Why Food Triggers Histamine Symptoms

What is it about the foods we eat that cause histamine symptoms? You’ve seen a list. Maybe you’ve seen many different lists…Lists that tell you which foods you should be avoiding because of the histamine flare ups you're getting, in the hope of preventing symptoms like itchy eyes, skin rashes, and a whole host of other unexplained and irritating symptoms. Yes, it’s easy to think about simply avoiding these foods as a way to reduce your histamine load, but there’s also significant merit in understanding why food can be a trigger.This understanding will not only help you to make better decisions about the foods that you choose to eat (and decipher those confusing, and sometimes conflicting food lists), but it will also help you to understand the underlying cause of your histamine intolerance, a huge first step towards managing it! Let me explain… Getting to know histamine By now you’re likely aware that histamine is part of a group of chemical compounds in the body called biogenic amines. There are a number of different types of amines, the type of which characterizes the way in which that particular amine group functions in the body. Histamine is categorized as a monoamine, a simple amine with the primary role of acting as a neurotransmitter, or chemical, that has a mediating response on the brain and spinal cord. When activated, this histamine neurotransmitter causes arousal and a state of heightened attention(1). Furthermore, histamines are stored in and released from mast cells and basophils, which are two important cells responsible for immunity. These cells release histamine during an allergic reaction, or when tissue damage is present(2). When it comes to the endogenous, or internal formation, of these biogenic amines, it's a process that occurs through chemical reactions, which alter the state of your body’s amino acid profile. As a quick reminder, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, of which there are 20 that the body needs to function (9) of them can only be obtained through the diet while the other 11 can be made within the body itself(3). What’s interesting about the creation of these biogenic amines, is that they can be created by metabolic processes that take place within a plant or animal, and what might not be so obvious, is that micro-organisms can synthesize them too(4)!Do you see where we're going with this? The problem with food and histamine intolerance So what's an important link to consider here?... The microbiome, of course! Your gut is home to trillions of these little critters that are able to transform the l-histidine amino acid (found in the food that you consume) into the biogenic amine, histamine(5). The foods in your diet also contain varying concentrations and strains of bacteria which produce these biogenic amines. When foods begin to spoil, the number of biogenic amines produced by the bacteria increase, which creates an undesirable effect that the food industry works hard to combat!This is why so many preservatives and other compounds are used in packaged foods, many of which liberate histamine in the body even further... counter-intuitive, don't you think(6)? What this means, is that your histamine levels can increase not only because of your individual makeup of gut bacteria, but because of the type and age of the foods that are going into your body. ...Don't forget drinks and histamine intolerance Food isn't the only thing we can put in our mouths that can cause a histamine response. Many of us enjoy the occasional drink to unwind. Unfortunately, when it comes to histamine intolerance, alcohol can do more harm than good. When you drink alcohol, it not only acts as a histamine liberator because it's fermented(7), and contains histamine-releasing microbes, but it also increases histamine absorption through the intestines and inhibits the effects of DAO(8). You would be spot on to say that alcohol has three strikes when it comes to histamine intolerance, which is why it’s often recommended to abstain from alcohol completely when you’re trying to reduce your histamine load, even if it’s just for the first few weeks of your intervention. If you do have to drink, try finding a low histamine wine. Now, these problems don’t only arise in people that are sensitive to histamines; even healthy individuals can develop symptoms of excessive histamine accumulation should they have a particularly high load after consuming histamine-containing foods. When you have histamine intolerance however, even smaller amounts of histamine-containing foods can cause a variety of severe and often debilitating symptoms. ...which is why a low-histamine diet should be the first step towards managing of histamine intolerance, an effective way to improve your quality of life. The low histamine diet: an easy approach Hey, remember those lists we spoke about earlier?It is difficult to decipher which one is “right” for you; but because you’re a unique individual, your reaction to some foods may be worse than it is for others with histamine intolerance.I’ve created a post that details all of the dos and don’ts to follow when starting the diet. Remember, if you see a symptom reduction within the first two weeks, that is highly indicative of a histamine intolerance. However, this doesn’t mean you should stop the diet after these two weeks! This is just the beginning of a new journey to improving your gut health, and healing your histamine intolerance. I've put all of this information into a free Guide to Histamine Intolerance that also explains additional ways to identify your food sensitivities, utilize helpful supplements and reduce your symptoms. Click below for the free Guide to Histamine Intolerance! Get the Free Histamine Guide! Don’t worry - the low histamine diet is all-natural, and the options provide more than enough nutrients to keep your body healthy and strong. It even points out healthful foods that actually begin healing your body from the inside out(9). This is an elimination-style diet to reduce histamine load, which is typically followed for 4-8 weeks with the guidance of your doctor. Once your symptoms dissipate, it’s important to follow a re-introductory phase, that will further increase the variety of foods and nutrient profiles you’re able to give to your body. Food isn’t supposed to cause you harm, or leave you feeling less than great every single day. When it does, it’s crucial for your overall health and wellbeing to take steps to track down and remove the offenders from your diet. Once you're armed with this information, you will have the power to bring back balance to your system and maintain it long term. I hope this can be the big first step in your journey to becoming histamine-symptom free! Life's too short to let symptoms control you.Anita Tee, Nutritional ScientistReferences Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al., editors. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. Neuroscience. 2nd edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11035/ Jutel M, Akdis M, Akdis CA. Histamine, histamine receptors and their role in immune pathology. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009;39:1786---800. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20085595 Kovacova-Hanuskova E, et al. Histamine, histamine intoxication and intolerance. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2015. https://www.adrianaduelo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Histamine-histamine-intoxication-and-intolerance.pdf Fernandez, M., et al. Impact on Human Health of Microorganisms Present in Fermented Dairy Products: An Overview. BioMed Research International. 2015. 412714. 13. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2015/412714/ Barcik, W., et al. Immune regulation by histamine and histamine-secreting bacteria. Current Opinion in Immunology. 2017. 48:108-113. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0952791517300535 Schirone, M., et al. Histamine Food Poisoning. Histamine and Histamine Receptors in Health and Disease. Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, vol 241. Springer, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/164_2016_54 European Food Safety Authority, 2011. Scientific Opinion on risk based control of biogenic amine formation in fermented foods, EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ). EFSA J. 2011;9:2393. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2393 Matsuse, H. Mechanism and management of alcohol-induced asthma. Nihon Arukoru Yakubutsu Igakkai Zasshi. 2016 Jun;51(3):214-220. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30480906 Mastzell Activierung Info Schweiz https://www.mastzellaktivierung.info/en/introduction.html
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Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) – The Root Cause of Histamine Intolerance?

