Benadryl & Serotonin

Peata

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I am going to just come out and ask since I'm not finding satisfactory answers in my searches. I know Benadryl reduces histamine, so that's good. But what is it doing with serotonin?
 

HDD

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Hi Peata, from another thread -

Birdie wrote-

Hi diane,
"Ray says benadryl helps lower histamine and serotonin. 
That's mainly why I was wanting to be able to take it. ..."

I am not sure if Birdie read or heard in an interview.
 

Peata

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Thanks, Diane.

I've read everywhere that Benadryl has mild SSRI activity, so not sure if that is good or bad as far as Peating is concerned with trying to lower serotonin.
 

HDD

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I have been searching RP website for the connection. I get sidetracked with other interesting information so it is a slow search. He mentions the usefulness of antihistames in cancer treatment, for example, and in another article how antihistamines and others act as surrogate for Mead acid. All so fascinating.
 

Mittir

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In KMUD heart attack interview he recommended someone Pure Benadryl for allergy and
then added Cyprohetadine and commented that it is both antihistamine and anti serotonin.
I believe in another place he recommended Benadryl for sleep. I am not sure about it.
It seems like RP did not say that Benadryl is antiserotonergic.
Serotonin increases histamine and major goal of peating is to lower serotonin.
If Benadryl is mildly SSRI it is good to know what is meant by " mildly".
I believe he would not have recommended someone Benadryl if it has
significant SSRI activity.
 

Peata

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While trying to find info, I came across this website: http://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2009/01/ ... _less.html He has a chart showing the activity of Benadryl, and talks about its activity being related to how much you take. But if anyone can shed light on that dose/activity more precisely, would appreciate it.
 

Peata

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So, this is what I've had time to look into so far as to what that website says is the "Affinity Chart for Benadryl":

H1 = antihistamine (prevents binding of histamine to H1 receptors - blocks the receptors)
5-HTT = serotonin transporter protein (SERT). I think SSRIs target 5-HHT to keep serotonin on the receptors..?
NET = norepinephrine transporter. a bunch of stuff at this wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norepinephrine_transporter
M1 = muscarinic acetylcholine receptor
alpha 1 = Catecholamines like norepinephrine (noradrenaline) and epinephrine (adrenaline) signal through the α1-adrenergic receptor. The primary effect is on smooth muscle, which it mainly constricts (from wikipedia).

I still need help figuring it out as it relates to Benadryl dose. I just want to have an idea of how much I should take to just get the antihistamine benefit. I would rather not take a dose that would raise the effects of serotonin. Maybe it can be figured out, maybe not.
 

Mittir

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The link you provided used a graph of Benadryls receptor occupancy profile and there is the
source below that chart. He did not provide the whole chart. At the bottom of the original chart
they added 150-300 mg for antidepressant and 1-6 mg for hypnotic activity. Here is the link
http://www.cnsspectrums.com/userdocs/ar ... ig6big.jpg
I have used few times Benadryl for sleep and i found about 2.5 mg dose helped me sleep without
next day drowsiness and that fits with their findings. They did not talk about anti-histamine dose.
You get an idea that beyond 150 mg Benadryl starts acting as SSRI.
I have had bad allergy for a long time and only thing that surely working is
following RP style eating and very recently i have found out that large calcium
intake keeps histamine in check. I take about 2000 mg of calcium and make
sure phosphorus is lower than calcium. If you have chronic allergy problem
then diet is the only way to solve this problem. Because all these anti-histamine
can only help with mild allergy without causing more irritating side effects.
I have used all kind of anti allergy meds, they cause more problems than they solve.
RP also commented that all antiserotonergic med has side effects
 

Peata

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Mittir said:
The link you provided used a graph of Benadryls receptor occupancy profile and there is the
source below that chart. He did not provide the whole chart. At the bottom of the original chart
they added 150-300 mg for antidepressant and 1-6 mg for hypnotic activity. Here is the link
http://www.cnsspectrums.com/userdocs/ar ... ig6big.jpg
I have used few times Benadryl for sleep and i found about 2.5 mg dose helped me sleep without
next day drowsiness and that fits with their findings. They did not talk about anti-histamine dose.
You get an idea that beyond 150 mg Benadryl starts acting as SSRI.
I have had bad allergy for a long time and only thing that surely working is
following RP style eating and very recently i have found out that large calcium
intake keeps histamine in check. I take about 2000 mg of calcium and make
sure phosphorus is lower than calcium. If you have chronic allergy problem
then diet is the only way to solve this problem. Because all these anti-histamine
can only help with mild allergy without causing more irritating side effects.
I have used all kind of anti allergy meds, they cause more problems than they solve.
RP also commented that all antiserotonergic med has side effects

Thanks, Mittir, for looking into that further and giving me the info.

That certainly is a lot of Benadryl to me, to get the SSRI effect. I have been taking between 5 mg and 50 mg. per day, depending on time of day and symptoms. My upper limit has always been 50 mg. (The one time I took 75 mg. it knocked me out so thoroughly and deeply that I never did it again.)

I'm also glad you mentioned that about calcium/phosphorus and allergies. My calcium intake is good, but after reading your post, I looked back through cronometer. I notice since last Friday my phosphorus has been higher than calcium, and my allergies have been really bothering me since then. I never would have made the connection. I'll work on reversing that and see how it goes.
 

charlie

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Mittir, do you supplement calcium and if so what do you use?
 

Mittir

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Charlie said:
Mittir, do you supplement calcium and if so what do you use?

