Histidine must also be obtained from diet during child-hood and growth periods. It may be needed in malnourished or injured individuals, or whenever there is need for tissue formation or repair. Histidine is found in most animal and vegetable proteins, particularly pork, poultry, cheese, and wheat germ. Histidine is involved in a wide range of metabolic processes involving blood cell production (it is present in hemoglobin) and in the production of histamine, which is involved in many allergic and inflammatory reactions. Histidine has been used supplementally in the treatment of allergic disorders, peptic ulcers, anemia, and cardiovascular disease, as it has a hypotensive effect (that is, it lowers blood pressure) through the autonomic nervous system. Some cases of arthritis have improved with a supplemented dosage of 1000–1500 mg. taken three times daily. Histidine also acts as a metal chelating agent—that is, it can bind itself to metals—and can be given bound to minerals such as zinc or copper to improve their absorption.

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Written by Elson M. Haas MD

Explore Wellness in 2021