Q: I am susceptible to allergies. What minerals do I need?

A: Magnesium and selenium prevent allergic reactions.

Most readers are no doubt already aware that allergies have a great deal to do with our immune system. When an allergen (a substance that causes an allergic reaction) enters our body, our immune system creates immunoglobulin E and antibodies to attack it. When these antibodies are launched, a substance called histamine is dispersed, which causes inflammation and manifests its presence in the form of an allergic reaction.

A person with allergies should be able to get adequate manganese, a mineral that is a component of enzymes which eliminate active oxygen. Research has shown that allergies are more likely to occur in people whose bodies are deficient in manganese.

Magnesium is also important because of its relationship to calcium. When calcium levels are too high, the tissue membranes which envelop the histamines become more likely to be dispersed. Ideally, a person should get 300 mg of magnesium for every 500 mg of calcium, roughly a ratio of 1:2. Many people, even those who watch their intake, often get no more than 200 mg of magnesium, let alone enough calcium.

The importance of selenium should also be mentioned. When histamines are released and inflammation occurs, active oxygen is also generated, causing a variety of damage. To suppress the adverse effects of active oxygen, we must call on antioxidant enzymes. One of these is glutathione peroxidase, which needs selenium to do its job.


Calcium — aside from building teeth and bones, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, contraction of muscles and transmission of nerve impulses. Found in small fish, dairy products and seaweeds.

Magnesium — in harmony with calcium, magnesium helps build strong bones and keeps excess calcium under control. Converts blood sugars to energy and regulates hormone secretions and adjusts body temperature. Found in soy beans, peanuts, sesame seeds and hijiki (type of seaweed).

Manganese — essential to the formation and development of bones. It boosts enzymes that are essential to the metabolization of sugars, fats and proteins and influences brain function. Found in brown rice, sesame seeds, almonds, green tea powder and persimmons.

Selenium — essential for activating the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase. When the body is deficient in selenium, oxidation of body tissues not only results in accelerated aging, but reduced immunity. Found in wheat germ, wakasagi (a type of smelt), sardines and flounder.

(The information provided should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Consult your physician before attempting any new program. Readers who fail to consult appropriate health authorities assume the risk of developing serious medical conditions.)


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