I use pure Calcium Hydroxide in OJ, this is also sold as Pickling Lime.
They use this in corn processing. I tried egg shell powder and
other calcium supplements, but always had bad allergic reaction.
I have found that Tropicana use calcium hydroxide in their low
acid OJ , then i start adding this to my OJ and no allergic reaction.
In OJ it turns into calcium citrate. I asked RP about adding calcium hydroxide
to OJ he possibly said 'Yes". But i asked him several question in that email.
I am bit confused if that Yes was meant for this question or another question.
But it should be ok since it is added in masa harina and other corn products.
 

Mittir

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@Peata

PTH ( Parathyroid Hormone) increases release of serotonin and histamine.
PTH is lowered by vitamin D, Vitamin K and good ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
RP mentioned that it takes about 1500 mg calcium to lower PTH.
You also have to make sure you are getting good amount of D and K.
Liver is rich source of vitamin K, RP also said one can use well cooked
Kale every other day to get vitamin K to support aspirin use.

My understanding of the paper you cited is that they think within
hypnotic range of 1-6 mg Benadryl only acts on H1 receptor, above that
it starts working on M1, which causes dry mouth, confusion etc.
Based on that safest dose to lower histamine is below 6 mg.

Gut irritation is the main source of serotonin and it also increases histamine.
Eat simple foods and avoid starch and fiber to reduce gut irritation.
Avoiding histamine rich food is very important. Seafood, Frozen fish,
even few weeks old chicken, old cheese are rich in histamine.
Coconut oil reduces histamine . Guava and orange has anti estrogenic
compounds. Estrogen and PUFA increase both serotonin and histamine.
Histamine is part of whole stress system. Just targeting histamine alone
cant work. You have to reduce the whole stress hormone system.
 

Peata

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Thank you again, Mittir. Lots of great info in your posts.
 

charlie

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Peata said:
Thank you again, Mittir. Lots of great info in your posts.

Indeed.

I know a lot of us really appreciate your posts, Mittir. :hattip
 

gretchen

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Peata, I will be interested to hear how Benadryl works for you. I took a lot of it as a kid for sore throats and infections, etc. I would not have connected it to improved mood or behavior. But then I guess no one would...... except Ray Peat.

Mittir, thanks for the good info.
 

Peata

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I haven't been taking Benadryl for a good while now. I started needing it less for sleep and allergies both.

Lately I can tell allergens are in the air. People around me are affected too. I started to feel bad Sunday evening with allergies, but it cleared up within an hour or so without me doing anything. Though I do have some allergy symptoms off and on, they are very mild. I haven't really thought about taking anything for it.

I wonder if this has something to do with following Mittir's advice - I've kept my calcium high - at least 2000 mg. and kept it higher than phosphorus.

I've also increased K, but through foods.

As for vitamin D, I get the RDA but I'm not sure if there's an optimal dosage and if I should be supplementing. At the moment I average 700 mg. per day.
 

Swandattur

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I just found this thread, and the information about calcium for histamine is just what I needed.
In recent years I have not been able to take Benadryl without depression the next day. Maybe a lower dose wouldn't do it. I don't know. Dramamine has a similar ingredient, not quite the same. I'm not sure if it has the bad effect on me or not. My sister used to take a small dose of Benadryl at night to clear her sinuses, but she can't anymore without extreme tiredness and low mood the next day.
Don't egg yolks, especially from birds that range free, have vitamin K?
 

Swandattur

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Just wanted to add that starch is really bad on my blood sugar and mood. I think maybe gums are, even more so.
 

Kray

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Mittir said:
The link you provided used a graph of Benadryls receptor occupancy profile and there is the
source below that chart. He did not provide the whole chart. At the bottom of the original chart
they added 150-300 mg for antidepressant and 1-6 mg for hypnotic activity. Here is the link
http://www.cnsspectrums.com/userdocs/ar ... ig6big.jpg
I have used few times Benadryl for sleep and i found about 2.5 mg dose helped me sleep without
next day drowsiness and that fits with their findings. They did not talk about anti-histamine dose.
You get an idea that beyond 150 mg Benadryl starts acting as SSRI.
I have had bad allergy for a long time and only thing that surely working is
following RP style eating and very recently i have found out that large calcium
intake keeps histamine in check. I take about 2000 mg of calcium and make
sure phosphorus is lower than calcium. If you have chronic allergy problem
then diet is the only way to solve this problem. Because all these anti-histamine
can only help with mild allergy without causing more irritating side effects.
I have used all kind of anti allergy meds, they cause more problems than they solve.
RP also commented that all antiserotonergic med has side effects

Hi Mittir,

Since this thread, are you still doing the calcium hydroxide? Can you share what brand or resource for purchase? You seemed not so sure at the time about Peat's response to doing this; I assume it is ok? I eat a lot of dairy, and thought that would do it for calcium, but didn't think about the phosphorus in the mix.

How much calcium would you recommend taking if one drinks 1 quart of milk a day, or equivalent of calcium from other dairy foods? I stopped calcium years ago when I read that too much in supplement form may be cardiovascular risk, better to have from diet. Sorry if I'm not up to par with all of you, please grade me on a curve. :)

I've been battling dermatitis for some months now and nothing I've tried has helped. I recently started taking Benadryl at the advice of many here, some saying it might help break the cycle of histamine reaction. But I haven't had good results the next day, as many here have reported. I really appreciate your helping me on this!
 

DaveFoster

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My understanding of the paper you cited is that they think within
hypnotic range of 1-6 mg Benadryl only acts on H1 receptor, above that
it starts working on M1, which causes dry mouth, confusion etc.
Based on that safest dose to lower histamine is below 6 mg.
6 mg? I don't feel anything until at least 60.
 
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