Treatment for High IGE Levels in Asthma and Food Allergies
Before you begin treatment for high IgE levels you need to first understand the underlying cause. Many different issues, ranging from parasites to allergies, can elevate IgE levels.
Bookmark this page or subscribe to my newsletter because this page is updated on an ongoing basis.
What is IgE?
Ige is one of the five classes of immunoglobulins (antibodies). First identified in 1966, it is thought to be a defensive antibody in parasite (helminth) infection.
How are IgE Levels measured?
Ige levels are measured via a blood test. Both total IgE levels can be measured, as well as, allergen specific IgE levels. Very little IgE is needed to activate a very obvious downstream allergic response, ie., anaphylaxis. (R)
What is normal IgE level? What is high Ige level?
The chart below, gives ranges for different age groups. Numbers outside the top reference range would be considered high. There are many causes associated with elevated IgE, atopy (asthma, allergies, eczema) being one of them.
IgE Reference Ranges (1)
IgE Reference Range (IU/ml)
6 - 12 months
1 - 2 years
4 - 6 years
7 -8 years
9 - 12 years
13 - 15 years
16 - 17 years
18 years and older
Where in the body is it produced?
"IgE is produced by plasma cells located in lymph nodes draining the site of antigen entry or locally, at the sites of allergic reactions, by plasma cells derived from germinal centers developing within the inflamed tissue." (2)
What is IgE mediated asthma and allergy? How does IgE participate in an allergic reaction?
IgE is associated with an immune system that is skewed towards Th2 immunity. IgE antibodies are bound to mast cells. Upon activation by an allergen, IgE causes the mast cells to release chemicals that cause the symptoms and cascade of an allergic reaction.
IgE Is an Antibody Produced in a Th2 Leaning Immune System.
The immune system is like a seesaw. Bring one side of it up, like Th2 in allergies, and the other side goes down, like Th1.
Th2 cells make up the “humoral” immune response that uses antibodies (IgA, IgM...) to recognize antigens, pathogens, and allergens (for those with allergy) circulating in the blood or lymph. These circulating foreign bodies activate antibodies, which respond with chemical cascades designed to kill the invading bacteria, parasites, viruses...
Unfortunately, for those with allergies, allergens also trigger antibody reactions and subsequent chemical releases that are hallmarks of an allergic reaction. These reactions can range from slightly annoying, like a couple of hives, all the way to life threatening, as in the case of IgE mediated food allergies.
There are several Th2 cytokines that can effect IgE levels. IL-2, IL-10, IL-13 and IL-4 are Th2 cell producing cytokines. They skew the immune system towards Th2 and stimulate B cells to produce IgE. Interferon gamma and IL-12 are Th1 cell producing cytokines, which have been found to decrease production of IgE. (R)
How to Reduce IgE Levels for Asthma and Food Allergies, aka., Treatment for High IgE
Well there are two ways to divide and conquer reducing IgE: (R)
There is the "upstream" approach of trying to rebalance the immune system away from Th2 and towards Th1. And then there is the "downstream" approach of blocking the chemicals that are associated with the allergic reaction, such as IgE, histamine, leucotrienes....
Downstream therapies for reducing IgE levels:
- Anti-Ige, also known as Omalazumab and Xolair, is an injectable which binds to IgE thereby blocking IgE's effect. Anti-IgE is used in severe cases of asthma. It's also sometimes used in desensitization protocols for food allergies.
- Steroids will reduce IgE levels by damping down Th2, as well as Th1, immunity.
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists are drugs used in allergic asthma and rhinitis.
Upstream therapies for reducing IgE levels
The goal of upstream therapies for lowering IgE levels is to increase Th1 cytokines (Interferon gamma, IL-12) and decrease Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, IL-13).
Supplements and Vitamins Found to Lower IgE
This is an ever growing list - so bookmark it or subscribe to the newsletter to get notified with updates.
There are a plethora of supplements and strategies - to the point where overwhelm can and does set in. The approach we use is to pick those that seem like heavy hitters and track effects for several weeks before adding, abandoning or switching.
- Agaricus Blazei Murill Fruiting Body Extract - increased IFN-gamma and IL-12, decreased IL-10 (R)
- AHCC (Active Hexose Correlated Compound) is a proprietary extract produced from specially cultivated and hybridized mushrooms. IL-17 (th17) and IL-6 and IFN-γ (R)
- Apigenin - found in parsley, chamomile, and celery (R)
- Bamboo Salt - found to reduce IgE and skew Th1. If you try, be aware that to take therapeutically means you dissolve this slowly in your mouth. It's got an extreme sulfur flavor, if you know what I mean. (R)
- Beta Glucans - just like probiotics different beta glucans from different materials have different immune effects. (R) This exact product is not available in US, but contains the beta glucan mentioned. And, like in probiotics, you can waste a whole lotta money, chasing an effect you never get, or increasing an effect you don't want. If you are interested in beta glucans, I recommend reading, Dr. Vaclav Vetvicka's book, " Beta Glucan: Nature's Secret."
