Betaine Hydrochloride and Digestive Enzymes
The activity of hydrochloric acid and pancreatic protease enzymes is often deficient in
those with food allergies. Stomach acid is required for the vital first step of protein
digestion, therefore hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) is implicated in the
development of allergies, where the immune system is triggered by incompletely
digested proteins. Similarly, a lack of pancreatic enzymes also contributes to
incomplete protein digestion and the potential for allergies. Support of stomach acid
production and pancreatic enzymes is therefore a priority for those with food allergies.
Food allergies are typically associated with excessive permeability of the intestinal
lining (leaky gut disorder). This allows potential allergy-causing proteins to be
absorbed into the bloodstream intact. The amino acid glutamine is a major component
and energy source of the intestinal lining and supplementation has been shown to
restore proper integrity to this tissue.
The effects of harmful intestinal bacteria and yeasts/fungi can damage the intestinal
wall and lead to imbalances in immune factors in the gut, potentially causing more
allergy-triggering food proteins to be absorbed. Studies suggest that probiotic bacteria
such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria strains help control the colonies of
these harmful organisms, promote intestinal immune system health and ensure healthy
bowel ecology – all important factors in preventing allergies.
Quercetin and Vitamin C
The bioflavonoid quercetin inhibits the release of inflammatory compounds such as
histamine and leukotrienes, which trigger the physical manifestations of allergic
reactions. Studies suggest that quercetin may be helpful in reducing the intestinal
damage caused by the ingestion of food allergens and reduce inflammation of the
intestinal wall. In addition to helping the body to detoxify histamine, vitamin C has
been shown to enhance the effect of bioflavonoids such as quercetin.
Food Allergies Summary
Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Betaine hydrochloride1 As per manufacturer’s directions (with food)
Pancreatin 500 – 1000mg with each main meal
L-Glutamine2 2000 – 5000mg per day (away from food)
Probiotics 5 – 20 billion organisms per day
Quercetin 500 - 1000mg per day
Nuts and seeds
Fibre (not wheat)
Identify and avoid potential allergens
Limit the effects of stress (stress impairs digestive function)
1. Do NOT use in cases of stomach or duodenal ulcers, except on the advice of a physician. Intake
may need to be altered based on the amount and type of food consumed.
2. High dosages of glutamine may affect anticonvulsant medication. Avoid if sensitive to
monosodium glutamate or suffering kidney or liver problems