Are mast cells responsible for your histamine intolerance? One thing is for certain: you can be sure you have a histamine problem if you develop symptoms like chronic runny nose, digestive upsets, headaches or migraines, or are tired all the time. In addition to this, you experience multiple other, seemingly unrelated, medical conditions that crop up when you are exposed to histamine-containing foods, or factors that increase your body’s histamine concentration.The question you want to answer is not related to how or what, but why. Why is this happening to you, when it doesn’t seem to be happening to anyone else around you? Is MCAS the underlying cause of histamine intolerance symptoms? Histamine intolerance isn’t so much a diagnosis in itself, it's more a collective description that covers a group of symptoms related to increased levels of histamine in the body. In order to be more specific with what the root cause is, we need take a deeper dive to find out whats really going on.When you try to identify the mechanism responsible for your histamine levels rising, there are several possibilities. You may have a predisposition to increased histamine production (by certain types of gut bacteria, for example), or you might have a reduced capacity to make the histamine degrading enzymes HMNT or DAO due to genetic changes or reduced liver capacity. Finally, it could be that your mast cells are too active. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is now a term commonly being used as the more accurate diagnosis for histamine intolerance.So, let’s explore this condition and find out whether its the reason for your histamine intolerance or not. What are mast cells, you ask? To recap, they're primary cells of the immune system, found in all tissues that we have(1). They interact with potentially threatening compounds, which is why they are prevalent in areas that are in constant contact with environmental stimuli, namely in the gut and skin(2).When these cells encounter a threat, it's their job to defend the body. They do this by releasing histamine and other chemical compounds to ensure overall tissue balance (3,4,5). The problem is, in some people, there are simply too many mast cells.What’s worse, however, is that these people tend to have slightly altered DNA, which causes the mast cells to malfunction.This mutation causes the cells to release too many chemicals, which can end up affecting every organ in the body. It is for this reason that MCAS is associated with so many diverse and debilitating symptoms(6), such as obesity, chronic skin conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, mental health disorders and even diabetes(7,8). Any of these sound familiar?MCAS wasn’t a recognized condition until 2007, and it took a further 3 years for scientists to propose the criteria for diagnosing it(9). Since 2010, however, there has been a significant amount of progress in understanding the condition and its causes.The research is by no means complete, but the medical community has a few ideas... Mast cell activation syndrome: causes There’s still much we have to learn about MCAS. There are, however, two widely accepted reasons for its onset which are: Too many heavy metals in your system An infection The body is able to tolerate low levels of heavy metals, but higher amounts can be destructive. Heavy metals are toxic to many of your organs, and your immune system is no exception. Aluminium and mercury, in particular, have been shown to destabilize mast cells, which causes them to be overzealous in their activity(10). Infections typically disrupt the balance in your gut, which is where 80% of your immune reactions stem from. When your gut microorganisms are out of balance or under threat, the large contingent of mast cells housed in the gut are also disrupted. Whether it is a bacterial, viral, parasitic, or even a fungal infection, your mast cells may begin to flare up with the presence of invading pathogens, which causes histamine intolerance symptoms.For example, studies confirm that both Helminth parasites and the candida yeast infection have strong effects on mast cells(11,12,13). In order to stabilize your mast cells, there are two important interventions that focus on these two root causes. Discovering the root cause of your histamine intolerance So, what can you do?Two things for starters: it's worthwhile getting a heavy metal test performed, in addition to reviewing your individual possibility of infection.If you often eat fish, have dental fillings, or use aluminium lined cook wear, for example, heavy metal concentrations might be a problem for you. This is particularly true if your liver is already operating sub-optimally, limiting its ability to detoxify these agents. If you travel frequently, it's quite possible that you've been exposed to food borne microorganisms, particularly if you’ve eaten foods where you have little information regarding the source or its freshness. You may also have even been exposed to impurities in the water you drink or bathe in while travelling without realizing it. Other causes of infections and gut imbalances are frequent use of antibiotics, and opportunistic microorganism influx into your system. Once you uncover if any of these factors are the cause of your badly behaving mast cells, you can target it with specific therapies. In the mean time, following a low histamine diet is the best thing you can do, reducing the load of histamine your body has to deal with.Not sure what to eat? Here is a great list of foods to eat and those to avoid to get you started. Want to step it up a notch? Vitamin C, turmeric and other natural therapies have also been found to be helpful in the treatment and management of histamine intolerance and MCAS. See a list of our top 7 supplements, as one way of incorporating them or aim to include these in your diet. Want the full low histamine diet guide sent directly to your inbox? Use the link below to get my comprehensive eBook for free! Get the Low Histamine Diet While you’ve likely been pushed from pillar to post in your mission to find out what exactly is wrong with you and why you’re suffering from these debilitating symptoms, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel. When you discover where things have gone oh-so wrong, there’s an opportunity to make them right.By figuring out the underlying cause of your mast cell dysfunction and high histamine load, you can begin to put practices in place that bring about balance to your system so that you may once again get your health back on track and start enjoying life as you’ve so desperately wanted to.References: Da Silva, E., et al. Mast Cell Function. J Histochem Cytochem. 2014 Oct;  62(10): 698–738. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4230976/ Metcalfe DD, Boyce JA. Mast cell biology in evolution. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2006 Jun; 117(6):1227-9. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(06)00737-8/fulltext Jutel, M., et al. Histamine, histamine receptors and their role in immune pathology. Clin Exp Allergy. 2009 Dec;39(12):1786-800. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20085595 Galli S., et al. Phenotypic and functional plasticity of cells of innate immunity: macrophages, mast cells and neutrophils. Nat Immunol. 2011 Oct 19; 12(11):1035-44. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22012443/ Weller C., et al. Mast cells in health and disease. Clin Sci (Lond). 2011 Jun; 120(11):473-84. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21320076/ Moon, T., et al. Mast Cell Mediators: Their Differential Release and the Secretory Pathways Involved. Front Immunol. 2014; 5: 569. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231949/ Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2012 Jul;385(7):657-70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22562473/ Rao K., & Brown M. Mast cells: multifaceted immune cells with diverse roles in health and disease. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Nov; 1143():83-104. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19076346/ kin, C., et al. Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Proposed Diagnostic Criteria. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Dec; 126(6): 1099–104.e4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753019/ Bent, S., et al. The effects of heavy metal ions (Cd2+, Hg2+, Pb2+, Bi3+) on histamine release from human adenoidal and cutaneous mast cells. Agents and Actions. June 1992, Volume 36, Supplement 2, pp C321–C324. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01997363 Lopes, J., et al. Opportunistic pathogen Candida albicans elicits a temporal response in primary human mast cells. Scientific Reports volume 5, Article number: 12287 (2015) https://www.nature.com/articles/srep12287 Saluja, R., et al. Role and Relevance of Mast Cells in Fungal Infections. Front Immunol. 2012; 3: 146. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374363/ Lee, T., et al. Mast cell responses to helminth infection. Parasitol Today. 1986 Jul;2(7):186-91. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15462834
