October 20, 2014 9:00 pm


So much emphasis is placed on food as the source of histamines. When what matters is the overall levels of histamine in the body.

Research shows that food also releases diamine oxidase (the enzyme that degrades histamine), such that some foods are even helpful for histamine intolerance.

This is not speculation. A study examined each of the critical nutrients, and here is what they found.

Diamine Oxidase

The intestinal mucosa is a protective layer in the gut that contains many enzymes in digestion and nutrient absorption. One of these enzymes is diamine oxidase (DAO).

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

The amount of DAO synthesized can be reduced due to a genetic mutation (DAO deficiency), but nutrients from our diet or supplements make it bio-available.

What we eat will determine whether available DAO is transported into the gut and bloodstream.



Protein is responsible for the release of DAO in the gut.  Protein (unlike other nutrients) helps release DAO from the intestinal mucosa into the gut to deal with ingested and bacterial amines and histamines.


Olive Oil, Histamine Intolerance, Diamine Oxidase, Alison Vickery, Health, Australia

olive oil butter from Flavour eBook



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, protein such as poultry and lamb is another good oleic acid source.

Oleic acid (unlike other nutrients) helps release DAO into the bloodstream to degrade free amines and histamine throughout the entire body. Medium-chain fatty acids only cause a slight increase in DAO in the bloodstream.

It is interesting to note that oleic acid is also a primary ingredient in Lorenzo’s oil used to treat ALP, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar, such that oleic acid’s reputation as a healthy fat is unsurprising.

A word of caution is also essential. Olive oil is often poorly tolerated if you have salicylate intolerance. As the color is generally a sign of salicylate levels, some people find they can tolerate light olive oil.



Carbohydrates cause no significant change in the release of DAO.


histamine intolerance, elimination diet, Alison Vickery, Health, Australia



I found this research extremely interesting.

If only to add some balance to the debate about histamine and foods.  It is not only the amount of histamine but the body histamine level that counts.

I find this research to be particularly relevant. Many of my clients are protein deficient, with the lack of protein causing their primary symptoms. Yet others are fat deficient, with the lack of fat causing their primary symptoms.

Interestingly, in recent years, we have also been using Zinzino Balance Oil (which has a high oleic acid content) to stabilize the cell membrane.


Additional Reading

Wollin, Armin, Xiaolin Wang, and Patrick Tso. “Nutrients regulate diamine oxidase release from intestinal mucosa.” American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology 275.4 (1998): R969-R975.