Tag archive for "diamine oxidase"

Research & News

Holy Basil! Anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine superstar

9 Comments 24 October 2012

Basil flowers in the garden

Not only is Holy Basil tasty in just about any Thai or Vietnamese dish – turns out it’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine herb that’s as effective as Ranitidine/Zantac at treating H2 (histamine) induced ulcers, preventing mast cell degranulation and anaphylactic shock. How do’you like them apples?

I like Holy Basil a lot better than them apples…but just to clear up any potential confusion, Holy Basil is also known as Sweet Thai Basil or by it’s proper names: Ocimum tenuiflorum and Ocimum sanctum. (source: Wikipedia)

Holy Basil’s activity as an anti-histamine has been found to affect histamine’s H2 receptor, great news for those with histamine intolerance/histaminosis/mastocytosis/mast cell activation disorders with gastrointestinal complaints. I’d be interested to know if it’s anti-inflammatory effects are in part due to it’s high Vitamin K content. Don’t forget that Vitamin K (as I mentioned in this post), is a potent anti-inflammatory, is found in many foods like cauliflower, which is also high in Vitamin C. You’ll find a potent (tasty) recipe for cauli-tahini soup and don’t forget to check out my low histamine Diamine Oxidase Support Cookbook.

Holy Basil prevents mast cell degranulation, helping treat allergic disorders

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Research & News, Tips & Tricks

Exercise is good for you, so why does it make you sick?

4 Comments 23 October 2012

New studies show that aerobic exercise raises histamine levels. This isn’t news to me. When playing squash I have to take time outs to scratch myself silly and wait for the room to stop spinning. My man, now used to such bizarre-isms, plays against the wall for a while till it calms down again. I looked a lot crazier, to a much larger crowd, during our recent trapezing class! I’m sure I can thank adrenaline for that…What really interested me in this particular study is that they determined resistance training (weights/yoga) doesn’t raise histamine levels. They highlight how histamine released by aerobic exercise causes significant vasodilation (the widening of blood vessels in the body).This study ties in nicely with last week’s post about histamine being a vasoactive amine that can increase or decrease heart rate and induce anxiety-mimicking symptoms.

*Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract. http://www.emedicinehealth.com/strength_training/article_em.htm

Interestingly, I meeting quite a few people who are being prescribed anti-histamines by their docs to deal with asthma/wheezing, abnormally high heart rate and passing out while exercising. Wouldn’t it be simpler to go on a low histamine diet? Probably not, but it would yield better (healthier) results!

What does this mean for your work out routine? 

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Dispatches, Research & News

Histamine’s upside: I lost 35kg (77lbs) in 6 months!

1 Comment 21 October 2012

My incredible 35kg (77lb) weight loss over the first 6 months of my low histamine diet resolved a decade long crisis over my sudden weight gain. Having been skinny for most of my life, albeit with a horribly bloated tummy, I freaked out when I suddenly ballooned into the michelin man. It’s known that histamine regulates appetite: Continue Reading

Research & News

Got allergies? Homeopathic remedy reduces histamine-induced inflammation

No Comments 18 October 2012

Rhus Tox reduces histamine-induced inflammation

I’m usually on the fence about homeopathic remedies. I’d love to believe they work, but have yet to see the studies backing up their claims. Today however I found a study showing that a homeopathic remedy, Rhus Toxicodendron, “significantly reduces” carrageenan induced inflammation in rats. As I mentioned in another post, carrageenan (irish moss) is a seaweed derived food additive that is also frequently used in raw food desserts. What that means for those of us with allergies is that we have a natural way (other than food – check out my Low Histamine DAO Support Cookbook) to reduce histamine-induced inflammation.

We found significant reductions compared to control in carrageenan-induced paw oedema, vascular permeability, writhing induced by intraperitoneal acetic acid and stress induced gastric lesions. Rhus tox in homeopathic dilution appears to interfere with inflammatory processes involving histamine, prostaglandins and other inflammatory mediators.