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Histamine Intolerance and Your Brain: Sleep, Mood and More

Are you wondering how histamine intolerance affects your brain? By now you’re likely aware of the effects of histamine on your overall health and how an excess of histamine is the reason behind your chronically dripping nose, digestive issues like bloating and cramps, and other irritating allergic reactions like a rash, itchy eyes and a scratchy throat. You already know that histamine forms as part of many essential processes related to your immune response, and why the foods you eat trigger histamine, but did you know that histamine plays a crucial role in your brain, too?Surprisingly, the histamine response in your brain that can have such a profound effect on your mood, ability to concentrate, and overall brain function. Today, you're going to discover the link that living with high histamine has with your sleep troubles, emotional imbalances and stress responses. Histamine in the brain Your brain is constantly receiving signals from the environment via inputs from your five senses. The brain doesn’t simply receive and process them; it takes four complex systems, called the aminergic systems, to process the information and ensure it goes through the correct channels. One of these systems is known as the histaminergic system, which involves a histamine-mediated process. The role of histamine here is one of homeostasis, or balance. It acts as a modulator of the stimuli received relating to1: The sleep-wake cycle Motivation and goal seeking behaviors Satiety, feeding behaviors and taste perception Neurotransmitter regulation Addictive behaviors Memory formation Stress Pain perception Those all seem pretty important, don’t they; and with this in mind, you can begin to paint a picture of why an increase in your histamine load affects your brain so profoundly. But where in the brain does this happen?The histamine found in brain tissue comes from two major pools, namely mast cells and neurons. Mast cells are relatively scarce in the brain, therefore the primary source of histamine is found in neurons. More specifically, these histamine-releasing neurons are exclusive to just one region of the brain, known as the hypothalamus2. It is from this location that histamine spreads to other areas of the brain.When histamine binds to the receptors located in other brain regions, it causes an excitatory effect, one which is amplified even further during periods of wakefulness3. This means that histamine is independently over stimulating areas of the brain. To break down histamine in the brain and prevent this excitatory mechanism from running rampant, the HNMT enzyme (not DAO, that you’ve likely heard about so often) comes into play. HNMT breaks down histamine by forming a t-type methylhistamine, which is then broken down even further by two enzymes called monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) and aldehyde dehydrogenase4. Now, looking at the list of functions above, and having and idea of histamine’s importance, let’s take a deeper look at the symptoms caused by histamine in the brain. Histamine and sleep You already know that histamine is responsible for wakefulness, so there is little wonder why too much histamine increases the risk of sleeplessness and sleeping disorders like insomnia. It's interesting to note that more than half of all of the over-the-counter sleep aids contain a histamine receptor blocking agent, to reduce the effects of histamine in sleep disorders5. Histamine and motivation Histamine plays a role in motivation and reward mechanisms in the brain6. The association has been studied in exercise capacity, where the response to an increase in histamine increases motivation to complete tasks, and has a positive influence on goal seeking behaviors. Histamine, hunger and eating behaviors Hunger is a survival mechanism, which the body uses to stimulate food seeking as a means to meet the metabolic and energy demands of the body. We have known about the link between histamine and feeding cycles since the 70s - there’s a distinct inverse correlation between histamine levels and food intake. As histamine increases, so does appetite and feeding behavior7. Histamine and neurotransmitters Histamine itself is an important neurotransmitter, which has an influence on other neurotransmitters (chemical messengers). This is why histamine has implications towards neuropsychiatric conditions like depression, schizophrenia and even ADHD when histamine levels are high8,9,10. Histamine an addictive behaviors In studies on rats, it has been found that alcohol dependence may be influenced by higher brain histamine levels, and that therapies used to block particular brain histamine receptors may be a safe and effective treatment for alcohol abuse disorders11. Histamine and memory Histamine has been shown to have a positive effect on memory, and there’s even evidence to suggest that higher brain histamine levels may offer protection against Alzheimer’s Disease12. Histamine and stress Activation of the stress response has been associated with the triggering of itching; a well-known symptom of allergic and histamine reactions. While stress itself doesn’t actually cause allergies, the chemicals released into your body as a result of stress increases the production of histamine, this in turn aggravating the symptoms13.Fortunately, there is something you can do about these brain-influencing actions of histamine. A low histamine diet: your most powerful weapon By following a low histamine diet, you can reduce the amount of histamine your body has to contend with. You can download my complete guide on this for free: Get the FREE eBook In addition to this, there is another powerful way your diet can impact your histamine intolerance, and act directly on your brain. Research has shown that a compound called nitric oxide (NO), which you can find in food, can help to inhibit the production of histamine directly in the hypothalamus14. Nitric oxide boosting foods include: Beetroot (one of the best sources of dietary NO) Garlic Pomegranate Meat Nuts and seeds Histamine has a serious and widespread effect on the body, and high levels can be debilitating, affecting every aspect of your quality of life. The first step to getting your histamine under control is to focus on your diet, not only to remove those histamine-offending foods, but to add foods into your meals that help to break it down.If you’re struggling with histamine symptoms that affect your brain, it’s essential to add these nitric oxide-rich foods to your diet. These foods can be found as part of the allowed foods in my free guide to histamine intolerance and can assist both your brain and other symptoms. Click below to get the free e-guide now! Get the low histamine guide!   References: Brown, R. E., Stevens, D. R., & Haas, H. L. (2001). The physiology of brain histamine. Progress in Neurobiology, 63(6), 637–672. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301008200000393Shan L, et al. Interactions of the histamine and hypocretin systems in CNS disorders. Nat Rev Neurol . 2015;11(7):401–413. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26100750Bolam, P., & Ellender, T. Histamine and the striatum. Neuropharmacology. Volume 106, July 2016, Pages 74-84. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390815300599#bib5 Haas HL, et al. Histamine in the nervous system. Physiol Rev . 2008;88(3):1183–1241. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18626069Naganuma F, et al. Histamine N-methyltransferase regulates aggression and the sleep-wake cycle. Sci Rep . 2017;7(1):15899. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29162912Loy, B. D., & O’Connor, P. J. (2016). The effect of histamine on changes in mental energy and fatigue after a single bout of exercise. Physiology & Behavior, 153, 7–18. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938415301463Provensi G., et al. (2016) Histamine and Appetite. Histamine and Appetite. In: Blandina P., Passani M. (eds) Histamine Receptors. The Receptors, vol 28. Humana Press, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-40308-3_15Sadek, B., et al. Histamine H3 receptor as a potential target for cognitive symptoms in neuropsychiatric diseases. Behavioural Brain Research. Volume 312, 1 October 2016, Pages 415-430. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166432816304168 Silk, T. Chapter 13 - New Frontiers: Neurobiology of Sleep in ADHD. Sleep and ADHD: An Evidence-Based Guide to Assessment and Treatment. 2019, Pages 331-353. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128141809000132Ellenbroek, A., et al. Do Histamine receptor 3 antagonists have a place in the therapy for schizophrenia? Current Pharmaceutical Design, Volume 21, Number 26, 2015, pp. 3760-3770(11). https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cpd/2015/00000021/00000026/art00007 Panula, P. Histamine, histamine H3 receptor, and alcohol use disorder. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2019. https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bph.14634 Zlomuzica, A., et al. 2016. Neuronal histamine and cognitive symptoms in Alzheimer's disease. Neuropharmacology. 106, 135e145. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028390815001884?via%3Dihub Kim, H., et al. How stress triggers itch: a preliminary study of the mechanism of stress‐induced pruritus using fMRI. International Journal of DermatologyVolume 55, Issue 4. 2015. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ijd.12864 Prast, H., et al. 1996a. Histaminergic neurons facilitate social memory in rats. Brain Res. 734, 316–318. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0006899396008864
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Heavy Metal Toxicity and Histamine Intolerance

How heavy metals may contribute to histamine intolerance symptoms What do heavy metals have to do with histamine intolerance? In our everyday lives, we’re exposed to a fair number of compounds that enter our body systems through the environment.In some cases, we’re quite aware of them, for example, in the case of pollution, herbicides, pesticides and even hormones in our meat.There are, however, other compounds we don't think about as often - and, we may not even know when we are being exposed to them, such as with heavy metals.In this article, I’ll dive into one of the most common metals you may be exposed to, where it may be hiding in your everyday life, what it could be doing to your health - particularly when you have histamine intolerance - and, most importantly, what you can do to reduce its impact on you. What are heavy metals? Before I discuss the specific heavy metal we'll focus on today, I want to first address the more general question of “what is a heavy metal?".Let me explain…Think back to high school science classes for a minute. Do you recall learning about the periodic table? Don’t worry, I’m not going to make you recite the periodic table and all of its elements, I just want you to recall what it contains. That’s right! All of the metals we have identified that can be obtained from our environment. Metals actually form a big part of our lives and, with the discovery of many of them, they have changed the way we can live, learn and improve how we go about doing things. One of the most precious heavy metals we have discovered is platinum - while some of the most useful are aluminum and cadmium, for example.Other heavy metals provide the body with important minerals we need to survive, for example, iron and zinc, while others are well-known for having serious and negative effects on the human body, for example, mercury and lead. The truth is, even though there are many metals that have been deemed safe - and even necessary - for our bodies, with high levels of exposure, they can still cause serious harm.Unfortunately, when you have histamine intolerance, it is possible that your exposure to heavy metals may be too high, and it could be contributing to your histamine intolerance symptoms. Now let’s get into one of the metals that has been associated with histamine intolerance: aluminum. Aluminum and histamine intolerance Aluminum is in everythingBecause of its low density and ability to withstand corrosion, aluminum has been incorporated into may aspects of our lives.Think about all the places you’d see aluminum being used in your direct environment. Have you pictured aluminum foil, cans, and food trays? What about door and window frames, cars, trucks, bicycles and spacecrafts?Did you know aluminum is also used in furniture, cooking utensils, deodorants, cosmetics, toothpaste, sun cream and medicines? It’s also in the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you break and the soil you may come into contact with (1). You can now begin to see how much aluminum you’re exposed to on a day to basis. Although the body is well-adapted at eliminating aluminum in the urine and feces, when you’re constantly being exposed to aluminum and your liver is unable to cope, there’s a risk of higher than typical levels remaining within your body. Research into the effects of aluminum and the effects it may have in humans, has not yielded any conclusive results, with data showing that exposure in the majority of the population is small. In these people, their bodies do eliminate aluminium at the appropriate levels, but what about when someone - like you - may not be eliminating it as needed. Let’s look at some of the research that suggests aluminum exposure may be more harmful in some. Allergies increase in those exposed to aluminum-containing treatments There are a handful of reports suggesting that medication that contains aluminum can increase the risk of allergy, particularly in those who are suffering from allergies to begin with. Studies show that dermatitis from aluminum-containing treatments worsens, and that these effects appear to be on the rise (2,3). It is well-known that aluminum induces an immune reaction, which stimulates mast cells where it promotes the release of histamines and other inflammatory mediators (4,5). One of the most recent studies done on the effects of aluminum on mast cell activation was performed on rats, where it was found that when these animals were exposure to aluminum in their food, there was a significant impact on mast cell activation and histamine release (6). That’s not all. This particular pathways induced irritable bowel-like symptoms in the rats, after which the authors concluded that it was highly likely that through mast cell activation in the gut, aluminum was able to induce IBS (6). Considering the strong link between IBS and histamine intolerance (58% of those with IBS have histamine intolerance to some degree), we can begin to see the link. If you have a higher than typical exposure to aluminium (or other heavy metals, for that matter), is it possible that it has induced your histamine intolerance and contributed to your digestive issues that are much like IBS? It’s highly possible. So, what do you do about it? How to reduce heavy metal levels for histamine intolerance Your first step in the process to reducing the impact that metals like aluminum have on your health is to get rid of as many of the factors in your environment that expose you to it (7). Stop using aluminum foil in your home and, in particular, never heat food wrapped in foil or foil containers. Where possible, replace aluminum lined pots and pans. Use aluminum-free cosmetics, toothpaste and deodorant. Ask your doctor whether any of your medications contain aluminum and, where possible request other alternatives. Check the ingredients in the products you use on a regular basis to determine their aluminum content. Avoid exposure to waste water, industrial steel areas, and tobacco smoking. Be sure to reduce your environmental exposure to other metals such as lead, cadmium, bismuth and mercury, as they too have been found to mediate mast cell release of histamines and other inflammatory compounds.  