Allergies can leave you completely miserable as you scratch at runny eyes or run to the bathroom after a gastrointestinal reaction to something you ate. You should talk to your doctor first if you're struggling with allergies, but some multivitamins could help alleviate your symptoms. You'll have to be careful that your trusty vitamin doesn't make symptoms of your allergies worse, though.
Checking Ingredient Lists
Just like anything you eat, your multivitamin can leave you in an allergy-induced fog. Before you take any vitamin, carefully check the ingredients list. Some multivitamins contain fish or milk -- common allergens. You'll also want to check to ensure your vitamin isn't manufactured somewhere that processes allergens such as peanuts. Even if these ingredients aren't listed on the label, small particles can cause big reactions in highly allergic people.
Cure for Allergies?
An allergy is little more than a melodramatic immune system reaction. Your body mistakenly believes that a benign substance is a pathogen and reacts by fighting the "invader." This is what causes the swelling, trouble breathing and redness that so many allergy sufferers endure. A vitamin won't cure your allergies because it can't retrain your immune system. It can, however, work to counteract some of the symptoms of allergies, such as itchy skin or a runny nose.
Antioxidants such as vitamin C can help reduce allergic reactions. A 2009 study published in the journal "Allergy" even found that children who don't get enough antioxidants are more likely to develop allergies. Try taking a multivitamin containing antioxidants, or consider supplementing with vitamins C, A and E. Selenium and beta carotene also provide antioxidants.
Some herbal vitamin supplements may help reduce the risk of allergies. A 2002 "British Medical Journal" study found that butterbur root can be as effective as antihistamines. The University of Maryland Medical Center argues that quercetin can also reduce allergic reactions. If you opt for herbal supplements, carefully review the ingredients list and talk to your doctor first, because herbal supplements aren't tested or approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Allergy: Dietary Antioxidant Intake, Allergic Sensitization and Allergic Diseases in Young Children
- Mother Nature Network: 10 Foods That Fight Spring Allergies
- British Medical Journal: Randomised Controlled Trial of Butterbur and Cetrizine for Treating Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis
- Cleveland Clinic: Antioxidant Food Table
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Quercetin
Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.