October 20, 2014 9:00 pm


Recent research explors the relationship between DAO (diamine oxidase) and foods.

Interestingly, this research shows that certain foods also release DAO (the enzyme that degrades histamine), making some foods beneficial for those with histamine intolerance.

This study thoroughly examined each of the critical nutrients, and here is what they found.

DAO Explained: How This Enzyme Helps Control Histamine Levels

The intestinal mucosa, a protective layer in the gut, contains many enzymes crucial for digestion and nutrient absorption. 

Among these enzymes is DAO which protects the body against an excessive build-up of histamines by degrading both ingested and bacterial histamine.

However, a genetic mutation can reduce its synthesis, leading to a deficiency. Fortunately, nutrients from our diet or supplements can make DAO bio-available. 

What we eat directly influences whether available DAO is transported into the gut and bloodstream.


Protein helps release DAO in the gut. Unlike other nutrients, protein releases it from the intestinal mucosa into the gut, allowing it to manage ingested and bacterial amines and histamines.

The Role of Fats in Boosting DAO Levels

Oleic acid dramatically increases the release of DAO into the bloodstream by up to 500%. 

Olive oil is one of the primary sources of oleic acid. Interestingly, proteins like poultry and lamb are also good sources of oleic acid.

Unlike other nutrients, oleic acid helps release DAO into the bloodstream, which then degrades histamine throughout the body. Medium-chain fatty acids, on the other hand, only cause a slight increase in levels.


Carbohydrates cause no change in the release of DAO


I found this research extremely interesting, especially as it adds balance to the debate about histamine and foods. It’s not just the amount of histamine that matters but also the overall body histamine level.

This research is particularly relevant to my work.

Many of my clients are protein deficient, and this lack of protein causes their primary symptoms.  On the other hand, some clients are fat deficient, and their lack of fat leads to their primary symptoms.

What if eating food (not just eliminating it) improved your symptoms?

To learn more about DAO check out my blog post,  The Histamine Intolerance and Diamine Oxidase Connection.

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Additional Reading