Natural ways to help your body to get rid of heavy metals involves Eating lots of organic, well washed fruit and vegetables instead of packaged foods. Focussing on adding a wide variety of low histamine fruit and vegetables to the diet, rich in nutrients that support the liver. Increase intake of dietary fiber to improve the movement of waste products from the body through stool. For dietary specifics, please download the free low histamine diet guide by clicking below   Get the FREE eBook   Overall, the best way to reduce the impact of aluminum and other heavy metals on your health is to minimize your exposure to it and to optimize your diet in order to best support a healthy body which can adequately detoxify. By dampening the impact  of environmental factors while prioritizing bodily health, this is one of the many ways you can focus on improving on your histamine intolerance and the process of healing!   References: Klotz, D., et al. The Health Effects of Aluminum Exposure. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2017 Sep; 114(39): 653–659. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5651828/ Lund University. "Allergy treatments containing aluminum may cause new allergy, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 December 2010. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101214085545.htm Kutlu, A., et al. Could aluminum be a new hidden allergen in type 1 hypersensitivity reactions when used as a drug additive? Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2016 Jun; 33(3): 243–245. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4969423/ McKee A., et al. Alum induces innate immune responses through macrophage and mast cell sensors, but these sensors are not required for alum to act as an adjuvant for specific immunity. J Immunol. 2009 Oct 1; 183(7):4403-14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19734227/ Fang, X., & Xiang, Z. Roles and relevance of mast cells in infection and vaccination. J Biomed Res. 2016 Jul; 30(4): 253–263. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946316/ Esquerre, N., et al. Aluminum Ingestion Promotes Colorectal Hypersensitivity in Rodents. Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology. 2019. 7(1):235-236. Exley, C. Human exposure to aluminium. Environ. Sci.: Processes Impacts. 2013. 15:1807-1816. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/em/c3em00374d
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Histamine Intolerance and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Histamine intolerance and COVID-19 We’re living in a time of real uncertainty with the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and anxiety levels are either high, or people are living in absolute denial about its impact. The most important thing is to remain calm and clear-headed in situations such as these, and listen to good quality, sound healthcare advice, based on evidence collected by scientists.   And, although my emails have been blowing up with requests to collaborate on coronavirus research projects or provide healthcare strategies to the public for boosting the immune system, I wanted to first take the time to give that information directly to the faithful readers of my own blog.  Especially considering that here, we deal with histamine intolerance as the focus. Many of you are histamine intolerant, many of you have a compromised immune system and many of you are already dealing with the symptoms of a chronic disorder. So, the fears surrounding this situation and the potential consequences, certainly aren't helping. If you have any concerns or worries about the implications of infection while living with histamine intolerance, I'm here to help you with as much information as I can.  It is, however, extremely important to note that, because this form of the coronavirus is classified as a new strain of virus, there is limited scientific evidence available on its precise mode of action and infection. That being said, what I discuss in the article below is based on what we know so far and the importance of protecting yourself  while managing your histamine intolerance. Coronavirus: known ways to protect yourself  First, I want to reiterate one important point... This is one of the most important things you can do Think back to your childhood for a minute. At school, it was common for bugs to be rapidly spread from one child to the next. It wasn’t long before children throughout the school were displaying the same symptoms.  Why? Let me explain. Children are always in contact with one another; if they’re not sharing their lunches, they’re using one another’s stationary, playing with toys that other children have been playing with, and generally getting down and dirty while going about their everyday lives.  Of course, young children don’t always consider washing their hands.  As an adult, we can equate these child-like behaviours to things we do every day. We work in close contact, we may still share stationary, desk space or equipment, we have lunch together and share utensils in communal kitchens or canteens, and we touch surfaces that have been touched by thousands of others as they go about their daily lives (think public transport, malls, stores). Do we wash our hands? Not nearly as often as we should.  That’s why the health authorities have really stressed this point in the media. You’ve likely heard it a million times before, and it’s important you hear it again: a seemingly simple act such as washing your hands can have a significant impact on the spread of germs; not only to others, but to yourself.  Just like good hygiene, keeping your distance from people is important. We don’t want to be touching unnecessarily; you never know who has or who hasn’t washed their hands! It has also been suggested that droplets in the air with mucus from an infected person may increase risk of infection to others - and droplets can be released through talking, laughing, sneezing, coughing.  Now that we've gotten that out of the way, back to histamine intolerance and COVID-19.... Histamine intolerance, COVID-19 and the immune system There are a number of factors to consider when we’re looking at the immune system in someone living with histamine intolerance: The branches of the immune system The current state of the immune system and inflammatory responses in someone with histamine intolerance of mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) The release of inflammatory cytokines induced by both histamine intolerance and COVID-19 Firstly, let’s discuss the branches of the immune system, of which there are two.  We have a Th1 and Th2 branch, the former is the one we are born with, called the innate immune system, and the latter,  the one we acquire as a result of our environment and exposure to specific foreign invaders, is called the adaptive immune system.  The Th1 immune response plays a critical role in how the Th2 immune branch responds to viral infections.  