It's not just ski bums and mountain climbers who travel to high altitude, it's also vacation goes and even things like destination weddings being held at high altitude locations.
The one thing they all have in common though — high risk of altitude sickness.
Now-a-days more and more people are seeking out how to prevent altitude sickness naturally. They rather avoid medication or other means that come with negative side effects and find more natural ingredients, pills or tablets to help with altitude sickness.
Here we'll explore how to prevent altitude sickness with 4 different natural remedy ingredients backed by science for helping to prevent altitude sickness — found in some high altitude pills too.
Glutathione helps prevent altitude sickness because it is the body's master antioxidant that scavenges free radicals – molecules that are highly reactive and can damage cells and cause disease.
One particular study showed at high altitudes there were large declines in glutathione levels. In the blood and muscles there was anywhere between 43% and 45% declines.¹
Glutathione helps to protect cells from damage by free radicals, which is one one way to optimize your body for less physiological stress and damage caused by high altitudes.
Increasing glutathione is an effective way to combat the elements of altitude sickness and may replace what is being lost in high altitudes.
The Ginkgo Biloba tree is native to China and Japan which grows in high altitude areas.
Ginkgo Biloba is thought to help prevent some forms of altitude sickness.
Some people believe that the ginkgo biloba extract can help to improve blood flow, shown in a French study, which is thought to be beneficial in preventing altitude sickness.²
Another study done in Ollagüe of northern Chile on an extract of the Ginkgo Biloba, found that Ginkgo Biloba can be used to help prevent altitude sickness (acute mountain sickness) and that taking it for 24 hours before ascending to a high altitude and then during the ascent is effective.³
The herb, dihydromyricetin (also known as DHM), is an exceptional antioxidant and flavonoid found to have benefits for high altitudes.
Dihydromyricetin (DHM), which comes from the Japanese Raisin Tree (Hovenia Dulcis) is most popularly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been for hundreds of years.
In a study, the dihydromyricetin flavonoid was also shown to reduce biomarkers of fatigue and improve physical performance during high altitude conditions.⁴
This might be just the ingredient to super-charge you on your high altitude journey.
Glutamine is a type of amino acid that's produced in the body and plays a role in maintaining blood glucose levels, muscle integrity and immune function.
Research has been done on the importance of glutamine to the immune system in higher altitudes (hypoxia or lower oxygen). They showed a decrease of glutamine in the blood and an increase in physical illness at higher altitudes.⁶ Low glutamine may be a contributory factor. They wrote that supplementing glutamine and carbohydrates could be a helpful to mitigate the effects of hypoxia (high altitudes).⁵
At higher altitudes your body also tends to become more dehydrated, this is where glutamine comes into play too — it helps your body absorb and process water more efficiently.
One last study showed that glutamine seems to mitigate inflammation and may show importance in cognition and mood at high altitudes.⁷
In conclusion, with these science-backed tips and natural remedies on how to prevent altitude sickness, you should be well prepared for your next trek, trip or event to even the tallest of mountains.
Our Zaca recovery chewables contains 3 of the 4 altitude remedy ingredients mentioned — glutathione, dihydromyricetin (DHM), and glutamine! Zaca is most popularly sold in stores throughout the Colorado Rocky Mountains for high altitude recovery — helping the body to rehydrate, replenish and recover faster. Try our natural chewables today!
1. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
2. Ginkgo biloba reduces incidence and severity of acute mountain sickness.
3. Ginkgo biloba decreases acute mountain sickness in people ascending to high altitude at Ollagüe (3696 m) in northern Chile
4. Dihydromyricetin Improves Physical Performance under Simulated High Altitude
5. Sports in high altitudes? Brazilian researchers suggest supplementing with glutamine, carbohydrates
6. The Possible Importance of Glutamine Supplementation to Mood and Cognition in Hypoxia from High Altitude
7. Continuous and intermittent exposure to the hypoxia of altitude: implications for glutamine metabolism and exercise performance