Posted by: Chris Maloney | June 5, 2014

Will Dr. Oz’s Hay Fever Diet Save You From Allergies?


When the Huffington Post gives Dr. Oz space to promote a new allergy relieving diet, I’m immediately interested.

So,  what are these amazing allergy relieving foods?

Here’s a summary of Dr.Oz’s hay fever preventing diet:

Breakfast omelet with asparagus and onions with rosmarinic acid (rosemary or sage) or oatmeal (avenanthramides)

Lunch kale salad (full of quercetin blocking histamine release) Or chicken salad with grapes and ginger

Snack carrots (carotenoids less hay fever) Or green tea (with ECGC blocking hay fever)

Dinner soup and grilled cheese (Aged cheeses high in dietary histamine.) Or fish and veggies (high intakes of vitamin e plus omega-3 may have a protective effect against hay fever)

So, how do we judge the effect of this diet? 

Normally I’d go through each of Dr. Oz’s claims and look at the evidence, but what immediately struck me is that while his additives may be histamine-blocking, his ingredients might be making things worse!

First off, eggs are one of the most common allergens. Allergic responses can occur immediately, after two hours, in twelve hours, or in twenty-four hours. If you are allergic to eggs a skin prick test is not definitive, you need a blood draw. (study here)

But what about the rest? Well, it turns out that they’re not allergy relieving. Dr. Oz manages to give us four of the top allergy causing foods in his one day diet. The top allergens include: milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, beef, pork, and chicken.

So I have to pan this diet because it doesn’t meet the straight-face test for ingredients. Dr. Oz would have done better to recommend his condiments: rosemary, ginger, and grapes, be added to an elimination diet. That might help a little with allergies.

Those with children would be far better to do an elimination diet, that helps in 90% of cases. (study here)

Here’s a variation on the elimination diet I wrote up for my patients.

Those who would like to reduce their allergies might try sublingual therapy, which is generally nicer that getting the shots and better than antihistamines. (study here


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