If you suffer from allergies or you have a child who suffers from allergies, chances are you usually have some Benadryl near by. The popular antihistamine is commonly used by adults and children alike to treat allergy symptoms. All medications come with their fair share of possible side effects. But it turns out that Benadryl has one you don’t want to ignore.
Benadryl And Memory Loss
According to a report published in JAMA International Medicine, researchers found evidence of a link between long-term use of anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl and dementia. The study involved nearly 3,500 men and women ages 65 and older. The health of the participants was tracked for an average of seven years. During this time, 800 of the participants in the study developed dementia.
Researchers found that participants who used anticholinergic drugs were more likely to have developed dementia when compared to participants who didn’t use the drugs. Dementia risk also increased along with the cumulative dose. Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher risk of dementia than taking the same dose for three months or less.
The study showed that anticholinergics aren’t safe to take long-term when it comes to maintaining brain health into old age. Anticholinergic drugs block acetylcholine in the brain. Acetycholine is a substance that transmits messages in the nervous system. It’s involved in learning and memory. The body’s production of acetylcholine diminishes with age. Using anticholinergics that block this substance essentially hits the body as a double whammy.
Natural Allergy Remedies
If you find yourself reaching for Benadryl to help control your allergy symptoms on a regular basis, it may be time to look for a more natural solution. To keep your mind healthy and sharp as you age, try one of these safer options for allergy relief:
Bromelain is a compound that can be found in pineapple juice. It acts by stimulating the production of enzymes that prevent swelling during an allergic reaction. Studies have shown that bromelain also helps modulate the entire immune system. It reduces the body’s sensitivities to allergies and may even help prevent them.
2. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is commonly used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It can be dried and prepared as a tea. It can also be cooked into different recipes such as soups or smoothies. You can find it at most health food stores or online. Watch the video below to learn how to prepare stinging nettle.
This antioxidant can be found in apples, peppers, tomatoes and red onions, among other fruits and vegetables. Studies have shown that quercetin has anti-allergy effects. It provides anti-inflammatory and natural antihistamine benefits to combat allergies. The recommended dose for treating seasonal allergies ranges from 250-600 mg.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. It works by destroying the molecular structure of histamines in the body. It also speeds up the detox process. The recommended amount is at least 500mg per day.