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Do you have a histamine intolerance?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by: Dr. David Jockers
Tags: allergies, histamine intolerance, inflammation

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(NaturalNews) On a biochemical level what may be a superfood for one individual may be poison to another. Histamine intolerance is an area where this is the case. People who are unable to effectively metabolize histamines must restrict their consumption of many foods that health experts typically recommend on a regular basis.

If you have a histamine intolerance consuming histamine rich foods can lead to chronic health issues such as allergies, asthma, sinus problems, eczema, chronic pain, menstrual problems and much more.

What is histamine?

Histamine is an in important neurotransmitter and immune messenger molecule. It is involved in processes involving hydrochloric acid secretion for digestion, triaging water reserves to key areas of the body and the inflammatory response.

One of the major effects of histamine is causing the blood vessels to swell and dilate. When the body senses that it is threatened it will secrete higher amounts of histamine. This allows the white blood cells to quickly move through the blood stream and find the potential threat or infection. This is an important component to a healthy immune response.

When does histamine become a problem?

Histamine only becomes a problem when we have metabolic disturbances that do not allow us to effectively metabolize histamine properly. When histamine is formed it is broken down by specific enzymes. In the central nervous system it is metabolized by histamine N-methyltransferase (HMT), while in the digestive tract it is broken down by diamine oxidase (DAO).

The experts state that DAO is the major enzyme involved in histamine metabolism. The enzyme converts the histamine into imidazole acetaldehyde which does not trigger any sort of reaction in the body. DAO is responsible for ensuring a steady histamine level required for the balance of numerous chemical reactions taking place in the body.

Some individuals have altered DAO production due to a number of different factors including:

• Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): some gut microbes produce high amounts of histamines as a byproduct of their metabolism.
• Copper and B6 deficiency: copper is one of the main components of the DAO enzyme and B6 is a critical cofactor that enables DAO to degrade histamine.
• Leaky gut syndrome: intestinal permeability creates major inflammatory stress in the body which can contribute to poor DAO function.
• Genetic polymorphisms in DAO enzyme: a homozygous DAO gene would make someone more susceptible to developing a histamine intolerance.

According to available research, histamine intolerance manifests in approximately 3 percent of the population. In up to 20 percent of these cases the symptoms occur mostly when histamine containing foods are used in combination with DAO inhibitors such as alcohol. Approximately 80 percent of individuals with histamine intolerance are women and most of them are over 40.

Foods high in histamines

Some foods naturally have more histamine content while others accumulate histamines while they age. Fermented and dried foods typically have the highest levels of histamines. A low histamine diet must be focused around getting foods at their peak level of freshness. Here is a list of high histamine foods:

• Fermented alcoholic beverages, especially wine, champagne and beer
• Fermented foods: sauerkraut, vinegar, soy sauce, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, etc.
• Vinegar-containing foods: pickles, mayonnaise, olives
• Cured meats: bacon, salami, pepperoni, luncheon meats and hot dogs
• Soured foods: sour cream, sour milk, buttermilk, soured bread, etc
• Dried fruit: apricots, prunes, dates, figs, raisins
• Most citrus fruits
• Aged cheese including goat cheese
• Nuts: walnuts, cashews, and peanuts
• Vegetables: avocados, eggplant, spinach, and tomatoes
• Smoked fish and certain species of fish: mackerel, mahi-mahi, tuna, anchovies, sardines
• Processed foods of all types - preservatives are high in histamines

Sources for this article include:




About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com

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