L-Histidine, also called histidine, is one of the essential aminos in your body. Generally, aminos are your body’s raw materials for making protein molecules, such as enzymes, hormones, and so on. Aminos like histidine are described as “essential” because you must get it in your meals.
That means that you cannot produce all the histidine your body needs internally. Aside from meals, you can also get it from amino supplements. However, when taking supplements, you must be wary of l-histidine side effects.
Some people believe that l-histidine would better be classified as a semi-essential amino. That is because experts used to think that adults could make histidine by themselves. So they thought, that only infants needed histidine from the diet, as well as people who have kidney disorders.
For infants, histidine helps with the growth of tissues and their repair. But then, experts recently confirmed that histidine is essential for adults too. Adults need it to make histamine, among other things.
What is histamine? It is a vital chemical in your body. This chemical is involved in a wide range of body functions. They include breathing, digestion, sexual function, and immunity. It is also a key neurotransmitter in the brain.
Indeed, l-histidine has many uses and benefits. However, it may have certain side effects too. We will explore them all in this article.
Histidine Health Benefits
1. Might help combat chronic diseases
Histidine might help combat chronic diseases like heart disease among others. Remember, histidine can convert into carnosine. You can find this peptide molecule in heart muscles, skeletal muscle, and brain tissue.
Some studies also show that this peptide may also prevent certain chronic diseases through their anti-inflammatory activities. They also have antioxidative, anti-ischaemic, chelating, and antiglycation properties. These can also help prevent certain chronic diseases.
2. It reduces fatigue
A physiology study carried out by experts in 2015 discovered that histidine decreases fatigue scores. The study was carried out on men who were feeling drowsy and tired.
Aside from this, l-histidine also shortened the reaction times during tests for cognitive function. The study also showed that histidine increases sensations of attentiveness and clear thinking, as well as mental performance.
These effects were seen after 2 weeks of histidine supplementation. Aside from these changes, the men also experienced a significant decrease in mood disturbances, including depression symptoms.
3. Improves mental health
L-histidine helps in the formation of myelin sheaths, as well as in the protection of the body from free radicals. As such, it has profound benefits for mental health. This includes preventing degeneration of the brain or nerve tissues and their associated disorders.
4. Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation
A study from 2013 found that l-histidine supplement not only lowers insulin resistance. But it also lowers fat mass and BMI (body mass index). Aside from these, it also reduces inflammation by suppressing the expression of cytokines (markers of inflammation).
5. Protects the skin and promotes its healing
Experts use l-histamine in skin products, as well as in hair conditioners. This is because of its potency in reducing irritation and dryness. Sometimes also, experts use it to treat the symptoms of eczema.
And because of its antioxidant activities, it reduces inflammation and neutralizes free oxygen radicals. This prevents premature aging. Aside from these, it might also boost protection from the dangerous UV rays and radiation damage.
L-histidine Side Effects
Histidine is generally safe for almost everyone. But there might be certain contraindications to pay attention to. They are as follows:
- Pregnant women and nursing mothers. We don’t have enough medical or clinical research to prove that histidine is safe during pregnancy. We also don’t have enough research to confirm that nursing mothers can take histamine safely.
- Those who lack folic acid. One of the side effects of histidine is that it might cause the buildup of some harmful acids in those who lack folic acid. When this happens, the body would no longer be able to break aminos down as it ought.
Some other side effects are related to histidine toxicity. The first of all is that it might distort your nitrogen balance, especially if it’s the only amino you’re using.
More so, don’t take histidine supplements for prolonged periods. It might cause serious health problems, such as mood disorders and other mental issues.
L-histidine side effects are quite rare. But you should still take care. Watch out for the contraindications and avoid overuse.