- Coconut Juice Vinegar (R)
- Combination of thymoquinone and melatonin
- Chlorella (R)
- D-pinitol - Increased IFN-gamma, decrease IL-4. Interestingly enough there is an emerging theory that endometriosis is a Th2 skewed issue and D-pinitol is recommended for ovarian health as well. (R)
- Garlic - raw and aged black garlic (and extracts thereof) increase IFN-gamma. (R)
- Garlic Oil - At low doses it enhances IFN-gamma - at high doses it suppresses it. (R)
- Ganoderma Tsugae - reishi, but hemlock shelf specifically. (R)
- Germinating Broccoli Seeds - for the sulforaphane content. (R)
- Glucosamine - lowered IgE and IL-4 (R)
- Glutamine (R)
- Green Tea (R)
- Leuteolin (R)
- Magnesium (R), also found to increase glutathione levels (glutathione enhances Th1 immunity (R)
- Melatonin - reduced IL-4 and IgE (R). Make sure it's synthetic and not extracted from cow or pig brain.
- Omega 3 (R)
- Oregano oil (R)
- Plant Sterols - decrease IL-13 (R)
- Polyphenol Enriched Apple Extract (R)
- Propolis - Decreased IL-10, Increased IFN-gamma (R)
- Spirulina (R)
- Theanine (R)
- R-Lipoic Acid - lowered lung hyper responsiveness, eosinophils, and IgE (R)
- Resveratrol - lowered IL4 & IgE. (R)
- Rice Bran Exo-Biopolymer, RBEP, known to contain arabinoxylan - increased IFN-gamma (R)
- Selenium - IgE levels decreased in asthmatics after 96 weeks of 200mcg/day (2 50mcg caps / 2xday) (R)
- Sulforaphane - decreased IL4 (R)
- Thymoquinone and Melatonin combination (R)
- Vitamin A (R)
- Vitamin C, as sodium ascorbate. Given at 1000 mg/day reduced IgE levels significantly. We use this Vitamin C. (R) We've seen reductions of IgE of 30% over 2 months, with a subsequent leveling off.
- Vitamin D - In children under 5, least incidence of IGE allergy associated with vit d levels above 62nmol. This is way above what standard medical considers to be an OK vitamin D level. (R)
- Whey - study used Immonocal on asthmatic children. Over a period of 30 days with 10gr/ 2x/day they experienced a 30% reduction in IgE levels. This is huge. (R)
Probiotics That Lower IgE Levels
Be very careful using probiotics to rebalance the immune system as results are strain specific and most tests are done on mice and not humans. Also, interestingly enough, for those with a Th2 skewed immune system there have been several studies that show that heat killed probiotics are more effective skewing the immune system back to Th1 than live strains.
- B. subtilis BS02 and B. subtilis natto BS04 (R)
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (R)
- Heat-killed Lactobacillus Plantarum L-137 - Increased IL12, Decreased IgE, and increases IFN-Gamma given to adults at 1/50mg capsule/day for 12 weeks. (R)
- Lactobacillus reuteri L26 Biocenol™ (R)
- L. paracasei BRAP01 and L. acidophilus AD300 (R)
- Lactobacillus Casei Ssp.Casei (R)
- Lactobacillus Plantarum Strain YU (R)
- Lactobacillus johnsonii Ncc533 (R)
- Probiotic VSL - tough to say because data goes both ways. In some studies it may help with leaky gut, but in others it elevates IL-10. Waiting on response from alpha sigma
Medical Treatments to Lower IgE Levels
Therapies Found to Lower IgE Levels
Herbs Found to Lower IgE Levels
Foods to Consider Adding to Your Diet If You Are Looking to Lower IgE Levels
Supplements To Consider Avoiding If You Are Looking to Lower IgE Levels
Things To Consider Checking If You Are Looking to Lower IgE Levels
- Serum Nickel Levels (R)
1 New childhood and adult reference intervals for total IgE, Martins, Thomas B. et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , Volume 133 , Issue 2 , 589 - 591
2. Janeway CA Jr, Travers P, Walport M, et al. Immunobiology: The Immune System in Health and Disease. 5th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2001. The production of IgE.
FDA Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. Please consult your physician about your health concerns.