Take measles, for example. It’s the response of the Th2 branch that provides us with lifelong protection against these types of contagious diseases. If you’ve had measles before, you won’t get it again because of the way your adaptive immune system built up protective mechanisms against it ever being able to cause a problem again.  Histamine actually regulates this branch of the immune system through various cells involved in its processes. The cells, such as T-cells, have histamine receptors on their surface, and they are also able to secrete histamines(1).  Information about COVID-19 and its effect on T-cells and other immune mechanisms is still being studied, but the most recent and similar outbreak of a coronavirus, namely that of the SARS-CoV in 2003, may offer some insight. It’s a complex series of mechanisms, but the basics of the severity of infection rely on the virus to be able to suppress or inhibit the immune response and low T-cell response because of it.  An interesting parallel between the SARS-CoV and COVID-19 is what happens in infected children, based on this T-cell idea. It appears that adolescents have a far higher immunity to the disease than adults. Children may be carriers of the disease, but currently, largely seem to display very mild symptoms or even none at all(2). One of the reasons scientists suspect this is the case is that children have a far higher T-cell immune response. Their T-cells may still be adapting to their environment, and so their immune system is able to ‘pick up’ the virus and contain it more readily than an adult, who may have more inactive T-cells because of an ageing immune system. This reduced capacity of the immune system to respond may leave an individual at greater risk of developing symptoms when infected(3). Another consideration is the simple response of the immune system to a viral infection. If some of the processes involved in the activation of these immune system branches are delayed, which may happen as a result of an infection such as that by the coronavirus, the virus is in a more favourable environment to be able to replicate(4).  A higher rate of replication induces hyperinflammatory conditions and there is a higher influx of inflammatory chemicals into the site of infection, namely the lungs in COVID-19. The ability of the virus to dampen a person’s response is closely associated with disease severity(4).  Secondly, we need to consider how histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) influences the immune system and subsequent inflammatory responses.  When you’re living with histamine intolerance, your immune system is on high alert. With a highly active immune system comes more active mast cells.  Mast cells, as you well know, are a major source of histamines in the body; when we further look at higher histamine levels, we know that histamines can also trigger mast cells to release their contents, which amongst many other chemicals, includes specific inflammatory chemicals, called cytokines(5).  Now for the third point, and getting into the role of cytokines… A consideration for those with histamine intolerance and COVID-19 infection Histamines are considered potent inflammatory mediators and when the histamine pathways are stimulated, there is an amplification of inflammatory reactions and cytokine release at the sites where the histamines are most common; one of them being the tissues in the lungs(6,7).  Current information we have on what happens with COVID-19 is that it, too, has an effect on the body’s inflammatory response and, as a result, triggers the release of cytokines. One of the ways in which it is suspected that COVID-19 causes damage to the lung tissue is through this very mechanism, with high release of levels of inflammatory chemicals, including cytokines, within the lungs.  This is in no way intended to be alarmist, however, it is a valid concern for those living with active histamine intolerance or MCAS, and in particular, if you have the manifestations of your condition in the lungs, namely, asthma, or any breathing-related symptoms.  Having this information on hand also helps you in two main ways: You have a clear reason to take the advice of the health advisory boards and follow it as closely as possible, maintaining proper hygiene and social distancing/isolation.  Should you need to be tested for COVID-19 due to a suspected infection, know that you should make it clear on your intake/questionnaire that you are at a higher risk. Here are a number of ways you can clearly state this during assessment. Tell your healthcare provider or the nurse who is assessing you that you have: An inflammatory condition - use the words mast cell activation, histamine toxicity, or histamine disease to describe it rather than histamine intolerance in this case, as many doctors may be unfamiliar with the disorder.  Episodes of asthma A respiratory illness or condition There is also a lot you can do to continue to manage your body’s immune and inflammatory responses during this time: Stick to your low histamine diet as much as possible. Include healthy, anti-inflammatory foods into every meal. I've linked the histamine intolerance foods list for your reference. Continue with your current supplements. Order your new stock before you usually would as there may be delays in shipping due to high demand. I have also seen multiple supplements going 'out of stock' and websites putting purchasing caps on people to prevent supplement-hoarding. Keep in mind, everyone is concerned about their health right now - there is no need to panic and hoard every supplement out there, but simply to be sure you're stocked on the supplements you need for supporting your condition. Manage stress and anxiety. If you’re home-bound, take this time to relax, meditate, journal! Do anything you can to keep your mind calm and clear. There are plenty of free apps and channels to meditate, follow a yoga flow or do a home-workout. Now is the time to use these resources. Stay positive. Continue with hobbies, connect with loved ones over the airwaves and try to keep your spirits high. Check on your friends. Be sure everyone in your network is alright, as well. Some individuals may find the isolation very challenging.  Ask for help. Community is what comes together in times of crisis; ask friends or neighbours to assist with groceries if you have limited access to stores or online options. Do what you can to reduce your risk of infection. Wash your hands for a little longer, wash them more often than you would, and stay home where you can! If you do your part, there’s a much higher chance of there being faster containment, and a return to our day-to-day lives.  One last thing to remember is that, although now is the time everyone is worried about their health and social distancing is in place, we must also come together with our capacity to care for one another and provide support for those around us. Some people may find isolation mentally challenging, or not be ale to go to the grocery store for supplies at all. Our loved ones may be lonely and afraid. Call them, ask them if they need help, lend a hand in any way you can while still staying responsible and keeping yourself safe. We are all hoping this nightmare will be over soon. Stay safe! References: Ferstl, R., et al. Histamine regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2012 Jan 1;17:40-53. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22201731   Liu, W., et al. Detection of Covid-19 in Children in Early January 2020 in Wuhan, China. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2020. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2003717   Zhao, J., et al. T Cell Responses Are Required for Protection from Clinical Disease and for Virus Clearance in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-Infected Mice. Journal of Virology. 2010. 8(4): 9318–9325 https://jvi.asm.org/content/84/18/9318.short  Prompetchara, E., et al. Immune responses in COVID-19 and potential vaccines: Lessons learned from SARS and MERS epidemic. Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol DOI 10.12932/AP-200220-0772 https://apjai-journal.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/AP-200220-0772.pdf  Branco, A., et al. Role of Histamine in Modulating the Immune Response and Inflammation. Interplay between Hormones, the Immune System, and Metabolic Disorders. 2018. 9524075 https://www.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2018/9524075/  Dunford, P., et al. The histamine H4 receptor mediates allergic airway inflammation by regulating the activation of CD4+ T cells The Journal of Immunology, vol. 176, no. 11, pp. 7062–7070, 2006. https://www.jimmunol.org/content/176/11/7062  Thangam, E., et al. The Role of Histamine and Histamine Receptors in Mast Cell-Mediated Allergy and Inflammation: The Hunt for New Therapeutic Targets. Front. Immunol., 13 August 2018. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01873/full 
