Spring has sprung, and for many now is the time to celebrate being outdoors as we welcome the new warmer season. However with Spring comes the increased output of pollen from trees, grass, and weeds and the spectre of allergic rhinitis (hay fever).
Allergies are increasing in Australia and affect around 1 in 5 people
Allergy occurs when a person reacts to substances in the environment that are harmless to most people. These substances are known as allergens and are found in dust mites, pets, pollen, insects, tickets, moulds, foods and sometimes medications.
There’s no cure but you can take steps to curb springtime allergies, with the biggest spring allergy trigger being pollen. Trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilise other plants. When they get into the nose of someone who is allergic, they send the body’s defences haywire.
The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. That leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms that are all too familiar if you have allergies.
The release of histamine
When the release of histamine is due to an allergen, the resulting inflammation (redness and swelling) is irritating and uncomfortable. People experience different symptoms, depending on the allergen and where it enters the body. Allergic reactions can involve many parts of the body at the same time.
There is ample evidence that allergic disorders, such as asthma, rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis, are mediated by oxidative stress. Excessive exposure to reactive oxygen and nitrogen species is the hallmark of oxidative stress and leads to damage of proteins, lipids, and DNA. Oxidative stress occurs not only as a result of inflammation but also from environmental exposure to air pollution and cigarette smoke.
The specific localisation of antioxidant enzymes in the lung and the rapid reaction of nitric oxide with reactive oxygen species, such as superoxide, suggests that antioxidant enzymes might also function as cell-signalling agents or regulators of cell signalling.
Therapeutic interventions that decrease exposure to environmental reactive oxygen species or augment endogenous antioxidant defences might be beneficial as adjunctive therapies for allergic respiratory disorders.
Patients with allergic rhinitis demonstrated elevated oxidative stress and elevated total antioxidant status levels, according to data from a retrospective analysis.
As an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplement that reduces free radicals, Isotonix OPC-3 helps decrease symptoms of mild allergies and relieve symptoms of sinusitis.
Containing Pycnogenol, which has long been known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the extract has four basic properties; it’s a powerful antioxidant, acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, selectively binds to collagen and elastin, and promotes the normal production of endothelial nitric oxide, which promotes the normal dilation of dilate blood vessels.
According to studies, Pycnogenol was found to inhibit the release of histamine from mast cells that were aggravated by an irritant. And, since this powerful antioxidant is an anti-inflammatory, it inhibits production of pro-inflammatory mediators helping to relieve swelling and making breathing easier.
As one of the most potent natural scavenger of free radicals, Pycnogenol also combats many aggressive free radicals before they cause oxidative stress to vital organs. It’s super-antioxidant capabilities help strengthen blood vessel walls and capillaries and supports optimal circulation.