People show a great range of sensitivities to biogenic amines. The top 1% are labeled “histamine intolerant” – this is quite arbitrary, but it focuses efforts on who could benefit from a diet that contains fewer biogenic amines and fewer compounds that release histamines from mast cells (worst in those in the top 1% of those who over-produce mast cells).
Background info on the diet:
A reference to the observed benefits of anti-histamine diet:
“Hautarzt. 1993 Aug;44(8):512-6. [The histamine-free diet].
- 1Dermatologisches und pädiatrisches Allergieambulatorium Wien.
Food intolerance is not IgE-mediated but caused by histamine. A diminished histamine degradation based on a deficiency of diaminoxidase is suspected to be the reason. The therapeutic efficacy of a histamine-free diet was evaluated in 100 patients with food intolerance and allergic diseases, who were required to avoid fish, cheese, hardcured sausage, pickled cabbage, wine and beer for 4 weeks. Considerable improvement was observed in 57 patients, 15 of whom had total remission. The most striking treatment results were obtained in food or wine intolerance (80% P < 0.05; treatment of choice), bronchial asthma (80%), headache (64%) and urticaria (58%). After ingestion of food rich in histamine clearcut recurrence of atopic eczema was seen in 50% of the patients affected. Histamine plays a major part in food and wine intolerance. Histamine in food causes worsening of symptoms in atopics and patients suffering from headache. The results obtained indicate a deficiency of diaminoxidase in patients with intolerance to food or wine. Histamine levels in alcoholic beverages should be displayed on the labels.”
Spinach, tomatoes, citrus are on the avoid list because of histamine releasing effects – come on, get serious – the first is the most nutritious food and the others are not far behind.
What one can avoid safely is fish if fish oil and taurine are the main benefits therefrom. If there are others, find them and supplement.
Yogurt, if probiotics can be supplemented and provide most of the benefits, and I believe this is the more effective solution to a healthier bowel ecosystem because probiotics can be loaded into enteric capsules that pass safely through stomach acid plus free fatty acid, a germ-killer every bit as effective as 100 ppm chlorine bleach.
Aged cheeses and alcoholic beverages – I know the French would never give these up. Well, they do not have to; give up something else. It is the total toxic load that matters.
High protein foods cannot be avoided – to be healthy, man must have sufficient protein.
On the positive side, what about a diamine oxidase (DAO) supplement and plenty of vitamin C activator? DAO can turn over competing biogenic amines as well as histamine.