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Low Histamine Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad Recipe

Mixing smokey and sweet to give your taste buds a tingle! Are you ready for a sweet and savoury combo that will knock your socks off? Well this low histamine cauliflower and pomegranate salad is about to punch you in the feet.This delicious smokey and crunchy salad pairs well with a piece of freshly cooked meat or, can be eaten on its own if you're in an all-salad mood. With the sweet, yet tart combo of the pomegranate seeds, cauliflower as a main ingredient might just become your new favourite food. That brings me to the health benefits of the ingredients in this delightful, summery salad. Remember, I always choose my ingredients very carefully so they're not only low in histamine, but prevent histamine release and promote total-body health and healing. Check out my foods list for a comprehensive guide to the best and worst foods for healing histamine intolerance! Get the FREE Food List Now, let's look further into what you'll be eating... Low Histamine Salad: Nutrition Info Cauliflower is a seriously low calorie food with only around 25 calories per cup, but don’t let that lead you to believe that it’s low in nutrients, too. As far as superfoods go (which, by the way, isn't exactly a real term we use as scientists) - well, cauliflower is about as close as it comes to achieving this status! (Or, anything from the Brassica family, really)Cauliflower is packed with fibre and vitamins, particularly vitamin C and vitamin K, which makes it an excellent choice as a staple in your low histamine diet. Research shows that vitamin C can help to stabilize mast cells and break down histamine.In fact, it’s one of the nutrients given to seamen who suffer from motion sickness, which typically involves a histamine response (that's SEA-men, to clarify). In addition to its function to help you to manage your histamine intolerance, cauliflower has been shown to be full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, which can help to reduce the risk of disease, including cancer and heart disease. Another bonus about cauliflower (gosh, I feel like I'm in love with cauliflower) is its choline content. Choline is an important nutrient that is involved in DNA maintenance, it is important for the function of the nervous system and it has been found that those who have low levels of choline in their diet also have a higher risk of heart and liver disease, as well as neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In general, cauliflower provides a great nutrient-rich alternative to gluten-containing grains, which you’ll want to avoid on your low histamine diet. Ok, I'll shut up about cauliflower now and (sadly) move onto something else.Wait, one more thing! Here's 3 other low histamine recipes with cauliflower: Cauliflower Low Histamine Hummus Recipe Low Histamine Cauliflower Rice Pudding Recipe Roasted Low Histamine Salad Recipe Ok I'm done now, promise.Another powerhouse ingredient in this salad is the pomegranate seeds. Many fruits cause symptoms in those with histamine intolerance; fortunately, pomegranate is not one of them. Lucky for you, this fruit, that contains so many beneficial properties that’s unrivalled by many other foods, has made its way onto your list of foods to enjoy. Not only do pomegranate seeds provide a wonderful pop of colour to your meals, they add a tangy sweetness will very few calories, a little bit of a crunch, and another source of that sought-after vitamin C.Along with it’s histamine-lowering properties, you can thank pomegranate seeds for their anti-inflammatory effects, blood pressure lowering properties, pain relieving capabilities, and anti-microbial action, all of which can further help you to manage your health and improve your quality of life. This really is a great tasting, healthy and satisfying salad that pairs well with many other dishes. If you’d like, add freshly cooked steak or chicken to make it a meal for the whole family! Low Histamine Cauliflower and Pomegranate Salad Recipe Makes 4-6 servingsCalories: 120 (Carbohydrate 15g; Protein: 4g; Fat: 6g)Ingredients: 2 heads cauliflower, broken up into medium sized florets 2 tbsps olive oil (more for serving - optional) 1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground coriander Pinch salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper ¼ medium white onion, finely diced 2 tsp pure, raw honey or maple syrup ½ - ¾ cup fresh pomegranate seeds ½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped 1 cup cooked chickpeas (optional for those who have reintroduced and can tolerate legumes, as they contain other biogenic amines - if unsure, omit this ingredient) Instructions: Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with the oil, turmeric, coriander and salt and pepper until well coated. Move onto a lined baking tray and spread out into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, until the cauliflower begins to brown, turning once during the process. As the cauliflower is roasting, in a serving bowl, add the onion, pomegranate seeds, parsley and optional chickpeas set aside. Once the cauliflower is cooked, drizzle with the honey and set aside to cool. Once cooled, add it to the serving bowl with the other ingredients and serve immediately. Drizzle with a little olive oil if desired. Want more low histamine recipes like this? Check out my nutritionist-approved Low Histamine Cookbook with 110 delicious histamine intolerance recipes!  Get the Cookbook! Put your health in nature's hands. Anita Tee, Nutritional Scientist
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How GMO’s and Glyphosate Impact Histamine Intolerance

Here’s how changes in agricultural practices may have contributed to a rising incidence of histamine intolerance There’s no question that food can affect your tolerance to histamine. There is, however, a question about what exactly is in the food you eat that leads to a poorer tolerance of its amine content. Histamine and glyphosate: it’s not always the food itself Histamine, as you may very well already know, is called a biogenic amine. Basically, that simply means it’s a compound with one or more amine groups, which are chemical compounds that are formed as a result of amino acids being broken down.Other biogenic amines are cadaverine and putrescine, which are foul-smelling amines that are associated with the breakdown of tissue in living organisms. Think about the stench of fish as it stands out in the sun. This is, in part, due to the release of these two compounds. Now, what do they have to do with histamine?Well, in the body, if there are in increased levels, they compete with histamine for breakdown. While less well-researched, the detrimental effects of cadaverine and putrescine may be considered to be greater than those of histamine, as they can cause an acute state of life-threatening symptoms (1,2). If you’ve ever had food poisoning, in particular, having landed up in hospital with an extreme reaction to something you’ve eaten, you’ll know why. When even small amounts of cadaverine and putrescine