But that doesn’t mean upping the dose will get you more inflammation relief, on the contrary…

Administration of a single dose of Rhus tox 1h prior to injection of Carrageenan significantly reduced the paw inflammation in a dose dependent manner. Administration of multiple doses of Rhus tox increased the intensity of inflammation induced by Carrageenan, but this was not statistically significant. (Read the full study here).

I’m curious as to why homeopathic remedies would use sugar pellets as a carrier? I’m not too excited about putting histamine raising sugar into my body.

Interestingly, Rhus is the latin name for sumac, the Middle Eastern herb I wrote about recently. Sumac, when added to foods, helps lower their tyramine content better than chemicals do. That’s great news to me as I not only deal with high histamine caused by a low diamine oxidase level, I also struggle with low monoamine oxidase, which means that tyramine rich foods are also a problem. I’m trying to find a supplier of whole sumac berries as my practitioner often warned me that dried, crushed herbs contained more histamine than whole seeds.

Don’t forget to check out my post on histamine levels in popular foods and of course the Low Histamine DAO Support Cookbook for the blueprint to my low histamine recovery.

Research & News

Unexplained weight gain? Dr. Oz blames hidden food allergies!

No Comments 17 October 2012

Ok here’s one I totally relate to. Dr. Mehmet Oz, on his show, recently explained how hidden food allergies can make you gain up to 30lbs (20kg) a YEAR.

food allergies make you fat!

food allergies make you fat!

Here’s Dr. Oz on his show explaining how, when faced with an undiagnosed allergy whereby the good bacteria cannot process the food (I think maybe he’s referring to the histamine degrading enzymes diamine oxidase, monoamine oxdase and HNMT) the body responds with inflammation that quickly distends the bowels, stomach and surrounding areas, adding up to 30 pounds (20 kilos) of weight EVERY YEAR.

“Gulp”. Yes, I have experienced that first hand. I finally lost 35 kilos (77 lbs) over two years ago, as a result of going on a low histamine diet. I lost the equivalent of a small person!

I attribute some of the weight loss to stopping the anti-histamines which were making me eat like a football player. A football player who has been wandering the dessert without food for two weeks, with only a bag of ganja to sustain him. Yeah, I was obsessed with food, allergenic food that was causing inflammation thanks to a lack of histamine-degrading diamine oxidase, monoamine oxidase and others. But even before then, my friends were always as baffled as I by my weight gain. Was I eating in secret? Was I sleep eating? These were valid questions but I wasn’t.

I can’t say I haven’t become healthier overall since going low histamine, because I definitely have, but my calories aren’t that much lower now. I even eat more dessert now than I used to, which brings me back to how to pig out without gaining weight. Can you guess?? Yup, my first dessert book is finally out! The Low Histamine Dessert Book is gluten-free, milk-free and refined sugar free. All low histamine desserts have been tested out on my non-amine challenged friends…this is the good stuff that I break out for tea, after dinner treats and kiddie birthday parties! The moist chocolate (make it with carob or cacao, there are instructions for both) is perfect for birthdays, and no one has no come back for seconds of the delicious almond butter cupcakes. Though you can frost them with anything…

You can download the low histamine dessert book here. If you’re dealing with histamine-induced weight gain from anti-histamines, histamine intolerance, histaminosis or mastocytosis, you might want to check out my Low Histamine Diamine Oxidase Support Cookbook first!


Research & News

Fox News report on histamine intolerance covers mood/depression link!

No Comments 14 October 2012

Fox News report on histamine intolerance

Fox News report on histamine intolerance

Fox News is the first major player to cover histamine intolerance (histaminosis).

Interestingly the link between histamine disorders and mood/depression are mentioned in the report.

Check out the full story here.

