What causes salicylate intolerance?

What are salicylates?
Salicylates are naturally occurring chemicals produced by plants to help protect them against disease, highly concentrated in a range of fruits and vegetables, including:
  • berries, stone fruit and citrus fruits
  • colourful vegetables, such as capsicum, tomatoes and chillies
  • plant-based oils, such as coconut and olive oil
  • fruit juices, teas and flavoured soft drinks
They are also created synthetically for use in personal care products like toothpaste, shampoo, medications (e.g. aspirin) and cleaning products.
Salicylate intolerance
Salicylate intolerance occurs when there is a build-up of salicylates which are not being metabolised or ‘flushed out’ of the body properly.
Symptoms of salicylate intolerance can include:
– asthma
– eczema
– sinus issues
– irritable bowel syndrome
– hives
– migraines
– hyperactivity (in children)
Many people report only experiencing symptoms once they’ve exceeded their tolerance threshold, or alongside other allergy symptoms (1). But for those who are highly sensitive, even small doses can cause adverse reactions.
What causes salicylate intolerance?
Liver enzyme issues
Salicylates are typically easily broken down by liver enzymes (namely phenolsulfotransferase-P) and sulphates.
However, when these are below normal levels, it can result in a build-up of salicylates in the body. In fact, studies have found that children on the Autism Spectrum have low levels of this enzyme, which may help explain why salicylates tend to affect these children more. (2)
Leaky gut syndrome
Leaky gut is a condition where the gut lining becomes porous or ‘holey’, which allows foreign pathogens (like salicylates) to enter the bloodstream.
As we know, salicylates are common in many foods. So, when salicylate particles are allowed to enter the bloodstream repeatedly, it can trigger an immune response and lead to salicylate intolerance.
Managing salicylate intolerance
If you’re sensitive to salicylates, there are a few things you can try to help manage your symptoms:
  • Support your salicylate metabolism – Boosting your intake of vitamins B1, B2, B5 and B6, omega three fats, zinc and magnesium,  can help your body produce the sulphate your liver enzymes need to flush out excess salicylates.
  • Avoid products high in artificial salicylates – such as sunscreen, chlorine and mosquito spray.
  • Repairing leaky gut – the naturopathic ‘heal and seal’ approach aims to restore the gut lining to prevent salicylate particles from leaking into the bloodstream.
  • Positive Association Technique (PAT) – PAT is a non-invasive, natural allergy treatment which:
    • is performed by qualified Naturopaths
    • draws on kinesiology and acupressure techniques
    • aims to re-train your body to minimise reactions to substances like salicylates
    • Send our Practitioners a Question HERE or Request a FREE PAT Information E-PACK HERE


Please note this blog is general information only. Always consult your health care professional before making any diet or lifestyle changes

Photo credit – https://atpscience.com/salicylate-foods-sensitivity-intolerances-and-food-list/