are ingested, for example, if you were to go out to enjoy a seafood dish predominantly made up of shellfish, and just a portion of it was underdone, it can have serious consequences.Not only can it cause almost immediate anaphylaxis - a life-threatening allergic reaction - it can make you extremely and violently ill. Of course, increased histamine ingestion with fish can also bring about these types of symptoms.In this case, where the condition is called scombroid poisoning, it is associated with increased histamine concentrations in fleshy fish a result of mishandling and improperly following of the cold-chain of manufacture (3).There is another commonality shared between histamine, cadaverine and putrescine; these compounds all rely on the DAO enzyme to breakdown. When cadaverine and putrescine are present, DAO prioritizes their breakdown and, therefore, their presence in the body may inadvertently increase the levels and ill-effects of histamine by placing even higher demand on DAO and reducing its capacity to further control histamine (4,5,6). There’s even evidence to show that cadaverine and putrescine increase histamine’s toxic effects because they facilitate histamine’s transportation rate across the intestine and into the bloodstream. At this point, you may be wondering how your levels of cadaverine and putrescine increase. You may argue that you don’t eat fish very often, or that you’ve never had an allergic reaction to fish.Well, the answer may surprise you. Contributors of cadaverine and putrescine Both cadaverine and putrescine are found in high concentrations in fermented dairy, such as cheese, and high concentrations are also found in fermented sausages, vegetables and fish products (7). But there’s another source: GMO crops. GMO foods and histamine intolerance Genetic engineering has changed the face of agriculture, bringing about a sustainable method of increasing crop resilience to pests, and allowing for a higher yield and delivery of staple foods to populations. For years, there has been a debate about the safety of GMO crops in humans, and it still rages on without a clear indication of the outcome in sight.What we do know, however, is that GMO crops are more readily sprayed with a particular type of herbicide that contains a compound called glyphosate. When this weed-killer was first introduced, it not only killed the weeds, but every living plant it came into contact with.With the introduction of genetic engineering, scientists were able to change how particular genes within plants reacted to the glyphosate and alter them to be able to withstand it - and other pests, for that matter - while the glyphosate continued to kill unwanted species around the desired crops. With most of the corn and soy used for human consumption across the world now being GMO crops, it is safe to say that these raw ingredients and the products made from them, may very well be contaminated with glyphosate. Non-GMO crops are also frequently sprayed with this herbicide at the time of harvest, to dry them out faster. Wheat, barley, nuts, peas and oats are some of those on the list. Even organic produce can be contaminated through the environment, and products made from plant materials may contain traces of it. GMOs, glyphosate and histamine symptoms Research published by the Scientific Reports journal in 2016 showed that GMO crops sprayed with glyphosate-containing herbicides contained higher levels of putrescine and cadaverine, in addition to higher amounts of each of their precursors (8). That being said, if we consider the way putrescine and cadaverine affect the body’s ability to manage histamine, GMO and glyphosate-contamination may be a significant area of histamine toxicity to consider in treatment. More recently, both putrescine and cadaverine have also been found to have direct implications on gut health.These compounds have shown to elicit profound and detrimental toxic effects on the intestinal cells, causing the death of the cells themselves. Histamine has a similar response, where it has been found to cause programmed cell suicide, or apoptosis, within intestinal cells, so there’s little wonder why this, along with another biogenic amine called tyramine, carry the potential to be the most toxic of all dietary amines (9). It now becomes clear that we need to consider the presence of all biogenic amines in foods and their contribution to histamine intolerance, in order to best understand and control histamine symptoms. How can I begin to reduce histamine symptoms? Following a low-histamine diet is only one way to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing from suspected histamine intolerance. If you suspect histamine intolerance but haven't already begun a low histamine diet, it's essential to start this now. Start by following the foods list and guidelines in the free e-Book below. Start the Low Histamine Diet Along with dietary measures and controlling histamine input, it's also possible to enhance histamine breakdown within the body through the histamine-degrading enzyme, DAO.To maximize the effect of DAO and prevent an increased demand on its production, eating organic, non-GMO foods is also advised, as this can reduce the exposure to other biogenic amines, such as cadaverine and putrescine, which take precedence over histamine when it comes to breakdown by DAO. I've written an article on how to increase DAO enzymes naturally, which you can also read for more tips on upping histamine degradation.Additionally, because raw foods and other - even organic - crops may be contaminated by these compounds, foods should be eaten when they are at their maximum freshness, frozen immediately from fresh, or boiled and eaten immediately to reduce their biogenic amine content. Histamine intolerance is a complex condition with a number of contributing issues that may be underlying its development.And, although often forgotten, one of those underlying factors that needs to be considered is the contribution of changes in agricultural practice.Are you part of the population that may be reacting to these GMO foods and the contamination of glyphosate? It’s definitely worth investigating and taking action against it.Life's too short to let symptoms control you.Your histamine intolerance expert,Anita Tee, MSc   References: Del Rio, B., et al. The biogenic amines putrescine and cadaverine show in vitro cytotoxicity at concentrations that can be found in foods. Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 120 (2019). Ladero, V. et al. Biogenic amines content in Spanish and French natural ciders: Application of qPCR for quantitative detection of biogenic amine-producers. Food Microbiol. 28, 554–561 (2011). Hungerford, J. Scombroid poisoning: a review. Toxicon. 2010 Aug 15;56(2):231-43. Sahcez-Perez, S., et al. Biogenic Amines in Plant-Origin Foods: Are they Frequently Underestimated in Low-Histamine Diets? Foods. 2018 Dec; 7(12): 205. Jarisch R., Wantke F., Raithel M., Hemmer W. Histamine and biogenic amines. In: Jarisch R., editor. Histamine Intolerance. Histamine and Seasickness. Springer; Stuttgart, Germany: 2014. pp. 3–44. EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) Scientific opinion on risk based control of biogenic amines formation in fermented foods. EFSA J. 2011;9:2393. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Scientific opinion on risk based control of biogenic amine formation in fermented foods. Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ). EFSA J. 9, 2393 (2011). Mesnage, R., et al. An integrated multi-omics analysis of the NK603 Roundup-tolerant GM maize reveals metabolism disturbances caused by the transformation process. Scientific Reports volume 6, Article number: 37855 (2016). Linares, D. M. et al. Comparative analysis of the in vitro cytotoxicity of the dietary biogenic amines tyramine and histamine. Food Chem. 197, 658–663 (2016). Get Your FREE eBook
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Download the histamine intolerance food list

Included within the Low Histamine Diet guide