Naturally occurring mast cell stabilizers: Part 2

As discussed in the previous post, many flavonoids can modulate mast cell responses.  Luteolin, a flavone, has been studied for its powerful effects on inflammatory cells.  With prophylactic administration of this molecule, activation of mast cells and T cells can be prevented in a disease model for multiple sclerosis. Luteolin can also inhibit IgE-triggered degranulation as well as production of various mediators.  It is found in many foods, including celery, carrots, and chamomile tea.

Genistein, an isoflavone, prevents IgE-induced degranulation and histamine release.  It is a natural tyrosine kinase inhibitor, mostly activate against EGFR. It can be extracted from Genista tinctoria, also called dyer’s broom.  Several structurally related molecules also have mast cell modulating effects. Amentoflavone, from Ginkgo biloba and St. John’s Wort, decreases histamine release by mast cells. Ginkgetin, derived from Ginkgo biloba leaves, inhibits phospholipase A2, a mast cell mediator, and inhibits production of PGD2 by interfering with the COX-2 enzyme and of LTC4 by interfering with 5-lipoxygenase.

Emodin is an anthraquinone with a long history of use in herbal medicine traditions.  It boasts an array of anti-allergic activity and can inhibit the following IgE induced effects: mast cell degranulation; production of TNF, PGD2 and LTC4; and secretion of TNF and IL-6. It is under investigation for use in type II diabetes, where it can decrease the activity of glucocorticoids in obese animals and may treat insulin resistance.  Emodin can be found in rhubarb, frangula bark and other plants.

A number of other natural molecules also have mast cell stabilizing effects. Epigallocatechin gallate, found in higher quantities in white and green teas, as well as apples, onions and hazelnuts, can inhibit mast cell degranulation and LTC4 secretion.  Xanthones found in the juice and fruit of the purple mangosteen, Garcinia mangostana, decreased histamine release as well as PGD2, LTC4 and IL-6 from mast cells.



Zhang, T., et al. Mast cell stabilisers. Eur J Pharmacol (2015).

Park HH, et al. Flavonoids inhibit histamine release and expression of proinflammatory cytokines in mast cells. Arch Pharm Res. 2008 Oct; 31(10): 1303-11.

Kritas SK, et al. Luteolin inhibits mast cell-mediated allergic inflammation. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents 2013 Oct-Dec; 27(4): 955-959.

Theoharides TC, Kempuraj D, Iliopoulou BP. Mast cells, T cells, and inhibition by luteolin: implications for the pathogenesis and treatment of multiple sclerosis. Adv Exp Med Biol 2007; 601: 423-30.

Son JK, et al. Ginkgetin, a biflavone from Ginkgo biloba leaves, inhibits cyclooxygenases-2 and 5-lipoxygenase in mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells. Biol Pharm Bull 2005 Dec; 28(12): 2181-4.

Lu Y, et al. Emodin, a naturally occurring anthraquinone derivative, suppresses IgE-mediated anaphylactic reaction and mast cell activation. Biochem Pharmacol 2011 Dec 1; 82(11): 1700-1708.

Kim DY, et al. Emodin attenuates A23187-induced mast cell degranulation and tumor necrosis factor-a secretion through protein kinase C and IkB kinase 2 signaling. Eur J Pharmacol 2014 Jan 15; 723: 501-506.

2 Responses

  1. Leslie October 1, 2015 / 7:47 pm

    Have you tried neuroprotek or fibrotek, or know anyone who has? What are your thoughts on these supplements? What do you find helps you?

    • Lisa Klimas October 17, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      I haven’t but I know people who have and some swear by Neuroprotek. I take a lot of medications (oral, IV, IM, SQ). For supplements, I find turmeric capsules help. I do yoga regularly and stretch every day. I have also had surgery to mitigate some damage. It is a bit of a circus but I am pretty functional these days, so it’s worth it.

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