effects, including headaches, nausea, confusion, and depression. (x) But only observed when extremely high doses of L-histidine have happened.
Reportedly, taking an excessive amount of histidine may cause increased intestinal absorption of zinc, causing a zinc deficiency. A study reports histidine can disrupt the metabolism of iron and copper from an analysis performed on rats. (x)
For some people, adding L-histidine to their diet as a supplement can lead to some gastrointestinal discomfort. It is because of the pH of the supplements. Adding HCL (hydrochloride acid) to their supplement can often ease these issues.
You should not take histidine if you are on blood pressure medications. Be sure to consult a doctor first. It is unclear if histidine is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. For that reason, it is best to avoid supplementation.
Sometimes, if you take histidine supplements over a long period can lead to low zinc, iron and copper levels, so it is advisable to take these supplements along with histidine.
L-Histidine vs. L-Histidine HCL
When looking for histidine supplements, you may have found that there are often two choices — L-histidine and L-histidine HCL. The difference between these two supplements is that one contains a small amount of HCL — hydrochloride acid.
It might sound odd to add hydrochloric acid to a supplement, but it makes it easier to take the L-histidine for some people. It is because histidine is an alkaline molecule and can upset digestion as it can have a neutralizing effect on stomach acid.
Both options will provide you with bio-available histidine. Which you want to take is a matter of preference. If you try L-histidine and it upsets your digestion, you can switch to the one with added HCL and vice versa. But, discuss this with your physician to determine what is best for your body.
The Bottom Line
L-histidine is a vital molecule and having insufficient levels in the body can lead to a wide range of problems. Infants benefit from the amino acid in general, as do adults with specific health problems. Increasing your intake of histidine can provide you protection for your heart, skin and nerves.
You can take it with or without HCL, depending on your needs. It is a safe supplement to take, and it is tough to take too much. You might take zinc, iron and copper supplements alongside L-histidine as the amino acid can metabolize these minerals in your intestinal tract.
By simply adding a little bit to a drink once a day, you can reap the health benefits of this essential amino acid.
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Graduate of Longwood University in Virginia. Part-time sports journalist covering the Vegas Golden Knights.