A 2107 study has provided important information on diamine oxidase foods and how to raise diamine oxidase naturally through our diet.
The study examined healthy women’s macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (including crucial minerals and vitamins).
The findings suggest that our nutrient status from our diet (and not just the histamine content of food) profoundly impacts our histamine degrading enzyme diamine oxidase.
Increasing our diamine oxidase, the enzyme which degrades excess histamine, may help increase our histamine tolerance.
Here are the nutrients which were found to be necessary to optimize diamine oxidase levels.
While not measured in this study, Vitamin C has a well-documented history of increasing diamine oxidase, lowering blood histamine levels, and protecting cells from oxidative stress.
Adequate Vitamin C is crucial to histamine handling.
Vitamin B6 is a co-factor in over 100 biochemical reactions in the body, including:
Increasing diamine oxidase plasma levels,
Inhibiting the degranulation of mast cells.
Synthesizing GABA, which balances histamine levels in the brain.
Vitamin B6 is an essential co-factor in handling histamine levels throughout the body.
Copper needs to be tightly controlled within the body. I see both low and high levels of copper affecting histamine intolerance.
We need copper for diamine oxidase (so if copper is low, it can help to add in copper as part of a multimineral), but if copper is too high, it is estrogenic, leading to a vicious cycle of creating histamine and histamine creating estrogen.
When copper is exceptionally high, it can be bound to a high dose of rosehip, a natural form of vitamin c.
Long-Chain Fatty Acids
The 2017 study confirmed that long-chain fatty acids (such as olive oil, DHA, and EPA) significantly increase diamine oxidase activity.
These findings are consistent with earlier studies, including a:
1998 animal study found that olive oil increases diamine oxidase dose-dependently increased diamine oxidase levels.
2004 human study found that bile replacement (necessary for fat digestion and absorption) increased diamine oxidase levels.
There was no connection between carbohydrates, proteins, other types of fats, energy intake, and diamine oxidase levels. These findings were also not affected by hormone status.
The emphasis on DHA and EPA could be controversial; however, in my experience, it can be crucial to managing mast cells and inflammation.
Since this research was published, having tested hundreds and hundreds of people with histamine intolerance and mast cell activation, Zinzino Balance Oil (with a high amount of olive oil, DHA, and EPA) or Zinzino AquaX (for those without a gallbladder) has tested exceptionally well even in the most sensitive of clients. I have not found similar results with other forms of DHA and EPA.
The study did not find a correlation between fiber intake and diamine oxidase activity. However, the participants had a low soluble fiber intake.
In a previous human study, seven grams per day of galactomannan for 4 weeks increased serum diamine oxidase activity in elderly patients.
The authors, therefore, concluded that they still considered soluble fiber may improve levels.
We also know that butyrate (the incredibly important mast cell stabilizing component of our microbiome) feeds on fiber, making fiber crucial to our gut health.
Magnesium intake is directly related to diamine oxidase activity.
The 2017 findings were consistent with a rat study that found dietary magnesium deficiency decreased activity levels.
Magnesium is quickly depleted through a lack of magnesium in foods and chronic stress and is regularly depleted in my client base.
B12, Zinc, and Other Nutrients
The 2017 study reconfirmed that diamine oxidase activity is influenced by the menstrual cycle.
Previous studies have found that diamine oxidase activity is high during pregnancy, lower during the luteal phase (when estrogen dominates), and is known to affect women more than men.
Importantly, however, the current study found that:
- iron, and
- vitamin B12
all increased serum diamine oxidase activity during the luteal phase (days 15 – 28).
Observations From My Client Base
We often forget that the reason why we eat is to provide vital nutrients at a cellular level.
If we are chronically depleted in certain core nutrients, our body does not have the raw materials to do its job. This includes making diamine oxidase to degrade excess histamine.
Vitamins b12, b6, and zinc are subject to genetic variability. While methylation and B12 issues have been widely reported, the impact of pyrroles on zinc and vitamin B6 levels is less known. Within my client base, 20% had methylation issues, but over 45% had pyrrole issues. For completeness, alterations in acetylation (B5 levels) and thiamine (B1 levels) are also rampant. Epigenetic alterations in nutrient levels as part of the cell danger response are extremely common.
I prefer to use the Vibrant America Micronutrient Test, which I also combine with autonomic response testing. This simple spot test can be done at home anywhere in the world, giving me a range of intracellular and extracellular nutrients.
What if, rather than focusing on low histamine foods, or diamine oxidase supplements, we could raise our levels naturally?
This 2017 study suggests that our diamine oxidase levels can increase naturally by optimizing our overall dietary composition and improving our hormone status (including fat absorption necessary to produce hormones).
While moderate deficiencies can be corrected through dietary changes, severe deficiencies, including epigenetic changes, require supplementation.
To learn more about why olive oil raises diamine oxidase and how fats help with histamine intolerance, check out my blog post, Which Fat Is Low Histamine?
García-Martín E, Ayuso P, Martinez C, Agúndez JA. Improved analytical sensitivity reveals the occurrence of gender-related variability in diamine oxidase enzyme activity in healthy individuals. Clin Biochem 2007; 40: 1339-41.
Motoori M, Yano M, Miyata H, Sugimura K, Saito T, Omori T, Fujiwara Y, Miyoshi N, Akita H, Gotoh K, Takahashi H, Kobayashi S, Noura S, Ohue M, Asahara T, Nomoto K, Ishikawa O, Sakon M. Randomized study of the effect of synbiotics during neoadjuvant chemotherapy on adverse events in esophageal cancer patients. Clin Nutr 2015.
Ji Y, Sakata Y, Li X, Zhang C, Yang Q, Xu M, Wollin A, Langhans W, Tso P. Lymphatic diamine oxidase secretion stimulated by fat absorption is linked with histamine release. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2013; 304: G732-G740.
Feillet-Coudray, C., et al. “Response of diamine oxidase and other plasma copper biomarkers to various dietary copper intakes in the rat and evaluation of copper absorption with a stable isotope.” British journal of nutrition 83.5 (2000): 561-568.
Han XY, Ma YF, Lv MY, Wu ZP, Qian LC. Chitosan-zinc chelate improves intestinal structure and mucosal function and decreases apoptosis in ileal mucosal epithelial cells in weaned pigs. Br J Nutr 2014; 111: 1405-11.
Kamiya S, Nagino M, Kanazawa H, Komatsu S, Mayumi T, Takagi K, Asahara T, Nomoto K, Tanaka R, Nimura Y. The value of bile replacement during external biliary drainage: an analysis of intestinal permeability, integrity, and microflora. Ann Surg 2004; 239:510-7.
Thys-Jacobs S, Starkey P, Bernstein D, Tian J. Calcium carbonate and the premenstrual syndrome: Effects on premenstrual and menstrual symptoms. Premenstrual syndrome study group. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998; 179: 444-52.
Nakao M, Ogura Y, Satake S, Ito I, Iguchi A, Takagi K, Nabeshima T. Usefulness of soluble dietary fiber for the treatment of diarrhea during enteral nutrition in elderly patients. Nutrition 2002; 18: 35-9.
Martner-Hewes, P. M., Hunt, I. F., Murphy, N. J., Swendseid, M. E., & Settlage, R. H. (1986). Vitamin B-6 nutriture and plasma diamine oxidase activity in pregnant Hispanic teenagers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 44(6), 907-913.