Research & News

Food additive sensitive ADHD kids may lack histamine-degrading HNMT enzyme

1 Comment 12 October 2012


Lack of a histamine-degrading enzyme linked to ADHD in kids

Lack of HNMT histamine-degrading enzyme linked to ADHD in kids

Children lacking the HNMT gene responsible (along with Diamine Oxidase) for degrading histamine in the body, are likely to suffer an increase in adverse reactions to food additives and colorings, which may exacerbate existing ADHD (study here). I’d be interested to know if the authors of the study were in fact being a little diplomatic in their reporting – I have a feeling we’ll be seeing many more studies making a stronger case for food additives and colorings being implicated in all kinds of behavioral disorders in children.

Overall, the three year-olds had significant reactions to the hyper juice (more Mix A than Mix B) if they lacked certain alleles of the histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT) gene.  There seemed to be no differences in the reactions depending on the dopamine or other checked genotypes.   In the 8/9 year-olds, the results were quite similar.  Not too much difference when dopamine may be off, but a significant difference depending on the HNMT gene allele.  (Dr. Emily Deans interprets the study on her blog)

This is not only the first study I have seen definitively making a link between behavioral problems in children and food additives, but also the first one linking histamine to it. Though it wasn’t a huge sample (less than 300 kids) and was not a long term study, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more in the near future.

As someone who can attest to the mania inducing effects of food additives and colouring, I sincerely hope that parents around the world will pay more attention to what they put in their children’s bodies, whether influenced by histamine or not. My uncle had a very simple rule with his kids in the supermarket. You can have it if you can pronounce every word on the food label! His kids were well into their teens before getting their first taste of nasty foods. By that time their taste buds were well formed enough to know that it was poison. They’re two of the healthiest eaters I know (other than their parents!).

 I’d love to hear from you if this study correlates with your own experiences and if you’ve had success treating your child through a low histamine, low amine, or dye/preservative free diet.

You’ll find a collection of all liquid high nutrient antihistamine and anti-inflammatory rich recipes for days when my histamine bucket overflowed in the new Anti-Detox book

The Anti-cookbook, while it doesn’t treat any conditions, due to its high nutrient, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory ingredients, has been instrumental in helping me feed myself on a limited diet. It features a six page list of antihistamine and anti-inflammatory foods. It comes in regular and Paleo. 

The Low Oxalate Cookbook features antihistamine and anti-inflammatory rich recipes. 

Don’t miss the Low Histamine Beauty Survival Guide for non-toxic beauty tips, the skinny on histamine releasing (mast cell degranulating) beauty ingredients, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory beauty alternatives and the top brands natural brands I’ve found.

Take a peek at my other low histamine and antihistamine cookbooks for more high nutrient recipes.

If you’ve found this information useful I’d appreciate your support (at no extra cost to you!) – please check out my online store for your health foods, supplements, kitchen items and beauty product purchases. Affiliate sales through my online store go towards maintaining the website, funding travel to interviews and purchasing all the lovely foods for my free online recipes. You’ll find these items in the “Shop with us” drop down menu on my homepage.  

Please don’t forget antihistamine, pain killing foods can still hurt us, so please always check with your doctor before adding new foods to your diet. 

Research & News

Histamine induced uterine contractions a danger in pregnancy.

No Comments 09 October 2012


Histamine & pregnancy

Elevated histamine levels can affect pregnancy

I was recently chatting with someone whose family member suffered back to back miscarriages over the last few years. Based on her symptoms (which came out over a casual lunch) I referred her to specialist Dirk Budka in London (now retired). Turns out her histamine and diamine oxidase levels were way out of whack and she very definitely had Histaminosis (Histamine Intolerance). It was the one thing her gynecologist never thought to check. When confronted, he reportedly shrugged and said it was such a random thing that he would never have thought to check, but that certainly, the abnormally high histamine levels could have played a part in the miscarriages.Digging up some research after our chat I found this study:

Elevated histamine plasma levels have been shown in women during preterm compared with term labour (Caldwell et al., 1988). Hence, histamine might stimulate both preterm and term labour in an indirect and direct way.

