nutrient deficiencies and allergies

Allergies and Nutrient Deficiencies

There are more people than you may think that suffer from nutrient deficiencies. These same people are even more at risk for developing allergies. So, there is potentially a direct line between allergies and nutrient deficiencies. Usually, if you’re deficient in a nutrient, your doctor will suggest a supplement. But, some healthcare professionals believe these supplements don’t offer any benefits.

Who’s right?

In an ideal world, we would get essential micronutrients with a balanced diet. Unfortunately, real life gets in the way. According to the CDC, most Americans don’t eat a healthy and nutritious diet. So, to get more nutrients in their system, people decide to take supplements.

When someone experiencing a lack of certain nutrients, they are at risk of disease. For example, iron deficiency anemia, scurvy, or rickets are all results of lacking a specific nutrient.

Some groups of people also have higher risks of nutrient deficiencies. These groups include pregnant women, the elderly, those with malabsorption conditions (i.e. celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, and ulcerative conditions), and those who take certain medications.

Allergy development is also associated with nutrient deficiencies. So, correcting this with more vitamins and minerals could help those with allergies. They may also help better manage allergy symptoms.

Vitamin D deficiency deserves special attention when discussing nutrient deficiencies and allergies, more details in this article. Read on to learn more about how these deficiencies can impact your allergies.

vitamin c helps decrease histamine levels in allergies

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is nature’s own antihistamine. Increased release of histamine in the body is a hallmark of allergic reactions. Excess histamine results in itchiness, sneezing, swelling, wheezing, and serious reactions like anaphylaxis.

So, scientists looked at possible links between Vitamin C and allergies. They found an association between allergic diseases and decreased Vitamin C levels. So, boosting these levels with supplements could help reduce allergy-related symptoms. One study found significant improvement of symptoms with a high-dose intravenous Vitamin C. A Vitamin C nasal solution also improved allergy symptoms in 74% of people in another study.

Histamine levels may decrease as much as 38% with 2000 mg (2 grams) of Vitamin C. Along with its antihistamine qualities, it also has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. These qualities benefit and support healthy immune system function.

Before taking a dose higher than 2 grams of Vitamin C, consult your physician. This is already considered on the high side of daily intake for the vitamin.

When choosing your Vitamin C supplement, opt for the buffered one. Regular Vitamin C (ascorbic), which is in many supplements, may irritate your stomach. You can also add Vitamin C to your diet with bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.

nutrient deficiencies in magnesium can contribute to allergies


Known as the “master mineral,” magnesium plays a part in hundreds of chemical reactions in the body. It’s especially important for brain health.

Researched studies found an association between magnesium deficiency and allergy development. The mineral seems to help fight allergies in many ways. It has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities and helps improve calcium metabolism. These calcium imbalances play an important role in allergic reactions.

The best way to boost your magnesium is through foods. These foods include nuts and seeds, especially pumpkin seeds and almonds, spinach, and beans. When choosing a supplement, opt for highly bioavailable forms like magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium taurate, or magnesium citrate/ionic magnesium.

Be care of supplements that contain magnesium stearate as it can actually be an allergen. This is used in small quantities as a filler in many drugs and supplements. Buy high-quality supplements without magnesium stearate, artificial colors, and flavors.

There are some reported cases of allergic reactions to magnesium sulfate when used intravenously. But, the cause was inconclusive. Researchers are unsure if other elements leaked into the IV bag and caused the reaction.

vitamin e nutrient deficiencies may be linked to allergies

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a group of several compounds. The most important one is alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, supporting a healthy immune system. Vitamin E helps support the immune T cells and reduces levels of certain molecules that promote inflammation.

A well-designed study found that 800 mg of Vitamin E daily during pollen season can reduce nasal allergy symptoms. This makes Vitamin E a great addition to regular allergy medication.

Vitamin E supplements containing mixed tocopherols, instead of single alpha-tocopherol, provide more health benefits. In some studies, the daily dose of Vitamin E found to help allergic reactions was above the recommended amount. Before taking a higher dose, talk to a doctor who specializes in natural supplements.

You can naturally increase your Vitamin E through foods. Vitamin E-rich foods include wheat germ oil, nuts, and seeds.


If you have allergies, especially seasonal ones, you may have some nutrient deficiencies.

Vitamins D, C, E, and magnesium are some of the most important nutrients that may help prevent or manage allergies. These essential nutrients help your body function properly. Use supplements as needed along with a healthy diet.

Multivitamins and multimineral supplements only improve levels of micronutrients. They do not benefit the macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

You shouldn’t use supplements to replace allergy medications recommended by your doctor. Certain medications, including antihistamines and corticosteroids, can deplete the body of some nutrients. Talk to your pharmacist to learn more about the effects.

The best way to get the nutrients you need is naturally through your diet. These nutrient deficiencies may cause severe or uncomfortable allergic reactions. Boost your nutrients and see if there’s a difference – you might be surprised.

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