Complementary or alternative treatments from collagen to B12 are often touted as the best natural therapies for problem skin. For eczema, L-histidine supplements certainly seem to show promise.
L-histidine is an amino acid that can only be obtained by diet as it's not made by the body.
Sources of histidine include
meat products - beef, lamb, poultry, fish, gelatine
cannellini beans, peanuts
Histidine is essential for our skin's barrier function and contributes to maintaining skin hydration, which are both important in preventing and treating eczema.
Research has shown that taking L-histidine as a supplement can help create filaggrin, a protein that binds and strengthens cells. Filaggrin is histidine-rich and helps to create a really tight barrier to help moisture retention. You can think of it as being like mortar that's sandwiched between your skin cells. It is a deficiency in this protein, filaggrin, that has been identified in those with eczema.
A review of studies in the Journal of Nutrition found that adults who took 4 g of L-histidine daily for eight weeks reported a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms and that the effect was comparable to a mid-level topical steroid.
The reduction in flare-ups persisted eight weeks after ending supplementation and no side effects were found.
The symptom reduction also persisted eight weeks after ending supplementation, and no side effects were found.
Although there has only been one study with only 24 participants enrolled, the results suggest that L-histidine may potentially have a very profound impact on eczema therapy.
Dr Jonathan Silverberg, Professor of Dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, said: ' L-histidine can be helpful as an add-on to a patient's treatment plan.' He reiterates however that by itself it is probably not enough.