There was more interesting information on animal studies that I prefer not to post. It’s a long study, well worth the read.

More digging turned up a study released just a few days ago pointing to histamine’s role in pre-eclampsia. Luckily for most, women’s bodies produce an incredible 500% – 1000% increase in histamine-lowering Diamine Oxidase (DAO) during pregnancy! The human body is an intricate machine….


Research & News

Irresistible to the opposite sex? Histamine could be why!

No Comments 09 October 2012

Estrogen causes histamine release

Estrogen can cause major histamine release in the body. Now why would you want that? Because histamine makes you um, randy, and your biological imperative is to procreate. We shouldn’t really complain though,estrogen makes us more attractive to the opposite sex…but back to my point.

Studies on female rats show that estrogen supplementation, or natural fluctuations in cycle near ovulation, cause libido boosting histamine release. Didn’t know that histamine affects your sex drive? You’re welcome! Please explain to your significant other that spiking your meals with cashews isn’t necessary thank you very much. It’s one of the many perks/crosses to bear with our histaminosis/histamine intolerance diagnosis.

Estrogen is important in female precopulatory behaviors in 3 m ways: 1) estrogen increases a female’s willingness to approach a male to induce solicitatious behaviors, 2) estrogen can enhance the “attractivity” of the female: estrogen priming can induce the production of stimuli that make her more attractive to the male (odors or pheromones, vocalizations), and 3) estrogen ‘primes’ for progesterone.

So… Continue Reading

Research & News

Pain “down there”? It’s called vulvodynia – an anti-histamine/anti-inflammatory diet could help.

No Comments 08 October 2012

Is pain “down there” ruining your life? You’re not alone. Chronic “lady pains” were a hot topic at the hista-sista kvetch-sesh in Notting Hill yesterday. The abundantly histamine blessed ladies and I compared notes. The term “chronic pelvic inflammation” of idiopathic origin and vulvodynia came up quite a bit, as did its disastrous effect on life and mental health.

I went home and did some research. Obviously, there was a link. It’s something that almost every single woman with histamine issues (that I’ve been brave enough to ask) has complained of. Here’s what I found:

Our data suggest that women with a history of urticaria, seasonal allergies or reaction to insect stings appear to be more prone to later development of vulvodynia than women with no history of these allergic reactions. We also showed that this association was largely confined to exposures that occurred before the first onset of vulvar pain, suggesting that allergenic exposures could be involved as, or a marker of, factors involved in the development of vulvodynia. We also observed that a history of other skin conditions, not as strongly related to an immune response, generally were not associated with the risk of vulvodynia. Read the full study here.


Vulvodynia is a complex disorder and described as discomfort or intense burning pain in the vulvar area. Such chronic pain affects 5 to 15% of women and many suffer of misdiagnosis. For sure the aetiology is multifactorial. Through few studies we consider the inflammatory response plays a major role. There is a genetic profile of women suffering of vulvodynia, especially genetic polymorphisms from genes coding for cytokines, Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist and Interleukin-1 beta, and gene coding for mannose-binding lectin (MBL). These polymorphisms result in a stronger inflammatory response and lay these women in a susceptibility situation. Histological analysis showed a chronic non specific inflammation. We have also demonstrated that these patients present in normal state or under infectious induction an inadequate inflammatory response. But there is still a variety of mechanisms which can interact with the inflammatory response. Management of such vulvar pain syndrome could be very frustrating, but the first step for improvement is to get the right diagnosis. Read the full study here.

All the more reason to look after your health/diet and be good to yourself (lady parts included). I’m off to make a very low histamine anti-inflammatory dinner. Will post the recipe in the next few days.



The menus from the Low Histamine Chef have given me the support and guidelines to cook, grocery shop, eat at restaurants and basically get my life back with food reactions reduced to a minimum. Best of all the recipes are delicious. P.D.


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